Dan Howls is touring his new single 'King Si' during May.
In the wilds of Far North Queensland, under the rule of a mysterious jungle king, Fremantle blues guitarist Dan Howls found the inspiration for his new single.
“We rocked up at an abandoned resort and there's a big sign that says 'shout out when you get here and you can come have a look around',” Dan recounts when asked the story behind new single 'King Si'.
“So we went in there and there's this king-type character out there that lives off the land, and travellers who want to go through and stay there can help him out on the property because he's the caretaker. It's just an amazing property.
“You feel like you're at the world's end – there's crocodiles out there, snakes, cassowaries and all this crazy stuff going on. You feel like you're in another world and he's definitely the king. It was a song I wrote when we were out there that was just about this amazing experience that you wouldn't even know was happening in the modern world.”
Greatly impacted by his time in King Si's court, Dan has recently been in production for a video clip to accompany the song that reflects the wildness and freedom of his journey.
“We're kind of doing a similar thing for the film clip, but we've imagined it even further and it's a different kind of story but still with a king figure.”
Dan says he has already received a great response from the single, with it being picked up for rotation on Triple J as well as finding its way onto several Spotify, Apple and YouTube playlists.
“We're still very much at the start of our career in terms of how many people know about us and how many people listen to us, so we're still building that fan base,” he says.
“So those kinds of things are a real win for us because if we can get it in peoples' ears that's the best thing. That's what you want when you create music, really.”
Joining Dan in his band are guitarist/vocalist Julia Weller, bassist Callum Adcock, organist/saxophonist Ben Power and drummer Josh Cutler. Though when Dan takes the single on tour later this month, Blake Hart (Hideous Sun Demon, Koi Child) will be taking Josh's place on the skins.
“Josh Cutler did help write 'King Si' and he's been touring with us for the past three years, but he's got a little two year-old, Teddy, and he's just starting to find it a bit hard to come on tour so we'll be bringing [Blake] on tour.”
The sound and style of Dan's music is steeped in the 'dark' blues tradition a la Tom Waits, Screamin' Jay Hawkins and The Black Keys, topped with his own whiskey-soaked, gravel-dragged vocals.
The upcoming tour has Dan playing along the east coast and finishing back in Western Australia at Mojos where 'King Si' and the video clip will be officially launched.
“We love Mojos, it's such a great venue,” Dan says.
“We got Jack Davies and The Psychotic Reactions, they're both incredible Freo bands, and it's always a really big party at Mojo's so it's nice to finish off the tour somewhere you know. Mojos is such a staple, it's brilliant.”
Dan Howls Tour 2019
Sat 11 May - Sonic Sherpa (Brisbane) (afternoon show) Sat 11 May - Lefty's Old Time Music Hall (evening show) Sat 25 May - Mojos Bar (Fremantle)