Howler Blog

Same Same But Different

Posted on October 22, 2021

Sometimes the oldest thing you have is the best. Maybe it’s that worn out flannel you’ve had since 8th grade. Or your old beater guitar. No matter how many new ones you come across, they will not quite have the same feel or special magic.  Such is the case with Howler Ambassador Israel (Izzy) Preciado’s old Lance Carson longboard. Although Izzy has lots of surfboards - 83 to be exact - there is just something about this old beat up 8’9” Carson from the 90’s that Israel loves.   

One day, after a particularly good session riding this board, Izzy had an idea. He would get a few of his shaper friends to create replicas of it and then share the joy by letting some competitors in his annual MexiLogFest competition take them for a test ride. He asked Alex Patrick from Higher Latitude Films to come along for the voyage to document these boards all the way from their creation to their spots in the lineup with some of the best longboarders in the game.

Howler Brothers is proud to present these short films because they celebrate the magnificent and diverse international longboard community Izzy has curated through surfing and MexiLogFest. He is a true ambassador to the sport and to the country of Mexico. Only Izzy could bring all these people together to celebrate one beat up old orphaned surfboard!   

Here is Episode 1 for your viewing pleasure.  Episode 2 is coming soon…

Skulls n' Begonias II

Posted on October 21, 2021

Look what’s back for an encore! The Howler Mutations Laboratory presents the second installment of the beloved Skulls n’ Begonias Collection. This time the set is deep and exploratory with limited edition hats, beanies, t-shirts, a Voltage Pullover, Tranquilo Chillshorts and a totally rad Nomadix Festival Blanket. The show will sell out so get to the gate early.

Howler amigo Carter King pulled together a new Spotify playlist to accompany our Skulls n’ Begonias II launch. Click here to have a listen to Skulls n’ Begonias II : Curated by Cartezz from Futurebirds (a Howler music playlist).

Fall '21 In Action

Posted on August 18, 2021

Howler Brothers is best known for our warm weather apparel, but we love cool weather too. We spend a lot of time in the mountains, on western rivers and in coastal places where you need a jacket as soon as the sun dips out of sight. So, each year, we keep diving deeper and deeper into our creative output for fall and winter using fleece, cotton flannel, Primaloft and other tasty ingredients in new, stylin’ and useable gear for cool and downright cold weather. Our Fall 2021 Collection is our deepest fall collection to date. We love it and hope you do as well.

We found a few gaps in the COVID madness to get out of Texas and snap some photos so all you fine folks can see the new goods in action. We chose one of our favorite mountain theaters, Eastern Idaho and Western Wyoming, for a little fishing, hanging and even a bit of climbing. Next, we took the crew for a journey from Malibu all the way to Big Sur in mighty California. It was sure nice to be on the move again and rally some members of the Howler Ambassadorship together. We hope you enjoy the collection and the pics of us having a good time with it.

We pulled together a new Spotify playlist to accompany our Fall 2021 Collection. Click here and give some spins to Take a Deep Breath : A Companion to Fall 2021 from Howler Music. It'll make you feel good. Be sure to click save and also follow us on Spotify so you can get all the past and future Howler Music goodness.

Howler X Austin FC : Verde Collection

Posted on August 3, 2021


Austin has gone absolutely bonkers for our new MLS soccer team, Austin FC.  It’s our first top level professional sports team and everyone in town is reeling with Verde pride. Games are sold out and it’s all people can talk about. We were more than honored when the team asked us to put together a kit of Howler goods for supporters to wear on game day, or any day, to show their pride in the Verde. We went big with a full range of Howler goods including a Guayabera, H Bar B, Gaucho, two hats and two T-Shirts. You don’t have to be a die hard Austin FC supporter to dig this stuff. It’s cool no matter who you cheer for on the pitch or even if you don’t know a soccer ball from a coconut. Here’s a little taste of the 2021 Howler Verde Collection on a tour of some of Austin’s finest spots. ¡Somos Verdes!























Howler Brothers x Smith Optics 4.0

Posted on June 29, 2021

If we're on the water, on the snow or hanging anywhere the sun shines, we're likely wearing something from Smith Optics. We love their glasses, snow goggles and helmets. We're super excited to team up with them once again for our fourth Howler Brothers x Smith Optics collaboration. We spun up two Howler versions of Smith sunglass styles, complete with signature orange ear pieces, and went deep on Howler apparel using a brand new Sunrise Eyes graphic we designed in house for the collab. We love this round of stuff and think you will too.

We also put together a pretty hilarious video shoot to feature the products. We took a little voyage down to the Texas coast and got weird with some mariachis, a bunny and our old Howler Privateer, Austin Stapleton. Watch the video above to see what Austin forgets on his way out the door one foggy morning....

