The 4onthefloor: Howler must've actually listened to our record

Categories: Local Music
Howler_Peter_Van_Hattem.jpg
Photo by Peter Van Hattem
Minneapolis, give up...
Kerfuffle alert! Recently, Howler frontman and burgeoning viral marketer Jordan Gatesmith voiced his displeasure with the Minneapolis music scene and a 30-year lull of good music via a U.K. podcast hosted by the Guardian's Alexis Petridis. (If we're doing our math correctly, it means he hates every Replacements album after 1981's Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take Out the Trash.) The Current's Andrea Swensson encapsulated some of the most feather-ruffling (or ROFLing) comments from the interview yesterday here -- and be sure to check out the lengthy comment thread.

Gatesmith used the local act the 4onthefloor, who "deliver stompin' blues at an alarming intensity" with four kick drums to make one of his points. "They're like Mumford & Sons crap," he said, and later added: "Nothing will happen outside of Minneapolis for them." Burn! What is happening inside of Minneapolis, however, is the4onthefloor's Gabriel Douglas with a expletive-laced (we kid!) response.


Thumbnail image for 4onthefloor2.jpg
Photo by Ryan Siverson

GN: Do you agree with the comment that there's been a "giant lull period of like 30 years" for the Twin Cities scene?

Gabriel Douglas:
I grew up in Northwestern Minnesota and moved down to Minneapolis six years ago, so to say there is a lull is not really my place. I think Minneapolis has always had a pulse on good music. Prince, Replacements, Suburbs, Husker Du, Soul Asylum, Rhymesayers, Semisonic, and even branching out to Low in Duluth, I think there's always been an impact from the Land of 10,000 Lakes. I don't see a lull, but if things weren't picking up, we are surely coming into a magnificent Renaissance period in MPLS.

How do you feel about the Twin Cities' music scene, and how has it helped/hindered your career?

I love it. I bought a house here because, after a lot of deliberation, this was where I wanted my headquarters to be as we continue to tour around North America and beyond. You hear, "Fly Over Country" all the time. I find it hard to sit at home when I'm not on the road. Every night of the week there are amazing shows (emphasis on MULTIPLE) around these parts. This city is bustling with shows. We don't have any critically acclaimed pop stars, but I don't think that's a bad thing. There are so many beautiful musicians living and working in this town (and touring nationally & internationally).

How does it actually feel to be called "Mumford & Sons crap"?

Well, someone actually listened to our record if they put the 4onthefloor sound with the pulses of the 4/4 time of a Mumford and Sons song, so that's a good thing. I think the indie-folk movement has some really great songwriters in it. For people who have become tired of Mumford & Sons, I'd highly recommend Laura Marling, Noah & the Whale, Daredevil Christopher Wright, Caroline Smith & the Goodnight Sleeps, The Tallest Man on Earth, singyourselfagrave and Gun Lake. But a guitar and an amazing songwriter aren't everyone's cup of tea.

How much Howler have you listened to? What did you think of them? Would they benefit from expanding their rhythm section a bit?

I've always been familiar with Total Babe & Howler. I am a huge fan of post-pop bands Brand New, Kevin Devine and Manchester Orchestra, so I can see where their sound has come from in terms of the post-emo generation. I've always respected what Howler (and Total Babe) have done, especially their ways to market their music and get their names out, in the headlines and across the pond. I don't think their rhythm section needs anything, but I'm always open to help collaborate on a song with any artist. We aren't for everyone. And we're glad people have been spelling our name right (the 4onthefloor).


City Pages on Facebook | Gimme Noise on Facebook | Twitter | e-mail us


Advertisement

My Voice Nation Help
50 comments
noxious
noxious

I think I like this kid.  4onthefloor sounds like a dime-a-dozen blues band that has been done a million times.  After the Bon Iver enslaught of last year, I've had enough with bearded men making boring ass music.  I found Howler to be much more interesting to listen to. 

Ryan Siverson
Ryan Siverson

The 4ontheFloor photo in this article and many others on this site is my handy work, if I could get credited when it is/has been used on this site, that'd be great.

Angie
Angie

Nice article, Reed. Gabe is a classy babe.

