Taken from the album 'Hello, My Name Is', John Howard's thirteenth studio album, recorded at John's home studio in Murcia, Spain. The photographs in the video were taken by John's partner Neil France in and around the hills surrounding Murcia.
The album 'Hello, My Name Is' is released on November 24th 2014.
"The recordings for this album were started quite soon after I'd completed 'Storeys', which was released in November 2013. I usually take a break for a few months after finishing an album but in fact, straight after completing 'Storeys' I immediately began work on two new tracks for a musical compilation called 'Ebbsfleet International', a concept thought up by the record label Gare Du Nord, for which several songwriters were invited to cover songs by artists involved with Gare Du Nord, who in turn offered to cover our songs. Robert Rotifer covered my 1974 song 'Don't It Just Hurt' and Ralegh Long covered my 2004 song 'Over The Moon'. I recorded my interpretations of Rotifer's Creosote Summer and Ralegh's No Use. By the time I'd completed the tracks I had several new songs written which had come along while I was working on the covers in the studio.
"So rather than leave the new songs hanging round till I was ready to begin another album, and feeling still very creative rather than a bit burned out, which is usually the case when I've been months in the studio, I got to work on them and 'Hello, My Name Is' came into being. I hadn't worked so intensively on two albums so closely together since the days of 'Kid In A Big World' and 'Technicolour Biography' in 1974, the latter being started before 'Kid' was released.
'Storeys', which has become my most successful album since 'Kid In A Big World', in fact it's probably outsold 'Kid' now, was very much a pop songs collection, none of my usual 10 minute 'epics', some of the songs being less than three minutes in length - again something I hadn't written since things like 'Family Man' in the '70s.
"I suppose 'Hello, My Name Is' is less of an out-and-out pop album, this time more intricate songs were arriving out of the ether, and as I always do when writing, I let the muse dictate. I don't know if these new songs will be as immediate or as immediately turned onto as those from 'Storeys' were - the instant popularity of 'Storeys' took me somewhat by surprise, I am more used to the 'slow-burn' effect when it comes to sales and response. Anyway, we'll see.
"This track, Maybe I Know Why, is the opening cut from 'Hello, My Name Is', and like many of the songs on there, it deals in part with identity, how we see ourselves, how others see us, how we respond to other people and vice versa, how we sometimes go against our grain and see what happens, changing how others see us in the process, finding new personas within ourselves. This 'theme' wasn't intentional but it was maybe something to do with my own increasingly negative reaction to social media and how, while it appears to bring people together it actually sets many of them apart as they seek 'Friends' and expect Comments and 'Likes' on all their opinions, ironically many experiencing rejection and often public rebuke or downright apathy. As the world gets smaller, it seems so do we. Social media has been great for my music, there's no doubt about that, I often wish I'd had it at my fingertips in the '70s when I started recording, things would likely have turned out very differently if I'd had the control over my releases which the social network gives us all now. As with everything, there is good and bad about it. We just have to try and take the good from it and hope to eradicate the negative side of instant social gratification.
"Anyway, that's a brief break-down of the album and its overall 'theme' - I never plan such things but, as with Storeys', which became a set of 12 songs based on the imaginary lives of 12 people living in an apartment block 'somewhere' - an overall 'concept' (for want of a better word) often is created when writing and recording a set of songs at around the same period. I guess it's bound to happen. We are at that point in a certain mindset, responding and reacting to the world around us at that time. And it suits my liking for scenarios and 'story-songs', setting a scene and seeing what happens." - JH
'Hello, My Name Is' is released on the 'John Howard/AWAL' label on November 24th 2014 and will be available to download from iTunes and all other good download sites. The CD can be bought by going to John's website www.kidinabigworld.co.uk and visiting 'John's Shop' where you can order CDs direct.