 

Super Bueno : MexiLogFest 2021

Posted on June 23, 2021

There's hardly anything not to like about MexiLogFest. Yes, it's a surf competition. But it is so much more than that. It's really a celebration of community, place and people. The competition is fierce but it is mostly an excuse to gather, meet new people, celebrate Mexico and have a good time. The competitors cheer each other on, help each other in the water and certainly hang out together by night. And, believe us, you do not need to be a surfer or even know which side of a surf board to stand on to have fun at this event.

We just got back from our annual pilgrimage to this year's event in Punta Del Burro, Nayarit and we are counting the days until the next one. We had a fine crew of Howler Ambassadors (Nate Floyd, Kai Welch and Nacho Pignataro) and friends like photog Jonathan Nimerfroh staying with us at Howler House. We spent our days soaking in the comp or sneaking off to surf nearby breaks and our nights drinking margies, putting on beach asados (thanks to our amazing contingent of friends from Uruguay) and hanging at MexiLogfest events with people from 30+ countries.

Our hats off to those who surfed for Team Howler - Nate Floyd, Israel Preciado and Nacho Pignataro. We're proud to know you boys. Congratulations Nacho on your 4th place finish. That's quite an accomplishment! And, our biggest thank you and congratulations to Howler Ambassador Israel Preciado, the godfather and creator of MexiLogFest, for putting on another wonderful event despite the many challenges of COVID and the weather. We are honored to be a part of it!

Here's some of our photos to prove all of this is true...

Talking to Mountains : Scott Ballew

Posted on April 29, 2021


Maybe you don’t know the name Scott Ballew when you hear it.  But, if you trod around in the Howler universe, you have probably unknowingly crossed paths with his work as a filmmaker for our Austin, TX brethren Yeti.  Scott has produced or directed over 85 pieces for Yeti ranging from short films to in-depth explorations of people and place.  He also stepped out and directed the acclaimed independent feature documentary on the iconic artist and musician Terry Allen.

During flat spells in film shoots Scott started writing songs. These songs eventually became his debut album Talking to Mountains - a timeless and picturesque amalgam of story songs which elicit the ghost of Townes Van Zandt and the fractured folk of Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy.  As his subject Terry Allen said, “Scott's songs are stories that go rolling through your head like little movies.“  We invite you to check out Talking to Mountains on your favorite streaming service and give it the time in deserves.  Or pick up a vinyl copy or cassette over at leisurerodeo.com.  

We asked Scott to put together a playlist as a companion to one of our 10 Year Anniversary Edition Gaucho Snapshirt releases.  He included a few of his own songs and others by the likes of Blaze Foley and Jerry Jeff Walker.  Here’s High Lonesome : a Howler Music playlist by Scott Ballew.

Photos by Austin Stapleton. 

10 Years Of Howler

Posted on March 23, 2021

The seedling that grew into Howler Brothers was planted with a random conversation with my friend Chase Heard sometime around 2008. He told me he was considering getting some drawings he had been working on printed onto t-shirts. The t-shirt thing was a new development but art was an every day part of Chase’s life so the concept didn’t totally shock me. He emailed me a few of the drawings and I liked them. A lot. So, I told him I would help him figure out how to do it. No big deal right?  

Well, I had no idea that this seemingly innocent statement would change my life. In fact, neither of us did. We were coming off of a few years of running around the country in a van playing music with Wrinkle Neck Mules and we were used to doing creative, sometimes ill-advised, things together. The band was sort of in a state of flux as we stared down the changing realities of life and geography so something new seemed to make sense. Maybe it was good to hedge our long shot bets. So, even though we had zero knowledge of the clothing business and no formal clothing design experience, we never batted an eye.  

The next thing we knew, the concept had grown well beyond a few printed t-shirts. We daydreamed about updating the classic embroidered western shirt, guayaberas and the boardshorts of our youth. Chase kept sending me sketches and concepts. I loved them all. We spent what felt like months looking for a name that would encapsulate our vision. There were 100s of ideas but only one hit the mark dead center. Howler Brothers. 

There’s a lot more to tell. But, the bottom line is that for nearly two years we stumbled around in the dark trying to figure out how to make these sketches into clothes. We finally made it happen. One fine day in the fall of 2010 a truck pulled up and dropped a bunch of pallets into Chase’s driveway in Austin. He packed all the stuff into Howler Brothers headquarters - his garage. Finally, without much fanfare, we pushed “publish” on our website just before Christmas 2010. Nobody bought anything, but Howler Brothers was off and running no less. 

Looking up now, it is hard to believe it has been 10 years. What a wild ride. We have met so many fabulous people and had a million good times so far. We are consistently surprised by the incredible culture which has grown around this little monkey. The people that buy our stuff, those that work with us, our retailers, photographers, Ambassadors - all are top level people. And, we get a chance to create every day. We cannot ask for much more.  