J Solomon
J Solomon

Seriously, does anyone else think this "local tastemaker" line is so completely bullshit.  Every musician is someone trying to do what they think is good music, and its a struggle whether you are successful or not.  And if they are selling out big venues (ala First ave or some such) then people actually like them, there are not 1500 people that just "want to be seen" or are just following what they are told is cool.  Critics alert people to things that are interesting, people either find them interesting or not.  Whats with all this conspiracy theory stuff? 

And I am not being political in saying that music is not a competitive sport.  Fans dont just pick one band and only go to their shows.  If people arent yet going to some bands shows that you like then I bet if they are good and keep playing then people will show up.  I love that 4onthefloor and Howler are getting success, I think they are both bands that are way better then a lot of the shitty bands Ive seen all over the country.  Now Prissy Clerks and Night Moves, awesome.  Keep them coming, seriously, have you guys been to other music scenes?  They generally suck in my opinion, not completely, but I love this town.

And also, favorite thing I ever heard from a journalist interviewing a rock guy.  Klosterman was talking to Jeff Tweedy,  Tweedy's son was starting to play in a band and really loved learning "Jet" songs, Klosterman said, "doesnt that really bug you?"  Tweedy said, "Why? Jet plays rock music, do you not like rock music?" 

I had to put my two cents in.  I expect the requisite, I hate your band comments now, just hopefully Im not alone in thinking people are smarter then this whole "tastemakers" shit.

David Foureyes
David Foureyes

Class act.

Do the guys in Howler look like panty-wastes in person as well, or is that a filter? 

I've not heard 4onthefloor's record, but I've heard Howler's...and it's derivative and trite...let England have them...those that aren't back here eating crow in mom's basement will be in Williamsburg in 8 months using their advance money to buy the world's crummiest heroin and cutoff Philly's t-shirts singing "Brooklyn's music scene hasn't done anything since Gershwin."

David Tesch
David Tesch

A week ago I read an article about Howler and their label employing a local ad agency to drum up publicity in unconventional ways.   Cue 5 days later when the band is all over the headlines for causing a stir with their own scene.   Minor plaudits for trying something different, but how about letting your music speak for itself?

salvy
salvy

Knowing trivial details about a musician is what it's all about.  Nope, music isn't about how you connect to a given song or how you just plain like it for no reason.  It's all mass produced, mechanical goods made for your pleasure, nothing should stray outside of your palette.  How dare someone, somewhere create a song that defies your personal taste in music.  And how dare OTHER people find enjoyment in it!  The nerve!  A fucking outrage, I tell you!

Dave
Dave

I suppose the4onthefloor can be kind of lame, but they're not nearly as bad as The Vaccines. Honestly, The Vaccines make Howler look innovative.

Sound Grouch
Sound Grouch

If Jordan Gatesmith could have been out seeing local music for the last 30 years I would give him some sort of credit. Fuck that kid. Howler is a good band, better than Total Babe(in my opinion), but to say there has been a 30 year lul of good music in the Twin Cities is just absurd. Get off your fucking pedestal, Gatesmith. In fact stay in fucking Europe and get your ass powdered for playing the right kind of boring generic unoriginal fake lo-fi shit that they like over there. AND let us not forget how Howler did in no way pay their dues locally. Last year I was about as burnt out on Nice Purse as I was 4onthefloor. And Nice Purse makes Howler listenable. I haven't seen Howler live in the last few months, but I hope they got less boring. Come on, France Camp show em how to rock!

I guarantee that Nice Purse and 4onthefloor will be around way longer than fucking Howler. Hey Jordan, remember what happens to local boys who get love and hype on line and come back crying when the next 19 year old with one good song comes around. Fuck you, fuck all of you. I like Minneapolis. There are too many good bands to name here.  Suck it Gatesmith. Suck it Douglas. Suck it Reed.

ThatSh*tCray
ThatSh*tCray

In my opinion, Howler can just STFU and stop hating on our local scene.  I'm proud of the music here and Minneapolis as a whole.  We're fortunate to have such a charismatic local music scene at all!  Howler is just hating because no one here gives a fuck about them.

I'm fine that we don't have a Top 40's hip band right now.  There's nothing wrong with that.

SLAYER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
SLAYER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If you all just listened to SLAYER instead of this crap, you wouldn't have to argue so much.  SLAYER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Zach Pasdoe
Zach Pasdoe

Even though both bands have had plenty of local hype, I don't think either Howler or the 4onthefloor are very good.  That being said, do you people honestly think either band will be around in 3 - 5 years?  BTW, I think Gatesmith's comments could end up having a positive effect on the MPLS - STPL music scene.

