Theater & Arts

Artists you should know: The Midnight Howlers

If you've been paying attention, you might have noticed The Midnight Howlers playing all around Fresno lately.

The Madera group got together in 2006. Since then, the foursome of Nick Lillies, Chris Stroud, Jared Upton and Jake Zamora has been making noise around town to the point where it's touring and readying its first CD. Next up, the band is playing at 8 p.m. Tuesday at Crossroads, 3315 N. Cedar Ave. Cover is $10.

We talked to Stroud to learn more about these Howlers.

Describe your sound for us. Our sound is a blend of many genres. All of us take something different from music. The best way to describe our sound is psychobilly, a blend of rockabilly and punk, but we don't like to limit ourselves. We occasionally throw in the elements of outlaw country, folk, and even metal.

I read something about your music being influenced by horror movies. Can you explain that? A lot of psychobilly is influenced by the dark aspect of life. Ours is no different. Basically, we wrote a concept album on the basis of a horror movie in which our hero Johnny has a hard time with love, life, and as always, the law. He pursues love so much that it has drove him mad, even to the brink of murder.

You guys have gigs all around the state lined up in the next couple months. For a band that's still pretty new, was that easy or tough? Both. We have all been in bands before that have traveled, so that aspect isn't that difficult. What's tough is having a new product and making a name for it. It takes time, gas, money and passion. I feel as if we all have that.

What are you hoping to accomplish on the road? Success, respect, gas money and some interested people who are open-minded to a little diversity from the mainstream rock that is shoved down our throats.

What can you tell us about the CD you guys are working on? Not much other than it's our 13-track debut. We have finished most of it, except a few vocal tracks and the mixing. I can tell you the album will be called "In Love, Sins, Death and Triumph" and should meet completion soon.

What's the best thing about your live show? We work really hard to make sure and maintain a good strong sound. We want people to be able to separate what instrument is being played at what time. We always love stage antics, whether it's getting down in the crowd, jumping off the drums, standing on the bass or throwing picks at each other. We just want everyone to have as much fun as we are.

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Know a local musician that more people should be familiar with? Send the who and why to Mike Osegueda,