We cannot express our gratitude enough to anyone reading this for being a part of our the first 10 Years of Howler. Thank you. We aren’t going anywhere and we have much in store for this year and beyond. For now, we are going to bask in the glow and celebrate a bit.  

- Andy (& Chase)

Howler Musical Origins : Antlers in Velvet

Posted on March 5, 2021

Music is a vital part of the origin of Howler Brothers.  In fact, before Howler was even a twinkle in the eye, Howler Founders Andy Stepanian and Chase Heard, along with HB partner Mason Brent, were making music together and plowing the clubs of the US and UK with their band Wrinkle Neck Mules.  The Mules spent the better part of the mid-2000s on the road playing 150+ nights a year and recording 6 albums.  They developed a cult-like following and even brushed shoulders with the mainstream when a tiny computerized lizard danced along to one of their songs in a television commercial for auto insurance.  Without question, Wrinkle Neck Mules was the origin of the creative relationship between Andy, Chase and Mason.  To this day, they say that their years of writing songs together, traveling for weeks at a time in a van, sleeping with 5 people in one hotel room and braving the often-ruthless music world prepared them for running Howler Brothers better than any design school or MBA program.  

The musical lineage took on a new branch when Andy and Mason released an album under the moniker Leon III in 2018.  The album took a detour from the WNM path “into the psych-folk wilderness” (Jedd Ferris / Blue Ridge Outdoors).   Although technically a duo, Leon III employs a revolving cast of ridiculously talented folks who play in the live show and on the recordings.  Some of you may have seen them on tour with Howler amigos Futurebirds or Mother Hips in recent years.   

Leon III is at it again with a new album called Antlers in Velvet which came out today.  The release is already being called “expansive”, “damn good” and “genre-bending”.  Live for Live Music even went so far as to call Leon III “one of the next big names in improvisational music”.  The list of players on this album is pretty startling.  Even our very own Howler Ambassador Kai Welch - who is a recent Grammy nominee that plays all kinds of musical instruments in Kacey Musgraves band - played on the sessions which took place in Stinson Beach, California.  A whole laundry list of others including Matt Pence (Centro-matic, Paul Cauthen), William Tyler, Dana Colley (Morphine) and Paul Niehaus (Calexico) contributed to the cause.   

If you’re watching really closely you will see that Leon III released it’s album under a new record label called MonoSonic.  Mono like the spanish for monkey.  Not mono like the opposite of stereo.  If you can read between the lines, you will see the connection.  We are happy to say that the Leon III release is just the beginning of a number of big things we have in store involving Howler Brothers and music.   In the coming months, we will begin to peel back the curtain on Howler Music, MonoSonic and a larger musical stew from Howler Brothers.  It only makes sense because it is in our blood and it is where we came from.  Until then, we invite you to check out the Leon III Antlers in Velvet on your favorite streaming service.  You can follow them on IG at @leonthethird or order the album and some badass Howler-made merch on their website at leoniii.com.  Follow MonoSonic (@monosonicrecords) and Wrinkle Neck Mules (@wrinkleneckmules) while you’re at it.  And, stay tuned.  

Spring 2021 - Our Most Well Traveled Collection (and we never left home)

Posted on February 26, 2021

Never in our history have we been so excited to launch a new collection! Honestly. Having a small apparel brand in the last year has been full of ups, downs and unpredictable moments. We learned a lot and hardly an hour passed where we were not thankful for the incredible community that has grown around Howler Brothers. Since you’re reading this, you are part of it so thank you.

During the early stages of the COVID pandemic, it was hard to know exactly how to proceed.  Would manufacturing be interrupted? Will people stop buying things? What will happen to our retail partners? How much stuff should we make for fall 2020 and spring 2021. Absent a crystal ball, we just tried to do the best we could and focus on what we could reasonably predict. And, we kept doing what we do best and have the most fun doing - creating things.

Usually, when we have a new collection release, one of the ways we celebrate is by rushing off to some exotic locale with a pack of Howler Ambassadors and brothers in tow for a photo shoot. Of course, these photo shoots are full of good times and don’t feel much like work. For this year, we reluctantly had to take a different approach. Many international destinations are closed and travel anywhere did not seem the most prudent. So, we decided to send a bunch of our Spring 2021 Collection off to various corners of the world to some of our Howler Ambassadors and let them run the show. What they sent back was awesome. Take a look below and see our Spring 2021 Collection in action with our Ambassadors Ignacio Pignataro in Uruguay, Christiaan Pretorius in Namibia and Izzy Preciado in Mexico.  All of them brought along their crew to join the action. This is our most well traveled collection that’s for sure.