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Howlin Rain

Frontman Ethan Miller on taking risks, his band's ever-changing line-up and the shattered music industry.

When Ethan Miller describes Howlin Rain’s fourth album Mansion Songs as “the journey from nothingness back to creation”, it’s more than just a sound bite. Waving off the line-up from 2012’s The Russian Wilds – along with his major-label deal (with American Recordings, home of the Black Crowes)– the bandleader found himself contemplating a blank page. “That’s what made it exhilarating,” Miller considers, of this rougher-edged, often heartbreaking return, “but also what made me a little fearful.”

Mansion Songs feels like a line in the sand.

A lot changed. We ended the relationship with American [Recordings]. The band I had for The Russian Wilds went in different directions. I mean, it should be said that most records are a line in the sand for this band, because they’ve almost all had the line-up turn over. I didn’t plan that to happen, but for whatever reason the bands have dissolved, come apart, people moved on.

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