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Looking to save money to record their debut six-song EP, North County folk-punk trio the Howls transformed the online merchandising warehouse in San Marcos where singer-guitarist John Cooper used to work into a makeshift recording studio.

Three or four nights a week over the past six months, the Howls would meet at the back door of the warehouse at around ten o’clock at night, long after the other employees had gone home. Inside, they’d set up three microphones and a Behringer mixer to record their hard-folk tracks.

“We didn’t pay anything to record it. It was rough, but it’s amazing the things you think of in the middle of the night. We just saved all of the cash we made at shows for a few months and did all of the tracking ourselves,” writes Cooper in a June 24 email.

“It sort of felt like we were sneaking around. Doing it that late, you always wonder if the cops are going to shut you down. It was an unspoken agreement between my boss and I. We never talked about it, but we always had gear there so he had to know.”

And now that the band is finished with recording, the Howls are looking for ways to pay for post-production and to raise the money needed to release the self-titled EP in August.

“At this point we don’t have any options other than paying for it ourselves. Just saving and pinching pennies wherever we can. My best guess is that it’s going to take around $600 to get it out.”

The Howls play the Epicentre on August 7.

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