Australian-born/LA-based singer, songwriter and musician RY X, has been making quite a name for himself, firstly as a solo artist, then as one-third of The Acid and more recently one-half of HOWLING.

The latter of the three projects has recently released their debut album Sacred Ground, and when we were asked if we’d like to have a chat to one of the guys, I personally wanted to ask RY X where it all began for him.

“My first records were Jackson 5 on cassette. I was a massive MJ fan as a kid, and my dad’s folk & soul 60s vinyl collection. That changed when I hit my early teens and it was all grunge as far as the things I wanted to try and buy for myself, although there was nowhere I could buy them where I lived, and I had no money to do it.

My first CD was Nevermind, and my parents bought that for me, which is pretty rad. I hadn’t heard of Nirvana living on an island with a population of 200 at age 11. But my parents got a ferry and drove to the closest city to buy me a CD player, and they found out about a band called Nirvana and bought me the CD for christmas…amazing thinking of that now. From those years it was really a huge thing for me to have Nirvana and Pearl Jam, Smashing Pumpkins, Rage Against the Machine etc. I felt like it was raw and pure, but the vocals always carried those bands in a way too, and I was drawn to it. Me and my skate/surf-rat mates made grunge bands together and we moshed and stage dived and painted our nails black. It was a juxtaposition between that and soul surfing in tropical paradises.

Jeff Buckley then made me feel the same rawness and drive but in such an intimate way, and I moved in that direction (and later I found out that Andy Wallace, who mixed Nevermind, produced ‘Grace’ for Jeff Buckley). My growth and understanding then went into Radiohead and massive attack and Bjork and Ravi Shankar and Steve Reich and and and“

Check out these two tracks from HOWLING‘s debut record Sacred Ground, which is available now from iTunes.