Yeah, right
Yeah, right

At the risk of sounding agist a 19-year-old just doesn't know enough to speak with authority in this matter. I don't care who he or she is.

clara
clara

one thing is certainly clear, this gabe is an extremely nice genuine fellow. thank you for the total babe name drop.

HotLunch
HotLunch

Can't we just agree that they're both TERRIBLE? .... What? ... We can? Oh, good!

PutSomeRanchOnIt
PutSomeRanchOnIt

I love Gabe. His band is always fun, and they've made a name for themselves by working hard and putting on consistently great shows. And they're super-nice guys.

That being said, Li'l Jordan is right about the local scene dynamics. It can get frustrating if you're trying to get past the playing-for-your-friends-and-the-other-bands-on-the-bill phase, especially if you're not willing to work as hard as the4onthefloor.

Howler got lucky to break out and I hope they make it last, or at least have fun while while they fizzle out.

zinovy
zinovy

What a garbage article.  Creating a false controversy.   Gatesmith was using 4onthefloor as an example of band that does well in Minneapolis, propped up by the local tastemakers, in order to make his point that the local tastemakers have poor judgement in bands?  If you're trying to create an Oasis v Blur rivalry, you're going to fail.   How's the tour of Fargo and Grand Forks going for you 4onthefloor?  What label are you signed to again?  Once again, Minneapolis cultural gatekeepers fail. 

Melissa Summers
Melissa Summers

Jordan sounded very young and passionate, and youth and passion don't always measure their words.

nope
nope

 it's there now!  One of my Favs!

salvy
salvy

 Give this man some credit!  It's a great photo!  Come on now, City Pages, you're supposed to be pro.

Grahame Redmarley
Grahame Redmarley

Totally agree with you.  That's like saying you're not in control of your own destiny.  We all may as well stop playing in bands, because the "tastemakers" (and just saying that word now makes me throw up in my mouth a little bit) won't have any of it.  F that, man.  I was born to play music, and even if my only audience is one drunk dude and his girlfriend, I'll still do it.  I make music because I can't NOT make music.

I've considered leaving Minneapolis for the West Coast (not to "make it," but just for the adventure of a new city), but the music scene here is one of the few things that keeps me around.  I've made some great friends through music, and have had the pleasure of sharing a bill with some really fantastic bands (including Total Babe).  There's just something different here.

I agree with Jordan's comments that there's some dysfunctional weirdness in Minneapolis that causes some great bands to get noticed and others to get passed over.  But I think he's way off the mark when he says there's been a 30 year lull, and I would encourage him to listen more.  And to be fair, in the Guardian podcast it also sounds like he was gently goaded into saying what he said without being totally aware of what was going on.

Luke Darger
Luke Darger

Howler is with the terrorists. They have me kidnapped. 

Scooter
Scooter

Howler only has some recognition and is signed because somebody's Daddy in the band knows a record exec in Europe. Their music is garbage, and to say there is a lull in local music for 30 years is not only naive, but it proves that they clearly don't give a shit about the music scene here. Oh, right, they're not even a part of it. Did anybody know who Howler was a year ago?

Howler talking about local music is like a dude having an opinion on tampons, it just doesn't have any merit.

David Tesch
David Tesch

I highly suggest posting this to EVERY music blog.  I'm not kidding.

Yeah, right
Yeah, right

 Call me when you can drink a beer. Well, legally, of course.

HotLunch
HotLunch

4 on the floor is gimmick hipster bs. You must be a hipster. Do you drink PBR?  Have you converted your 10-speed to a 1-speed? (Never understood that one...). Howler sucks horribly too, to be fair. But at least they're honest.

hutch12
hutch12

They went and played Fargo with Buddy Guy. Probably not cool for Napolean Dynamite, but that's gotta be pretty awesome for a hard-workin', blues-innfluenced band.

They are self-released. Shit, I guess that makes more punk rock then Howler, doesn't it?

Reed Fischer
Reed Fischer

 I loved the part when you said "trying to create an Oasis v Blur rivalry."

Jeff
Jeff

actually you're an idiot... their father has no connection to a record exec in Europe. 

