I'am, singer-songwriter, born on 15 January 1981, comes from Bangor, Maine where he started performing a lot at the college, around bars and coffeehouses. Howie started playing piano as a youngster and eventually took hold of a guitar when he was 14. By the next year, he had his first live gig at Captain Nick's. After high school, he decided to skip college and go out on the road.
To record his first album Australia, he had to went on and off the road to earn enough money to rent the studio. In 2000, he released his self-financed first album. Impressed by the 30,000 albums he sold simply by word of mouth, Epic Records signed Day and began distributing the album. A year later Australia has sold over 100,000 copies. In addition, Day released the Madrigals EP in April 2003, a collection of live tracks and demos that were produced in Howie's living room.
Howie's latest album, Stop All The World Now, was recorded at Olympic Studios in London, England during the spring of 2003. He spent three months recording 16 songs, 11 of which will be included on the album, with guitarist Jay Clifford from Jump Little Children, ex-Verve bassist Simon Jones, Los Angeles keyboard player Les Hall, and London drummer Laurie Jenkins.
"When I listen to my first record now, I can hear myself growing up in those songs; time stretching out," observes Day. "The new album is more like a current snapshot, and its not overexposed or blurry."
While he continues to explore the themes of love, regret and loss in his lyrics, his music takes on an additional dimension as he incorporates a 25-piece orchestra to "Numbness for Sound," "I'll Take You On," "Collide," and "She Says." Writing on piano for the first time on an album, Day adds a new element to "End of Our Days" and "Trouble in Here."
"Going into the studio, I wanted to create a timeless record that will hold up 10 years down the road," says Day. "But really the biggest advantage was that I had enough time and the right people around me to help me fully realize the vision for this album."
Stop All The World Now explores Day's experiences from the road as he toured for four years as a solo artist and opened for artists like Sting, Jack Johnson, Sheryl Crow and Tori Amos.
"Watching how hard Tori works and seeing how she carries herself as an artist was an education for me," says Day. "She gave me a lot of great advice but one thing kept coming back to me in the studio. She said it is crucial to stay true to your artistic vision when you record or you'll regret it the rest of your life. She reaffirmed that the biggest mistake I could make would be to ignore my instincts."
'She Says', a song written when Howie was 17 and which first appeared on the album Australia, has been re-recorded for the new album.
"I love the version that's on Australia, but I never felt it was finished in a studio sense. It took six years, but I finally got on tape the song I'd been hearing in my head for so long."
Working as a solo artist since he began playing, Howie developed a unique approach to performing that allowed him to build a huge sound around his intimate lyrics. He literally created each song in front of the audience by using live loop sampling and delay pedals to create rhythms, melodies and backing vocals that served as a full band while he played guitar and sang. He started playing with a band for the first time starting his 2003 fall tour but he continues to incorporate live loop sampling and solo performances in each show.
"I've been looking forward to taking a band on the road for such a long time," says Day. "I love playing solo, but I can only take the songs to a certain point. I think a lot of people are going to be surprised by how big some of the old songs sound with a band behind me."