The Howlin' Thurstons: More Than a Three-Hour Tour
by Derek Grosso
The Howlin' Thurstons have been described as punk, surf, garage-rock and East Coast edgy. Big Apple boys they are, but they have a soft spot for Long Island, playing regular gigs and performing at benefit concerts around the Island. The Fender Forum writes that the group is "punk surf with some Jimi & Jazz thrown in. Only [The Howlin' Thurstons] can drop a Sinatra line in a surf tune." "This is the type of music you play to get your heart pumping, to catch a break from the rigors of life," said Loud Underground. You want East Coast edgy? Their most recent show (June 24) was at The Pussycat Lounge on Greenwich Street.
The Howlin' Thurstons are DJ "Hacksaw" on guitar, Dave "Fang" on drums, Kevin "The Crippler" on bass guitar, and Peter "The Stump" also on guitar.
Where were you all born and where do you currently reside?
Peter is originally from Iowa, now living in Manhattan with Dave, who's originally from Brooklyn. Kevin was born in the Bronx and now resides in Levittown. DJ was born in Palookaville and currently lives on the wrong side of the tracks in the state of Confusion.
Please give us a quick history of the band.
"After the accident where they put that plate in my head, I had to do something to drown out the voices," said guitarist Peter. "So I formed the Howlin' Thurstons with DJ, another bass player and drummer who left the band in 2001 and was replaced by Kevin and Dave."
Where did you come up with your name, The Howlin' Thurstons?
It was our second choice. The Beatles was already taken.
Let us in on a funny/interesting story you have about one of your shows.
Good question! It could be the one at the Bitter End where our sonic assault actually shook some pieces of ceiling down onto a couple seated in front... we bought 'em a beer. Or it could be the Glen Cove Street Fair we played in the rain. Or it could be the one with the rats!
Who are some of your musical influences?
As a band, we draw a lot from Link Wray and all guitar-driven bands from the 50s and 60s through the present, such as Sonic youth, Yo La Teng, AC/DC, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Iggy Pop, Henry Mancini, The Ventures; fingernails on a chalkboard and air escaping a balloon.
If you weren't playing music what would you be doing?
Listening to music.
Tell us what's in store for the HT's fans.
New CD... New CD... New CD!
What is your favorite restaurant?
Any one with a liquor license!
What is this, "The Actor's Studio??"
Favorite vacation spot?
A three hour boat tour... what else?
Favorite local sports team?
We're fans of the skinny guy who always wins the Nathans' hot dog eating contest.
Favorite place on Long Island?
Anywhere except the L.I.E. during rush hour.
Best Halloween costume you've seen (or been)?
It's DJ... his face is scary enough without a costume.
Most recent book read or movie seen?
"Festival Express" and "House of Flying Daggers" kicked ass.
Most dynamic duo, real or fictional?
Starsky & Hutch (the original TV show, not the movie), Courageous Cat & Minute Mouse, and The Three Stooges (the drummer can't count).
Historic figure you would most like to meet, living or dead?
Chuck Berry, Jimi Hendrix and Link Wray, and we'd like them to be alive when we meet them.
Person you would most like to have as a groupie?
Any generous multi-millionaire
Who would you like to see run for President?
I'd vote for Shemp, he was always the underrated Stooge.
You can play a gig anywhere in the country. Where is it and give us the details?
The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival or anywhere else with warm sunshine, good food and cold beer!
What's the wildest place you've played on Long Island?
Crazy Donkey was a cool place! (1058 Route 110 in Farmingdale)
What has been the band's greatest/proudest accomplishment thus far?
Writing, playing and recording music that is unlike anything else out there.
What makes Long Island special?
The abundance of expressways that run North and South, and of course the traffic.
For more on the band, or to check out where they will be playing next, visit www.howlinthurstons.com