The Mud Howlers are comprised of four friends from the Sonora Desert (Hermosillo, to be exact). They recorded their first demos in a basement with 6 microphones and an 8-channel interface. With influences ranging from the likes of Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath to Muddy Waters and Richie Valens — the result was a heavy dose of quintessential, raw blues rock with an injection of 70’s edge called Get Inside the Muds.
The record rapidly started to pick up traction in Mexico and eventually landed them a coveted opening slot for Molotov, (South America’s version of Rage Against The Machine). Shortly after, Molotov’s frontman, Tito Fuenes, helped produce their sophomore EP effort R.R.R. — a 5-track technicolor spectrum of fuzzy psychedelic rock that sounds both refreshingly unique and disarmingly seductive.
Unlike their contemporaries, their raw, DIY aesthetic manages to pack a serious punch while glistening with authentic rock ‘n’ roll. However, The Mud Howlers seemingly effortless fusion of timeliness and timelessness needs to be experienced live to be fully understood. They put on a live show so dynamic and disarmingly reckless that if you take your eyes off the stage for just one second, you run the risk of missing something extraordinary. Bottom line: these boys are coming to America this summer to shake shit up.
Who did you listen to growing up? Who were/are your biggest influences — any musicians or artists in particular that inspired you to do what you’re doing?
Nate: The first song I learned to play on guitar was “La Bamba” by Ritchie Valens taught by my dad, after that we kept growing and started to understand different things I remember my brother Norbi buying the Led Zeppelin DVD in 2003 and some Eric Clapton albums. When we got older a song called “Herbert Harper’s Free Press News” was a song that changed how Charly and I viewed music at the time and the whole “Electric Mud” album by Muddy Waters.
Charly: I was really into live concerts as a kid, AC/DC, Black Sabbath, The White Stripes, either at a venue or a DVD, I didn’t care, it was the live performance that captured me. Queen Live at Wembley Stadium ´85 blew my mind, it showed me how rock and roll was supposed to be performed. I used to spend hours on YouTube searching old classic concerts, live radio sessions from new bands, festival sets etc. My Morning Jacket live at Bonnaroo, The White Stripes at The Basement, Black Sabbath Live in Paris, etc. There’s something amazing about being in a venue with 200 other sweaty people rockin out to raw guitar riffs that you can’t explain. I don’t mind if I am on or off stage, its the same feeling if you get lost in it.
What can fans expect in terms of sound, aesthetic, etc. when they listen to your music? What’s the biggest message you want them to take away from this record?
Felipe: I think the message we tried to send is both in the music and the lyrics, For example in R.R.R. (Rock & Roll Revolution) we talk about this whole new generation of young doers, people with new ideas, and people that if can’t seem to find what they want, they do it themselves. We as an ‘independent band’ have all the creative control over our music, artwork, videos, etc. And you can hear that in the songs, they are as raw and powerful as we wanted it to be.
There aren’t many bands that do what you guys do in terms of putting on an authentic rock and roll show. How do you maintain that vibe each night and keep your energy so high throughout the live performances? What show stands out in your mind as the most memorable?
Charly: We were heading to LA from San Diego and when we got to the venue they didn’t even know we were booked and the guy started freaking out and started promoting the show with a single post on Facebook one hour before the show, also it was a fucking Tuesday. We played an epic show for 4 dudes and then after the show ended, we were wasted, eating burritos and dancing to Pink Floyd bangin from an old jukebox in a Mexican burrito place.
Nate: What keeps us with the same energy every show is that we all carry a piece of our homeland to every single place we play and when we play, people get to taste some mud and dust from our place and that makes us continue with a big smile to the next gig.
Are you starting to write a new record? If so, what’s the writing process been like on your new material and how has that differed from your past writing/recording experiences?
Felipe: Yes, we’re always working on new music! We write our songs in two main ways, the “boring” (actually kind of fun) way: Sitting in front of the computer and start throwing riffs and melodies until something cool comes out, and sometimes some REALLY COOL things come out. Then, there is the cooler way: We start jamming together and when we get to something we like, then we continue developing the idea till we get a song. For this new album we’re working on, no matter what method we used first, we rehearse the songs before getting in the studio, with the purpose of tracking them live so we can get a more real, raw, rock ‘n’ roll sound. We’re currently rehearsing new songs and planning to enter the studio in April with Tito Fuentes producing. We’re very excited and we think the new album is going to be great.
What have you guys been listening to lately in terms of new music? Is there any song out right now that you wish you never had to hear again?
Felipe: Almost every time I turn the radio I feel sad, so many beats and drops and shit. I Also would recommend not listening to a band I heard the other day called 5 Seconds of Summer, since the Jonas Brothers and maybe before, this kind of bands are making the word rock lose it’s meaning, I know it’s a whole different audience maybe, but I think the teenage years are key to develop a musical taste for the rest of your life.
Conversely, any emerging bands that you think are worth checking out?
Charly: Chicano Batman, so groovy. Bombino with some really cool Nigerian Psych Rock, there is this guy called Tobias Jesso Jr, I just saw him on TV, it really captured me, he seems to be soulful. Royal Blood are playing some good rock, POND, Bass Drum of Death, Curtis Harding. There really is some good music being produced right now, I don’t see why everybody is so mad at the music scene, if you dig enough and care about true-quality musicians, you will find them.
If you could tour with any artist/band dead or alive who would it be and why?
Nate: Led Zeppelin, there’s something about stadiums full of people craving for high levels of volume that makes us happy and nostalgic.
Charly: Imagine touring with Frank Zappa, that guy really knew how to party.