Sunday, July 16, 2017


Rowland Stuart Howard (24 October 1959 – 30 December 2009) was an Australian rock musician, guitarist and songwriter, best known for his work with the post-punk group The Birthday Party and his subsequent solo career.


Rowland Stuart Howard wrote "Shivers" at the age of 16 while in the band The Young Charlatans. Howard gained acclaim after joining Melbourne-based band The Boys Next Door, when the song was released as a single. The band changed their name to The Birthday Party and Howard's discordant guitar remained a major factor in their sound. The Birthday Party relocated from Australia to London in 1980 and subsequently to West Berlin.

The Birthday Party's early records were released by Missing Link Records in Australia and 4AD Records in the UK. They later became associated with Mute Records in Europe. Howard and singer Nick Cave suffered 'creative differences', and Howard left the Birthday Party as they transformed into The Bad Seeds. He soon became a member of Crime & The City Solution, a band led by Simon Bonney. Later he formed These Immortal Souls with girlfriend Genevieve McGuckin, brother, Harry Howard, and Epic Soundtracks.

Howard also collaborated with Lydia Lunch, Nikki Sudden, Jeremy Gluck, French electro group KaS Product, Barry Adamson, Einstürzende Neubauten, guitarist Chris Haskett, The Gun Club singer and songwriter Jeffrey Lee Pierce, Fad Gadget, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Henry Rollins, and A.C. Marias.

Lydia Lunch and Thurston Moore recorded a version of Howard's song "Still Burning" for Lunch's In Limbo (1984). "Still Burning" had previously been recorded as a bass-heavy track with Howard on vocals, during the Honeymoon In Red recording sessions (1983–1987).

These Immortal Souls released their first album Get Lost, (Don't Lie!) in 1987 and played shows in Europe and America, returning to Australia for a short tour in 1988.


After the release of These Immortal Souls' second album, I'm Never Gonna Die Again, (1992) and another Howard/Lunch collaboration Shotgun Wedding, Howard, Lunch and members of The Beasts Of Bourbon performed live on tour in Australia and Europe. Shotgun Wedding was re-released with a second compact disc of live recordings. Shotgun Wedding featured cover versions of "In My Time Of Dying" and Alice Cooper's "Black Juju".

Howard sang backing vocals on the Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds album Let Love In (1994). In 1995 These Immortal Souls contributed their version of "You Can't Unring A Bell" to a Tom Waits tribute album Step Right Up.

He left London to return to Melbourne in 1995.

Paul Godfrey a.k.a. Epic Soundtracks, the UK drummer for These Immortal Souls, was found dead in his London apartment on 5 November 1997. These Immortal Souls played their last show, at the Greyhound Hotel in St Kilda, with Lydia Lunch in 1998.

Howard lamented in a 1999 television interview (Studio 22, ABCTV) with Clinton Walker that people still asked him about "Shivers", a song he wrote when he was sixteen years old which first became well-known when it was sung by Nick Cave.

Howard released a solo album called Teenage Snuff Film in Australia in 1999.


The Birthday Party song "Release The Bats" was used in the true crime film Chopper (2000).

An unofficial Rowland S. Howard fan website was established as the amount of Rowland S. Howard related information and file swapping grew steadily on the internet from the mid-1990s.

Howard made a cameo appearance in the 2002 vampire movie Queen of the Damned as a musician in a vampire club band.

In August 2005, Howard performed at the premiere party for Scott Crary's film Kill Your Idols in Melbourne, Australia, along with the band HTRK.

French label Stagger Records released a double CD tribute album to Howard in 2007 featuring Mick Harvey, The Drones, The Holy Soul, Penny Ikinger, Loene Carmen, Nikki Sudden, Noah Taylor and many more.

In September 2007, Howard joined with Magic Dirt and The Beasts Of Bourbon for a tour of the east coast of Australia. Howard appeared at the All Tomorrows Parties rock festival in Australia in January 2009, curated by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. He was backed by Mick Harvey on drums, and J.P. Shilo on bass. Howard's second solo album, Pop Crimes, was released in October 2009 to acclaim from the musician Robert Forster. He appeared on the Magic Dirt EP White Boy playing guitar and supplying vocals on the track "Summer High".

Howard suffered from chronic Hepatitis C virus and had been told in 2003, when he was 44, that his liver was stricken with end-stage cirrhosis. Doctors compared it to the liver of a 74-year-old alcoholic. In an October 2009 interview, Howard said that the forthcoming album he was working on (Pop Crimes) was recorded quickly: "I contracted liver disease a while back and I've basically got liver cancer, I'm waiting for a transplant, if I don't get it things might not go so" . He died of hepatocellular carcinoma secondary to liver cirrhosis on 30 December 2009. Howard was 50 years old. His funeral was held at Sacred Heart Church, St Kilda, Melbourne on 7 January 2010.

His Birthday Party bandmates reflected upon his death: Nick Cave told WENN, "This is very sad news. Rowland was Australia's most unique, gifted and uncompromising guitarist. He was also a good friend. He will be missed by many". Mick Harvey remarked, "Sometimes people are ready to go because they have been sick for a long time, but Rowland really wanted to live. Things were going well for him outside his health and he wanted to take advantage of that, and he was very disappointed that he wasn't well enough to do so".

