Interview: Todd Howe of The Boxer Rebellion Discusses Their New Album, 'The Cold Still'
The Boxer Rebellion knows independence.
Over the last decade, the band’s four members, hailing from three different countries, have seen their prior label fold due to financial reasons, produced an album themselves that ended up changing the rules of the UK Billboard charts and recently completed the first leg of a US tour, complete with a promotional appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman for their newest studio album, The Cold Still.
The tumultuous journey is fitting for a band named after a Chinese uprising that sought independence from foreign influences, even if that name was found by the members of the band casually flipping through an encyclopedia.
This July, The Boxer Rebellion released their first live album, Live in Tennessee, recorded Oct. 12, 2010, in singer Nathan Nicholson’s hometown of Maryville, Tenn. They also announced the second leg of a North American tour, which spans 22 shows over 33 days in October and November and covers most of the US geographically.
The band is currently in London on a break. Guitar World caught up with lead guitarist Todd Howe about The Cold Still and the ride that he and the rest of The Boxer Rebellion have been on over the years.
GUITAR WORLD: You’re starting a new tour, but you’ve had a couple months off in between. How has the break been?
We’ve been taking some time now to write new stuff. It works for us. We tend to not write too much on the road.
You were on tour nearly nonstop from March to May right after The Cold Still was released. How was the promotion and the crowds?
It went really well. We’re actually about to announce another US tour, so that’s quite cool. The album was out and we scripted our touring in North America. The tour we did in North America in April was the first half and we tour them again in October and November. That’s the second half of the tour. The gigs are fantastic. We had two great sold-out shows in New York and one in Chicago. The one in L.A. was sold-out. We just get a really good vibe when we go to America, which is really cool.
Will you be going to some of the same places in America with the new tour?
We will be going to a number of the same cities, but we’ll be doing a lot more of the South this time around and Canada. We’re going to be doing Calgary and Vancouver and Toronto as well. We’ll also play San Diego, Salt Lake City and Denver then come across Tallahassee, Tennessee, Virginia and then back up to New York. It’s good. We’ve just got to keep coming back and keep playing more shows. But the crowds have really been responding a lot, which for us is a really good thing.