Howler was an indie rock band from Minneapolis, Minnesota. The group consisted of Jordan Gatesmith on lead guitar and vocals, Ian Nygaard on guitar, Yayo Trujillo on bass and Hiram Sevilla on drums.
Howler received international acclaim, most notably from NME, which named Howler their No. 3 Best New Band of 2011 and included Jordan Gatesmith in their 2011 Cool List. The band has also played festivals like SXSW, The Great Escape, Reading & Leeds and Rock the Garden.
Nineteen-year-old Jordan Gatesmith began Howler out of boredom in 2010 with former member Daniel Hupp. Before Howler, he had created other bands without much success. "I was starting bands what seemed like every other week," explained Gatesmith. "We had a metal band for a while. We had one called Gay Animals, another called A-Cups, but none of them really lasted that long". Gatesmith met ex-keyboardist and bassist Max Petrek while on sky-diving course during a visit to Saint Paul. Each noticed the other tapping their feet to a Yardbirds song playing in the reception. Having similar tastes in music, Gatesmith and Petrek started playing together. Ian Nygaard and Jay Simonson were both members of Nice Purse when Gatesmith included them in the band. Both Howler and Nice Purse were on the same record label, SO-TM. Ex-drummer Brent Mayes knew Gatesmith from high school, although Mayes is four years older than Gatesmith, and was thus the oldest member of the band.
Howler's first public performance was at the farmers market where they found financial success. In an interview with Minnesota Public Radio, Gatesmith explained, "People thought the lyrics were really funny and they thought that we were being cute and kind of snide all at the same time. They're like, 'Well that's interesting.' "
Howler released its first EP This One's Different in the United States on February 14, 2011. The band opened for Tapes 'n Tapes on their North American tour. In April 2011 freelance writer Jon Garret watched Howler perform at their release show. While he believed the band was not musically mature yet, Garret thought Howler had potential. He especially saw something special in Gatesmith: "And I guess what really drew me to them was Jordan just really had this phenomenal stage presence that I don't see very often, especially in younger bands."
Garret sent Howler's EP to London-based record label Rough Trade Records without the band's knowledge. The label was impressed with the band and signed Howler to a record deal in summer 2011. The band then supported The Vaccines on their U.K tour, as well as shows in Japan. This One's Different was released in the United Kingdom on August 2, 2011 and received favorable reviews—NME in particular. Emily Mackay writes that while Howler is not different from other bands, it does "make commonplace components fly with a brilliant nonchalance". NME named Howler their No. 3 Best New Band of 2011. In addition, Gatesmith No. 44 on NME's list of the 50 Coolest People of 2011.
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