APC’s Billy Howerdel looks back on when ‘music struck me the most’ with his first solo album, ‘What Normal Was’ – 105.7 The Point


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Before Billy Howerdel became a guitarist for Nine Inch Nails and Guns N’ Roses, and before meeting Toolit is Maynard James Keenan and trained A perfect circlehe was just a kid from New Jersey listening to 1980s alternative rock. If that kid had released an album, it would sound a lot like What was normalHowerdel’s first official solo record.

What was normal is the record I would have made if I could when I started playing music in the 80s, but I didn’t have the money or the know-how,” Howerdel told ABC Audio. .

Despite its title, What was normal was mostly written and recorded before the pandemic. The title instead refers to this formative period in Howerdel’s childhood and what “normal” meant at the time.

“It’s kind of a snapshot of when music struck me the most,” he says.

Whereas What was normal is Howerdel’s first album released under his own name, he previously released what is essentially a solo project under the moniker The ashes divide in 2008 with the album Keep telling me it’s alrightwhich spawned the single “The Stone”.

Sonically, however, there is no confusion between Ashes and What was normal. As Howerdel sang in a higher alternative metal style on keep telling meher solo debut takes her voice to a much lower register that sounds much closer to her speaking voice.

“Even my kids played the first Ashes album, and it’s hard for them to understand that it’s daddy singing,” jokes Howerdel.

“There’s just something I was looking for at the time, [and] I’m not going for that now,” he adds. “I’m going for…a little more of a timbre of voice authentic to who I am.”

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