Miami-natives Howler Beach is looking to spread the good vibes with chilling tunes and rocking jams. With plans to release an EP by the end of the summer, lead singer and guitarist Nicholas Montoto discusses how the band formed, what style of music they make, and what he enjoys most about being in a band.
Howler Beach consists of singer and guitarist Nicholas Montoto, who sometimes plays bass in the band. His younger brother, Zachary Montoto, plays drums and together they have been jamming since they each got their first guitar and drum set, respectively. Nicholas met the group’s bassist, Daniel Hidalgo, who sometimes plays guitar, in elementary school.
“We went to different middle and high schools but lived within walking distance of each other so we kept in touch as we grew,” Nicholas said.
It was in middle school where Nicholas met the band’s lead guitar player Andres Agudelo.
“On our freshman year of high school we all got in touch, started learning cover songs and slowly developed our sound into what is now Howler Beach,” Nicholas said.
The band has never been about sticking to one style. They choose to incorporate many different influences to achieve a unique sound.
Nicholas said that all the band members listen to all kinds of music individually. When they get together, they sit down, write, and expand on those ideas and sounds. The result is a mixture of everything everyone put forward to create a sound that best describes who they truly are.
A song like “Where I’ve Been” has a reggae vibe to it, while other songs incorporate a psychedelic feel. Songs that will appear on the group’s next EP are described as having a rawer sound, stemming from the group’s love for garage rock.
In the past year, Howler Beach has played at the LMNT venue located in Downtown Miami as well as mini-music festival called Mandala which was organized by other bands in the scene.
“The shows we like the most though are the house shows around where we live,” Nicholas said. “We’re in a more suburban part of Miami so we’re not necessarily in downtown or the beach a lot. Our area is kind of overlooked but we actually have a lot of bands that are making great music.”
The bands started to get to know each other and now they play at house parties where two or three bands will play. Nicholas said these types of shows are the best because for the most part everyone knows each other and they all jam to each others music.
“As for strangers listening to our music, I’ve seen some people really get into it,” Nicholas said. “Even though we sometimes get stuck with smaller crowds they always seem to vibe and take the time tell us they like it which is something we’re grateful for.”
Last summer the band put out a three song demo consisting of simple acoustic versions of songs they play live. It was recorded as a way to introduce the studio side of the band. Since then, the band has released two singles, “Tigris Valley” and “Pink Growl” with the help of Shaun Rodriguez and Freddy Flores who helped produce the songs. The songs will be featured on an upcoming EP the band will release at the end of this summer.
Nicholas said the song “Pink Growl” is special to him because a lot of work went into making it sound the way it sounds now.
“We went through many mixes and had to re-record a lot of instruments throughout the process,” said Nicholas. “We wanted to make sure that if we were going to put out a 7-minute psychedelic jam that we did things right and when it was finally done we knew people would like it just as much as we did. I think as of now that’s the song on our profile with the best stats so we’re hyped that the work paid off.”
Howler Beach also likes to release cover songs to put out as much material as possible. In addition, as songs are recorded, Nicholas likes to make side arrangements of songs he loves and to release his own versions of them.
“Daniel and Andres started getting into it too so now we have a couple of side projects that are either one band member alone, or two of us as a duo that we will still put out as Howler Beach,” Nicholas said. “These would be put out as mini EPs or compilations that show another side of our creative process.”
No matter how the music is release, Nicholas wants to make sure he keeps himself busy. He said what he enjoys the most about being in a band is also the hardest part about being in a band, because there is always a song to be written, a track to record, a live set to rehearse, promotion to be done and so on.
“We dedicate all these hours without hesitation because we want to progress, we want to express, and we want to create,” Nicholas said. “All with the hopes to connect to the people the same way our favorite artists inspired us.”
Ultimately, Nicholas said making music is all about taking your time, letting it happen naturally, and having fun with it.
“Advice that I can give is to just put in the time and let things happen,” Nicholas said. “You know what you like, and you know what you want to hear. Don’t limit yourself to one thing, and don’t force it. Take what you like from your idols and then do it your own way. It’s easier said than done, and I can’t even say that we have it all figured out, but as long as you are true to yourself you’ll always create something you are proud of.”
Be on the lookout for Howler Beach’s upcoming EP coming out soon.