The 4onthefloor: Howler must've actually listened to our record

Kerfuffle alert! Recently, Howler frontman and burgeoning viral marketer Jordan Gatesmith voiced his displeasure with the Minneapolis music scene and a 30-year lull of good music via a U.K. podcast hosted by the Guardian's Alexis Petridis. (If we're doing our math correctly, it means he hates every Replacements album after 1981's Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take Out the Trash.) The Current's Andrea Swensson encapsulated some of the most feather-ruffling (or ROFLing) comments from the interview yesterday here -- and be sure to check out the lengthy comment thread.

Gatesmith used the local act the 4onthefloor, who "deliver stompin' blues at an alarming intensity" with four kick drums to make one of his points. "They're like Mumford & Sons crap," he said, and later added: "Nothing will happen outside of Minneapolis for them." Burn! What is happening inside of Minneapolis, however, is the4onthefloor's Gabriel Douglas with a expletive-laced (we kid!) response.

The 4onthefloor: Howler must've actually listened to our record
Photo by Ryan Siverson

GN: Do you agree with the comment that there's been a "giant lull period of like 30 years" for the Twin Cities scene?

Gabriel Douglas: I grew up in Northwestern Minnesota and moved down to Minneapolis six years ago, so to say there is a lull is not really my place. I think Minneapolis has always had a pulse on good music. Prince, Replacements, Suburbs, Husker Du, Soul Asylum, Rhymesayers, Semisonic, and even branching out to Low in Duluth, I think there's always been an impact from the Land of 10,000 Lakes. I don't see a lull, but if things weren't picking up, we are surely coming into a magnificent Renaissance period in MPLS.

How do you feel about the Twin Cities' music scene, and how has it helped/hindered your career?

I love it. I bought a house here because, after a lot of deliberation, this was where I wanted my headquarters to be as we continue to tour around North America and beyond. You hear, "Fly Over Country" all the time. I find it hard to sit at home when I'm not on the road. Every night of the week there are amazing shows (emphasis on MULTIPLE) around these parts. This city is bustling with shows. We don't have any critically acclaimed pop stars, but I don't think that's a bad thing. There are so many beautiful musicians living and working in this town (and touring nationally & internationally).

How does it actually feel to be called "Mumford & Sons crap"?

Well, someone actually listened to our record if they put the 4onthefloor sound with the pulses of the 4/4 time of a Mumford and Sons song, so that's a good thing. I think the indie-folk movement has some really great songwriters in it. For people who have become tired of Mumford & Sons, I'd highly recommend Laura Marling, Noah & the Whale, Daredevil Christopher Wright, Caroline Smith & the Goodnight Sleeps, The Tallest Man on Earth, singyourselfagrave and Gun Lake. But a guitar and an amazing songwriter aren't everyone's cup of tea.

How much Howler have you listened to? What did you think of them? Would they benefit from expanding their rhythm section a bit?

I've always been familiar with Total Babe & Howler. I am a huge fan of post-pop bands Brand New, Kevin Devine and Manchester Orchestra, so I can see where their sound has come from in terms of the post-emo generation. I've always respected what Howler (and Total Babe) have done, especially their ways to market their music and get their names out, in the headlines and across the pond. I don't think their rhythm section needs anything, but I'm always open to help collaborate on a song with any artist. We aren't for everyone. And we're glad people have been spelling our name right (the 4onthefloor).

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