Leaving the UK immediately after Brexit, Howlin Circus is a British-Canadian rock band that we can’t get enough of! The group sought out to work on their debut album in Toronto, bringing a sense of urgency and passion to the project. “Run The Wrong Way” captures the vulnerability, the anger and desire needed to produce a memorable rock and roll debut. Released March 22, 2019 through British DIY label Big Sister Records, “Run the Wrong Way”was mixed by renowned Canadian producer Brian Moncarz (Our Lady Peace, Moneen, The Trews), and mastered by Joao Carvalho.
Title track from Howlin Circus’ debut album and hard-hitting single, “Run The Wrong Way” is a heavy and timeless rock hit. The energetic intro and flawless delivery take the listener on a retrospective and alluring journey. The pounding, driving rhythms showcase the heart and ambition these guys put on full display for their audiences. All about going against the grain, making your way, and an unapologetic anthem “Run The Wrong Way” is a force to be reckoned with. The British-Canadian rock band Howlin Circus have sparked a fire to both change and galvanize the world we live in. Bringing us back to a sense of comfort, community and acceptance, they aim to put an end to our current disconnect. “Run The Wrong Way” is ferocious, ravenous and an overall gem. It’s a welcome new addition to the rock scene today. Howlin Circus brings raw energy and an indefinitely loud testimony to the magic of the underground scene and we can’t wait to see what they deliver next.
Listen to “Run The Wrong Way” here and read more with Howlin Circus below!
How did the band come to fruition?
The three of us came together a little like carnies escaping to join the circus. I left my hometown of London, UK a day after the Brexit vote and ended up in Canada. I met Adam (drums) in Toronto just as he was looking to start up his own band and get away from jamming with hobby musicians in his hometown of Burlington. Adam and I started recording some songs in this old church in Chatham, Ontario - it was around that time when a mutual friend introduced us to Bryan (bass). He'd just returned to Toronto after basically being homeless for months travelling around the East Coast of Canada. I already had around 10-15 songs by then so we got ourselves a studio space and started working on those together.
How did moving to Canada affect who you are as an artist?
I guess the timing of when I left the UK was interesting. I'd been keen to get away for a while and get away from the noise of Brexit. When your name is Jafar and you hear the way the media and powerful politicians talk about Muslims, othering people constantly because they or their parents weren't born in a white European state, it's hard to find a sense of belonging even in the place you were born in - even in the place you called home for so long. I don't think I've necessarily found that in Canada but it's got me writing about the traumas and the joys that connect us all during these strange days.
What’s the meaning behind your track “Run The Wrong Way”? How do you want the listener to feel when they hear it?
I started writing it in London. I felt anxious about the state of the world, where things were headed and what it meant to be othered. I'd felt this pressure to ride along pleasantly with the establishment, with the idea that everything's fine and that you've simply got to play by these rules to be happy or successful or whatever the fuck that means. I thought fuck that and I hope that's how people feel when they put it on.
What overall theme does your album “Run The Wrong Way” hold?
Finding a sense of place, a belonging. It's structured in that way from start to finish. The opening song Refugee Road kind of establishes this notion of having no choice but to leave, and from then it takes you on a journey through these strange and dark times. For example Let Your Love Burn Out was inspired by the advent of dating apps and general online relationships - how they spark up and burnout in an instant because you can just follow someone's butt selfies forever without having to ever talk to them again. Your Light Keeps On is that hope in the face of loss and finding out that deep down love does exist no matter how big that void seems at the time. But we had a lot of fun too - Love Can Wait is a Christmas song for fuck's sake. It's even got sleigh bells!
Make sure you check out Howlin Circus' socials below for updates on releases and shows!