Josh Howatt
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Josh Howatt


Band Alternative Singer/Songwriter


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"Art-Rock Prince Talks Trash"

The following interview took place between Josh Howatt and Stephen Bender of BenderMedia Ltd. On Tues May 1st at 11:15PM

Stephen: Hi Josh. How are you?
Josh: Great. How are you Stephen?
S: So how long have you been playing music? What's your inspiration? Where'd you grow up? How's mum?
J: Jesus!
S: Jesus is your inspiration? That's good. So are you a Christian musician?
J: (laughs) You are making me hate you.
S: Ok, on to the real interview. I had the pleasure of seeing you a few weeks back at the Bar 169 in the Lower East Side. I understand that was your first live performance in a while. What was the reason for the break or the return? Whichever way you wanna take it.
J: Yes. I took some time off. About a year to collect myself, just like Mariah. No rehab though. Did a lot of writing.
S: What kind of writing were you doing?
J: Well for some strange reason I found myself drawn to a certain ragtime sound, like in "6'". A lot of the songs from that year have a sort of old school honky-tonk feel... most of the songs were about sad sappy relationships that were doomed for failure. I was living in the village at the time, so I was getting into a lot of trouble.
S: Would you say that your music is currently taking on that kind of feel?
J: Right now, I'm sort of working into an edgier hard rock arena. Sorta ditching the whole folk stint for the time being. But then again it's always back and forth and exploratory. I get into these strange ruts where I feel like these songs are all part of separate albums. Never very cohesive.
S: So hard rock on a piano, eh?
J: Yeah, absolutely! Look at Bach and Beethoven...they f*ckin rocked. Rach-maninoff?! Come on! (laughs) 'Sucha dork.
S: Well…Wow, can you think of anyone else who has done hard rock solo on piano?
J: Mmmm...not really solo. But then again I am expanding some. Just started a band…
S: Just curious, would you say you're manic depressive?
J: De-he-hefinitely manic. Not so much depressive...but all over the radar
S: Hear ya. Most artists I know have some sort of mania in their lives.
S: So, what kind of band?
J: Art rock.
S: Tell me about this band.
J: (laughs) Well, right now it's like a baby band, actually more a fetus band
Two straight, very tall, guys fronted by this pip-squeak of a homo
S: So you are gay?
J: Yes.
S: Like Rufus Wainright?
J: Well if by that you mean a flaming whiny homosexual.....sure.
S: Are you a gay activist?
J: I wouldn't say I'm an activist, however, I have no fear in loudly voicing my opinion. Perhaps, in the future.
S: I hear you're doing the AIDS walk on May 20th.
J: Why yes I am. Embarrassingly enough this will be my first ever AIDS walk.
S: So you're a newborn activist. How is that embarrassing?
J: Hah! Sure. Well it makes me sound like the unathletic, cold-hearted, couch potato I am (laughs)
S; Do you use your music to express your political views?
J: Presented with the right arena, for sure.
S: So you work AND play music. You're a busy guy.
J: Yeah, I'd rather not talk about my day job.
S: Why are you flipping burgers? An escort or something?
J: A glorified key card machine.
S: I am not sure what that means.
J: I work for a hotel
S: I see. Do you write about your day job in terms of music?
J: Not specifically, but the people I encounter on a daily basis give me some solid impetus. Rich people are nuts. Money makes people crazy, and should be used in times of war. Like mustard gas. No bullets. Just nickels.
S: O.K. Yes, I agree people CAN be nuts.
J: Ass.
S: So when is this EP coming out?
J: Dec 20th. It's going to be a 6 song heart attack.
S: We'll have to mark our calendars
J: Hot little tracks. Make you cry, make you cuss.
S: So you know there is music everywhere? There is this stupid commercial for Payless. The song really irritates me.
J: Oh god. Will you sing it for me?
S: (silence) Do you have a song that irritates you?
J: Hmmmmm.....OH YES.....This god-awful rap song where the guy is just unfoundedly reporting to us that "This is why he's hot". It makes me want to swallow bleach.
S: Well, on that note! It's been a pleasure speaking with you tonight. I am very excited to hear the upcoming EP. Good luck at AIDS walk.
J: Thank you.

If you would like more information, or to schedule an interview with Josh Howatt, please call 917.386.8698 or e-mail

- Bender Media Ltd.


"Depersonalization" - For Commercial Release Winter 2007



He may say that it all started with a reunion of estranged friends; the prep-school outcast and the pitchy Wurlitzer. Both hidden away under some covert staircase. But many will attest it started far before he could even reach the piano pedals. Josh Howatt has far outgrown the title of child-prodigy and has begun to stake his claim as the eccentric and evocative composer of the new era. He is hungry, starving, inconsolably ravenous, to bring the industry to it's knocking knees and back to a time, when men may have worn wigs, but beat down into that ivory terrain like linebackers. With reverence and unabandon, Josh resurrects the greats: Chopin, Beethoven, Joplin (Scott, that is), in a seance of sonic mishmash, by fusing classical structure with alterna-rock influence.

Originally from the freshly world famous Orange County, CA, Josh Howatt descended onto New York's hipster scene in the Fall of 2006. With showcases at Sidewalk Cafe, the more notable Bitter End, and his newly formed band in tow, he has begun to create a powerful surge in the art-rock undercurrent as a force to be reckoned with. Josh has positioned himself in a line-up of six more shows in the next two months, with a hardcore guarantee: "You show up and I'll make sure we both leave out of breath".

Now, with his overdue debut EP ready for distribution come June 15, Josh is tackling his most ambitious work to date. In this 6 song little gem, he lands anywhere from fevered to fluid, darling to devastating; Josh's melodic clamor is never short of a breath-taking sucker punch. Sometimes unexpected and gut wrenching. Always honest. Deep in that nest of red curls he hoards such autobiographical impetuses of unrequited love, suicide, politics, addiction, religion, only to have them escape in a series of vocal acrobatics sopped in pathos. Each lyric lays pregnant with meaning, and crammed with sarcasm, allusion, wit, and complexity, as he bushwhacks through intricate Baroque piano lines. In some cases Josh's music crosses all borders of pop-conventionalism and into a rather facetious-tinged territory, which can be confirmed by titles like "Penchant for Freaks" and "Only in Case of Apocalypse".

One devotee classifies Josh's music as akin to "Mozart, Rufus W., and J Buckley throwing fisticuffs over a male-menstrual Tori Amos, as she gives birth to Fiona Apple and Ben Folds...kinda, sorta". Though it may come off as hardly modest, it is nonetheless apropos. Josh Howatt is a modern-day minstrel, a pioneer to the industry, and a talented singer/songwriter long overdue. His songs resonate even after the final note, and like savory morsels, cannot be fully digested with only one bite. They can typically be easily summed up by a simple question. If you were to ask him "What or whom is this or that song about", he'd simply shrug and smugly reply "Not quite sure. Let's let it marinate for a couple years, perhaps then I'll have some smartass answer for you."