After releasing three albums and two EPs, Howlin Rain lead singer Ethan Miller has come to appreciate his band’s ambiguous position in the musical world. “You can’t really premeditate where that abstract location is, you are just lucky and hardworking enough to remain in some coordinate out there.” Working out of San Francisco for the past several years, Miller has dedicated his life to Howlin Rain, leading to a constant cycle of rehearsals, recording sessions and tours.
Eight months after the release of Howlin Rain’s third full-length album The Russian Wilds the cycle continues for Miller and his band. “I’ve felt more and more invigorated as we’ve gone on. Perhaps that is a sign of some modicum of success relating to our travels and persistence.”
Featuring nine-minute musical breakdowns and the showmanship of Miller himself, Howlin Rain’s live performances have adapted over time, culminating in an audience-based set specifically designed to reach out to listeners. “We’ve continually cut out songs from the set that didn’t seem like they were engaging the audience on an elevated level, and what is left is a distilled version.”
Forging together Miller’s undeniable energy with the diverse array of sounds found on The Russian Wilds, Howlin Rain’s searing performances encapsulate a fiery energy at work onstage. “I break the invisible wall, you know?” Miller explained over Email. “I climb out of the fishbowl and become a real human being to the audience, I get to be with them.”
From behind a healthy beard Miller masterfully channels the energy of every song’s sentiment into an audible expression released upon the audience. The resulting connection is as striking as Howlin Rain’s music itself, leaving a mark that will long resonate in the memories of listeners.
For more Howlin Rain, check out the full-length interview with singer Ethan Miller here.
Words by Kevin Vanstone