Slayer
Slayer

Nah, cause the reply is always the same "Oh, I like metal, that Mastodon record is pretty good, thats pretty metal, right?"  Yeah, not as metal as SLAYER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! you twerp.

salvy
salvy

Are you just so far in the hipster drudgery yourself that you can't see it anymore?  You think calling non-hipsters hipsters is hip?  Hipsterception; you're deep in it.  Denial as well.

PutSomeRanchOnIt
PutSomeRanchOnIt

Hipster? Yes. PBR? Halfway through my second one of the night. Single-speed? Only on one of my 5 bikes.

And you're a boring troll. Boo!

Yeah, right
Yeah, right

 And how is Howler not gimmick hipster? And this is coming from a fan of Howler. Ignorance is not bliss.

zinovy
zinovy

John Mayer has also played with Buddy Guy.  Your body is a wonderland :)

I kid 4onthefloor fans.  

Wish your band the best.  Sorry that The Current and City Pages blog dragged you into this non-feud.  Just wish the local tastemakers learned some valuable lessons over the past 2 days.  Minneapolis has a great music scene and Howler and 4onthefloor should be proud.

zinovy
zinovy

I'm sure Buddy Guy hand-picked them for the show and has all their records.

zinovy
zinovy

As editor, Reed, I'm sure you have access to the entire history of "Picked to Click".   Since "Picked to Click" is made by local tastemakers, even outside of City Pages, hopefully we can agree that it's an accurate measuring stick of what local tastemakers think is going to "click".  What's the sucess rate over the last 30 years? I'd say it's piss poor.  Perhaps, in your new position as editor, you can break this terrrible cycle of poor judgement of local bands. Perhaps, instead of writing articles trying tear down a band, you might contemplate..... "I wonder what Rough Trade, a record label with a hugely and successful roster, sees in these young bratty boys?"  Maybe there onto something?  I hope so, but I imagine the local tastemakers will probably devote their time to Polica or some other band that will never make a dent outside of Minnesota.  Gatesmith told the truth and the local tastemakers are stung.....and it's showing.  

Grahame Redmarley
Grahame Redmarley

You used the word "tastemakers" four times in your reply.  Could we PLEASE find an alternative?  

Nathan
Nathan

Also, there's plenty of shit bands signed to Rough Trade too, so your argument is hardly bulletproof.

Nathan
Nathan

Zinovy,

Poliça's album has actually already outsold Howler's in the US and they have a US tour with a major band locked up for this summer.

You're going to eat crow about your comments regarding them soon.

4onthefloorfan
4onthefloorfan

@6e052d200ded607c4c029d4a5bd1dc7f:disqus : "there", "they're", and "their" are all different.  Do better. 

Reed Fischer
Reed Fischer

I think you're taking this a little bit too seriously. You're definitely right that one of Jordan's points -- that the scene doesn't support all of music he likes -- gets lost.

But other than that, a lot of your statements seem like you've been watching Fox News a bit too much yourself. No one is saying Howler is with the terrorists. Although that would be quite a story.

zinovy
zinovy

The article is trying to tear them down.  You're tossing a softball to 4onthefloor, so they can bat it out of the park and they could look like they're more pro-Minnesota, while making Howler look like they are ungrateful and petty bastards.  This kind of stuff reminds me of the garbage seen on Fox News.   Why do you hate Minneapolis, Howler?  If you're not with Minneapolis, are you with the terrorists?

Listen I don't have a beef with 4onthefloor and I have no relationship with Howler.  It's just that, although you could maybe say 19-year old Jordan was slightly clumsy in how he presented his point of view, I think he's dead on.....not in his criticism of said band, but on his larger point.

You're the one trying to create a controversy, Fox News style and it's ridiculous.  No comparison.  I'm sure Howler wouldn't even entertain such a beef, unless it was with a band of similar style.  I'm sure they don't hate 4onthefloor.  They were trying to make a larger point, that you and Andrea obviously didn't get about the poor judgement of the local gatekeepers. 

Reed Fischer
Reed Fischer

Zinovy, if that is your real name, there's nothing in this interview that's trying to tear down Howler. I kinda like their cheeky attitude, and the music speaks for itself.

Polica is a bad example to make your point. Whether certain contrarian tastemakers like them or not, that's a band making an impact outside of the Twin Cities right now.

Now Trending

Minnesota Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

Loading...