XS ROCK: How long has the band been together?
Matt Limberg: Jake and I have been playing as The Native Howl since 2013, and Josh and I have been playing together as Clean as Dirt since 2008.
Alex: Josh and I also played with Chandler’s classic metal band Ancient Chaos multiple times in high school, so there’s plenty of musical history between us all.
XS ROCK: What was your main motivation for starting or being in a band?
The Native Howl: To use our music to bring happiness and relief to our listeners.
XS ROCK: Which do you prefer? Writing new songs and recording or playing for a live audience?
Josh: It changes, day to day, honestly… writing new music brings emotional renewal, while playing live seems to bring spiritual renewal.
XS ROCK: Do you have any outrageous tour stories from the road? If so, please fill us in.
Matt: Too many to name, but one that comes to mind is Memphis, TN… after our show, we were loading gear back into our trailer, and a man who was CLEARLY on good drugs violently approached us, screaming obscenities. After I asked him to “talk to the hand” (in so many words), he rear-kicked a store-front’s panoramic glass window out, shattering it, and setting off alarms all up and down main street.
Alex: We quickly finished loading the trailer, jumped in the truck, and booked it out of Memphis.
XS ROCK: What’s the strangest request that you’ve ever received from one of your fans?
Josh: Honestly, nudes.
XS ROCK: Were your parents supportive of your aspirations to play in a rock band?
Jake: Yes, very. My dad, especially, truly believed in our dream, and even gave me a 7ft x 13ft Native Howl banner for my birthday that we still use as a backdrop at festivals!
XS ROCK: What are your favorite tracks to play live?
Chandler: Thunderhead, Reivaeh, and Vermin… they seem to always get the best crowd reaction, which lights the fire in us… gets us amp’d, boyy.
XS ROCK: Which band or artist inspired you to perform? Why?
Jake: Alice in Chains/Dave Matthews… they both made me want to play in front of crowds.
Chan: Iron Maiden/Black Sabbath… their music inspired me to write and play the music that I do.
Alex: Metallica/cKy… best music ever written, IMO.
Josh: Michael Jackson… his performance innovation is bar-none.
XS ROCK: If you could design a dream tour for your band, who would be on the bill?
The Native Howl: Metallica, The SteelDrivers and The Native Howl
XS ROCK: What do you consider your greatest accomplishment so far?
The native Howl: Our video for “Thunderhead” reaching upwards of 20 million people.
XS ROCK: If you weren’t performing in a band what kind of career do you think you would have?
Jake: Wildlife Cinematographer
XS ROCK: What type of equipment do you use for live shows?
Josh: Mapex drums and Zildjian cymbals
Chandler: Music Man bass guitar and Behringer amp
Jake: Deering banjo, Martin guitar, Fishman amp, and Hohner harmonicas
Alex: Seagull guitars, Fender bouzouki, and Fender and Vox amps
XS ROCK: What do you think of the current music scene?
Josh: It seems to be a lot easier to be heard, independently… but at the same time, a lot harder to make an impact… innovation is much more key.
XS ROCK: For anyone that doesn’t know you, what would they be surprised to know about you?
I’m an engineer, by trade. (Jake)
I’m a cancer survivor. (Chandler)
I’m a loving father of my son, Levi. (Josh)
I’m a loving bulldog father of my bulldog, Django. (Alex)
XS ROCK: If someone had never heard you before, how would you describe your sound?
The Native Howl: A volatile combination of the intensity and aggression of thrash metal with the precision and melodicism of bluegrass.
XS ROCK: Is there anything that you’d like to promote or say to your fans out there?
The Native Howl: Thank you, thank you, thank you.