01 - [1999] Teenage Snuff Film

Teenage Snuff Film is the first solo album by Rowland S. Howard. Former The Birthday Party bandmate Mick Harvey contributes drums, organ and guitar, while Brian Hooper of The Beasts Of Bourbon features on bass guitar. It contains eight original songs, and two cover versions: "White Wedding" by Billy Idol, and "She Cried" (previously performed by The Shangri-Las, Johnny Thunders, and others).

The album was produced, mixed and mastered by Lindsay Gravina at Birdland Studios in Prahran and Sing Sing Recording Studios in Cremorne.

Teenage Snuff Film was well received by critics. The album was praised for its "dark dramatic sounds" and went on to become of the most acclaimed and influential Australian releases of the 1990s.

01 - Dead Radio
02 - Breakdown (And Then...)
03 - She Cried
04 - I Burnt Your Clothes
05 - Exit Everything
06 - Silver Chain
07 - White Wedding
08 - Undone
09 - Autoluminescent
10 - Sleep Alone

125.00 Mb

Rowland S. Howard: Vocals, Guitar / Brian Hooper: Bass / Mick Harvey: Rhythm Guitar (Sleep Alone), Drums, Organ / Andrew Entch: Strings / Jen Anderson: Strings / Robin Cassanada: Strings / Genevieve McGuckin: Organ (Silver Chain) / Steve Boyle: Drums (Autoluminescent)

02 - [2009] Pop Crimes

Pop Crimes is a 2009 solo album by Australian musician Rowland S. Howard. The album was released on 16 October 2009, ten years after Howard's previous solo album Teenage Snuff Film, and two-and-a-half months before his death from liver cancer on 30 December. The album was released in the United States by Fat Possum Records in August 2014

01 - (I Know) A Girl Called Jonny
02 - Shut Me Down
03 - Life's What You Make It
04 - Pop Crimes
05 - Nothin'
06 - Wayward Man
07 - Avé Maria
08 - The Golden Age Of Bloodshed

87.60 Mb


Rowland S. Howard: Vocals, Guitar / Mick Harvey: Drums, Organ / J.P. Shilo: Guitar, Violin, General Strangeness and Bass (Tracks 2-5, 7) / Brian Hooper: Bass (Tracks 6 & 8) / Sean Stewart: Bass (Track 1) / Jonnine Standish: Guest Star Vocals on (I Know) A Girl Called Jonny

03 - [2010] The Golden Age Of Bloodshed (7")

01 - The Golden Age Of Bloodshed
02 - Lost In Space

15.82 Mb

Rowland S. Howard: Vocals, Guitar / Mick Harvey: Drums, Organ / J.P. Shilo: Guitar, Violin and General Strangeness / Brian Hooper: Bass

Lost In Space was a piece composed by Rowland for the Pop Crimes album which remained unfinished. It was mixed after his passing and is presented here respectfully as an interpretation of his original intent. Rowland S. Howard: "Loop" and Guitar / J.P. Shilo - Violin and "Chalk" Slide Guitar / Produced and Mixed by Mick Harvey, J.P. Shilo and Lindsay Gravina

04 - [2014] Six Strings That Drew Blood (2CD)

2CD compilation of the late Aussie rock musician, guitarist & songwriter Rowland S. Howard best known for his work with the post-punk group the Birthday Party, as well as The Young Charlatans, The Boys Next Door, Crime & The City Solution, These Immortal Souls and his two solo studio albums. This collection chronologically spotlights his work with The Boys Next Door, The Birthday Party, Crime & The City Solution, These Immortal Souls and a selection of tracks from both Teenage Snuff Film and Pop Crimes. There are also a number of collaborations featuring Nikki Sudden, Lydia Lunch and Magic Dirt. Audio for the entire collection has been overseen by long-time producer Lindsay Gravina.

Disc 1

01 - Rowland S. Howard - Shivers
02 - The Boys Next Door - After A Fashion
03 - The Birthday Party - The Friend Catcher
04 - The Birthday Party - Happy Birthday
05 - The Birthday Party - Blast Off
06 - The Birthday Party - Dim Locator
07 - The Birthday Party - Several Sins
08 - Rowland S. Howard With Lydia Lunch - Some Velvet Morning
09 - The Birthday Party - Jennifer's Veil
10 - The Birthday Party - Say A Spell
11 - Crime & The City Solution - Six Bells Chime
12 - Crime & The City Solution - Her Room Of Lights
13 - Nikki Sudden & Rowland S. Howard - Wedding Hotel
14 - These Immortal Souls - Marry Me (Lie! Lie!)
15 - These Immortal Souls - I Ate The Knife
16 - These Immortal Souls - So The Story Goes
17 - These Immortal Souls - Crowned

Disc 2

01 - These Immortal Souls - Insomnicide
02 - These Immortal Souls - Black Milk
03 - These Immortal Souls - Hyperspace
04 - These Immortal Souls - King Of Kalifornia
05 - Magic Dirt Featuring Rowland S. Howard - Summer High
06 - Rowland S. Howard - Undone
07 - Rowland S. Howard - Exit Everything
08 - Rowland S. Howard - Autoluminescent
09 - Rowland S. Howard - Dead Radio
10 - Rowland S. Howard - Sleep Alone
11 - Rowland S. Howard - Shut Me Down
12 - Rowland S. Howard - (I Know) A Girl Called Jonny
13 - Rowland S. Howard - Pop Crimes
14 - Rowland S. Howard - Avé Maria
15 - Rowland S. Howard - The Golden Age Of Bloodshed

353.55 Mb

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