Interview with Howie Payne

Mr Howie Payne of The Stands gave us a quick rundown of his biggest influences and favourite song to play live before his gig at the Bodega!

Q: How did your latest album ‘Mountain’ come about?  

I’d written a lot of songs and was really vibed up to get in and record them. I got in touch with Dom Monks, who worked on Bright Light Balladswith me and asked him if he wanted to co-produce a record. We only had a window of a couple of weeks before we had to get into other stuff, so we found a great studio that was set up to record onto tape and we cut most of it live in just 4 days. We did a couple more days in Bath finishing a few things off and then I sent it over to LA and it was mixed and mastered out there by John Paterno, who worked with me on Horse Fabulous. The whole thing only took about two weeks, we started last week of July and it was done early August, so it feels very fresh.

Q: Who would you say have been your biggest influences? 

The Beatles, soul music, Bowie, Kerouac, Chicago blues, Dylan Thomas – I read a lot, I like stuff like Benny Goodman, Hoagy Carmichael, Sinatra, Count Basie. I grew up listening to that music at home. I like a lot of hip hop, folk and rural blues too, the really old songs. Robert Johnson, Son House, that kind of thing.

Q:Would you say you prefer being in the studio recording new material or playing live shows? 

Hard to compare, just depends where your head is at. I have a new band and we’ve been rehearsing for the October tour, I’ve been really digging that so right now I’m all about playing live.

Q:What was the first music festival you went to – as a fan or indeed as a performer? 

Glastonbury as a fan, I hitchhiked down there on my own from Liverpool.

Q Do you have a favourite venue/city to play live? 

There’s a few places I like visiting because of friends and all that but I like playing everywhere, as long as the vibe is switched on and the sound is good for the crowd – it’s cool.

Q: If you had to only play festivals or headline sets for the rest of your career, which would you prefer? 

They’re so different, if it happens right at a festival it can have a magic unattainable in a venue, but a venue has a tight electric vibe a festival could never match, I personally prefer watching bands in venues so I’ll go with that.

Q: Do you have a favourite song to play live currently? 

Well, all the new tracks from ‘Mountain’ because they’re so fresh, but I’m also really digging playing The Stands & Bright Light Ballads songs again with a band.

Q:What are your ambitions for the future? 

I’d like to do an album every six months, good albums.

Q: And finally… If you could have written one song in history yourself, what would you have preferred it to be? 

Young Americans by David Bowie

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