Band Name: The Howlin’ Thurstons
Genre: Surf/Punk Instro Rock
Geographical Area: NY City Metro Area
Interview with: The Howlin’ Thurstons (responses from various band members
have been edited to appear as a single interview) by email on 10/23/03.
1. What is the current line-up of your band, The Howlin’ Thurstons?
David "DJ" Janowski – Strat guitar
2. How and when did you get started with your band?
Peter and DJ met through "The Studio" musicians group in 1999. Peter claims the reason he wanted to start the band was that “after the accident where they put that plate in my head, I had to do something to drown out the voices.” They formed The Howlin' Thurstons with another bass player and drummer (who left the band in 2001). Finally they teamed up with Dave and Kevin (other Studio members) in 2002.
bands or music have influenced you most?
a band, they draw a lot from Link Wray and all guitar driven bands from the 50’s/60’s
through the present. Dave the drummer lists some of his influences as jazz
legends like Papa Jo, Baby Dodds, Buddy, Gene, Max et al to Rock stars like Earl
Palmer, Al Jackson, Hal Blaine, Ringo, Dave Clark, Moon, et al. DJ
(guitar) listed some other influences, like Sonic Youth, Yo La Tengo, AC/DC,
Stevie Ray Vaughan, Iggy Pop, Henri Mancini, and The Ventures .
6. What is your band’s favorite food/beverage?
is this…16 Magazine??? “ (Oh – you shouldn’t insult anyone giving you
free publicity!) After some arm-twisting, various answers included steak at
Peter Luger’s Dixie Beer, Bushmills Irish Whiskey straight up, Guiness, Bass,
Dr. Pepper, candy from The Studio machine, and licking the sweat off a grape.
7. How do you get gigs?
votes for “begging”, and one for “convinced of the absolute righteousness
of our cause, our powers of persuasion are considerable”. Yeah – sounds like
8. What are the difficulties you find playing your kind of music in your area?
say they can't play loud enough or long enough! Also, the
club owners are
often upset because of the amount of blood they have to mop up after shows…
What have you found to be the single most effective promotional
tool you’ve used to further your
band’s musical path?
Hands down, the Internet, including their website at www.howlinthurstons.com,
a Yahoo user group, and email. It’s an invaluable tool whether you’re
contacting venues, managing a mailing list, or sending press kits to various e-zines
or traditional print media. It’s also a two-way street. Through the Net, radio
stations as far away as Australia have contacted them, and they’ve even heard
from a record company in Germany. The Thurstons are achieving a worldwide
presence, if in a somewhat limited way. The Yahoo & MSN mail groups have
been very useful in a number of ways. Through these they’ve been able to
network with other bands, gain information and knowledge, all while putting
their name out to a wider audience.
11. What’s the most interesting performance experience you’ve had?
could be the one that didn’t happen. Due to a personal emergency of one of the
band members, they had an 11th hour cancellation of a gig at the
Lakeside Lounge (NYC). The venue had no time to find a replacement, they had no
time to notify their fan base, and so it became an exercise in damage control.
The remaining band members went to the venue, greeted the arriving fans,
apologized for not playing, and convinced them to hang in the club anyway. The
end result was that they maintained good relations with their fans (it was their
best turnout to date – they seem to draw better when they don’t play!) The
club owner was happy that his bar was crowded and had a good take at the end of
the night, and they were able to book another gig there (coming up on Thursday,
What do you hope to get out of being a NESMA member?
networking with other bands, sharing ideas and learning from other bands, maybe
some roundtable discussions, and exposure to others playing in a similar genre.
They believe we can make NESMA a tool to help us all expand our fan bases and,
in turn, our earning potential. They are looking forward to sharing &
promoting gigs with other members, perhaps being involved in a CD compilation
project, getting radio stations involved with NESMA, and maybe securing some
kind of corporate sponsorship. They have many great ideas for further NESMA and
their own band goals!