Culture Q&A: Houndmouth Guitarist Matt Myers
Southern Indiana’s Houndmouth is playing a sold-out show at Garfield Park tonight.
Last year, the band released Little Neon Limelight, which had the track “Sedona” on it, and this year has seen the band go from four pieces to six. Founding member Katie Toupin, who provided vocals and keys, left the band. She was replaced by three new members on horns and keyboard. All of the newcomers are men, leaving them to sing in falsetto to try to replicate the harmonies Toupin created and the songs she sang.
The folk-rock group from New Albany is often compared to the Band and other Americana giants, but they don’t like that tag. The description guitar player and vocalist Matt Myers offers is “millennial party boys.”
Since 2011, the band has released two full albums and an EP. They have performed on Conan and The Late Show with David Letterman, as well as at festivals like Bonnaroo, SXSW, and Hangout Festival. Their 2015 album Little Neon Limelight peaked at 118 on the Billboard top 200.
IM checked in with Myers before tonight’s show.
How different is the show with a six-piece lineup as opposed to a four-piece?
Well, the sounds a bit bigger. Just a bunch of dudes now, a bunch of millennials. We like to have a good time.
How is the band filling in for Katie’s vocals?
I’m taking a lot of high harmonies when I can. We’ll do some falsetto stuff.
What caused the split?
We were in Australia, we were about to fly to Hawaii, and I think touring just kind of took a toll. It’s just one of those things.
Any plans to get back together?
Is Houndmouth writing new music?
We’ve been writing a whole bunch. We don’t have a set schedule to go into the studio, but that’s definitely coming up.
Is songwriting different now with Katie gone? Are you letting the new guys write anything?
They write all their horn parts. Writing hasn’t changed a whole lot, because we all write separately. So my process hasn’t changed. Just constantly evolving.
Do you hear “Sedona” on the radio all over the country like we do in Indianapolis?
I don’t listen to the radio too much. I just got a Spotify premium account, so I’ve been crushing stuff.
What’re you listening to?
I’ve been listening to The Weeknd a whole lot, actually. I went on a big Neil Young kick about a year ago, and that’s finally like, I’ve gotten my fill of Neil Young, so I’m trying to listen to new stuff.
Do you consider Houndmouth to be an Americana band?
No! [Laughs.] I just read that somebody wrote a review that said “their music was really well received by those in our demographic, the Americana roots sound, it was very well received by the age group we were trying to hone in on.” Ha—what kind of thing is that to say? It was a strange compliment—you really did good for these old white folks.
What’s been your favorite moment with Houndmouth?
I don’t know. You’re just constantly in it and doing it, you know? I haven’t had a reflection period. I like doing this work, and constantly making music, and being around people who make music. I used to get homesick when I’d leave, growing up, going to basketball camp and stuff. I always wondered if I’d get homesick, but I finally found something that I love. I’m just happy where I am.
Do you feel more at home in Indianapolis or Louisville?
Louisville, just because I grew up around there. That was always the place to go on the weekends.
What’s your reaction been to the fame you’ve received?
There’s not really been the fame to deal with. It’s how bands are today. There’s a lot of anonymity, and it’s a really small niche market, it seems. The only time we get recognized is at shows, but any other time it’s pretty chill. When you have a collective group of people, it’s more about the thing they are getting together to create.
Houndmouth plays at Garfield Park tonight at 7 p.m. The show is sold out.