It is more than safe to say that I know what it’s like to solicit for something. I have canvassed at coffee shops and colleges, beseeched bands to spare some time to talk, panhandled to playing performers, accosted anyone who even looked like they would listen. Simply put, I have largely learned how to hustle. I am a hustla, or maybe I’m a diva, because according to Beyonce, “Diva is the female version of a hustla.” Howie Scott also rents a room in the House of Hustle.
I am no stranger to pleading about my passions, and I can be painfully persistent. I may have met my match in Howie Scott. I am going to summon some song lyrics from Alanis Morissette to prove my point: in the song Head Over Feet she says, “I had no choice but to hear you, you stated your case time and again.” That’s how I feel about how hard Howie Scott wanted to help me write about him. He didn’t stop hustling to be heard and it was impossible to ignore his invitation.
When I first saw Howie at an open mic night my first thought was ‘is he even old enough to be in a bar’ and then someone behind me actually said it out loud. At 18 years old, Howie Scott plays in the budding band Two In Harmony. Gary Roesser lays down licks on lead guitar and vocals while Howie gives great riffs on rhythm guitar and backing vocal and Travis Hoard has the duty of fill-in drummer until they find someone more permanent to play. Following that first thought was a raised eyebrow and a shrug and smile, because Two in Harmony pleased the place. I listened, I liked, and I’m leaving the light on.
Sara Fincham: You’re young – how did it all begin for you?
Howie Scott: I’m 18, been playing for roughly 5 years. I found a small harmony acoustic guitar in the salvation army trash and took it home and got some strings put on it, since I didn’t know how to play. It sat in my grandmas closet for a year, then I picked it up and learned the blues.
SF: What inspired, or re-inspired you to not only pick that guitar up in the first place, but to retrieve it from the closet and really learn how to play?
HS: Well, nothing really inspired me, I just got it out and was taught a blues boogie. Then my guitar playing went only up from there.
SF: What about the blues made you begin with that genre?
HS: Blues is the root of all of today’s music. Blues bands are slowly fading away, so Two In Harmony is trying to bring it back, but still be up-to-date with today’s music.
SF: It seems like this has happened really fast for you – what has the response been like, because you haven’t been playing out long, have you?
HS: No, Two In Harmony has only been out for a couple of months, but since Gary and I both have been in multiple bands, there’s no teaching each other how to play songs. If Gary writes a song, I just jam along and play what I feel should fit within the song, same way if I write a song.
SF: You seem very fluid in that you can play many types of music, from metal to blues. Is it important to you to be versatile, and do you enjoy all genres of music?
HS: I feel that a musician should play all genres of music, just because a musician should help out other bands when in need. A true musician has respect for all styles of music.
SF: When you write on guitar – how does that work? Do you just sit down and see what comes out of an informal jam, or do you already have in mind the sound and summary of what the song should be?
HS: I write chord progressions, and its spontaneous, there’s no thinking about what I’m going to play next, it just sort of happens. When we write, it’s almost always music first then lyrics, and we just freestyle the first few lines then build off the subject of that line. That’s how Snake River was written, I wrote the music and first line of the lyrics, then looked up highway 55, turns out its in Idaho, so we wrote about the area. Snake River is an actual river, so is Hells Canyon and Round Valley Creek…so with writing this song, we also got a geography lesson.
SF: It seems you have great goals – what are they and how do you hope to accomplish them?
HS: My goal is to be a full time musician and get paid for what I like to do. And we are going to Alabama to record our full-length album and sign a contract to be on a label, then we’re going on tour. So, there’s nothing more I could ask for if this all pans out.
SF: How important has hustling to get your band out there been?
HS: It has been so hard! Especially since I do all the booking and managing!