I caught up with Nick Howiantz of Ham Legion ahead of their Brixton Windmill gig. Talk of random labourers, wild European audiences and a Dog Of Ham supergroup await you, lucky readers …
So, you went on tour with your current gig buddies Dog Of Man recently. Any wild tour stories to share?
Nick: Yeah, we camped in the wilderness outside of Prague one night. An Irish man drove up to our spot in his Volvo and asked us if we wanted any work as labourer…. we said no thanks, and he drove off. It was mental. Then this other time a bitter man approached us to tell us that our van was illegally parked on the street where he lives. We pointed out to him that we’d paid attention to all the signs and that the parking place we’d chosen was completely legit. He left looking a little disgruntled, and we had the last laugh. Crazy! You couldn’t make it up!
Rock and Roll. How do audiences in Europe take to your wild post-punk?
Nick: They f@&£ing dug it! I’m sure you’ve heard bands say this before, but the reaction you get is generally much more upbeat than in London. Even small audiences go for it. That’s great for any band but was especially pleasing to us seeing as our stuff’s not always the easiest to dance to.’
Must have been great to get that kind of reaction! What was it like touring with Dog of Man? Any collaborations on the horizon?
Nick: It was great to do it with Dog Of Ham, they’re proper pals. I was the bass player for a few years, and I’ve done bands in the past with Ben who replaced me, so it’s a happy family. As it happens, we did discuss some kind of ‘Dog Of Ham’ collaboration where we’d write separate parts of a song and figure out how to make them work together… It’d be cool to write together so we’ll see. I’m sure we’ll do a split release of some kind sooner or later as well.’
Dog of Ham? That’s a scoop if I ever heard of one. There’s quite a bit of community going on with your patch of underground music. Just how many bands are related to off the top of your head, and do of them have any gigs soon?
Nick: Well, because of working at Brixton Hill Studios, there are tons. I have been in Gaygirl who are doing well and have a tour coming up. I was also in The Stephen Evens Band who are currently finishing off an album and have loads more in store. Hurtling who are brilliant and feature our Jenny have an album and gigs coming up. Madonnatron who rehearse at our place are soon off on tour and gigging all the time. There are far too many to mention but if you go to the Brixton Hill Studios website there a blog that Jen does and it list all of the upcoming fun things from bands around Brixton and the studio.’
Most excellent! You have a gig on Thurs! Give us those details! Will you be playing ‘Georgie Porgie’?
Nick: Oh… well yeah! Of course, there’s the gig we’re playing! Forgot that one. It’s at The Brixton Windmill with Dog Of Man And Hot Sauce Pony. We will, of course, be playing Georgie Porgie which is our new single… you can get it on Bandcamp and Soundcloud, and there’s also a live studio session vid filmed by you, John! There will be another single release later this month so watch out for that.
Crikey! Well, that’s Thursday night sorted then! See you there!