Multi-instrumentalist Kenseth Thibideau (Goblin Cock) moved to San Diego in 1998, at the urging of local man-of-a-thousand bands Rob Crow. After arriving, he toured with Pinback, played keyboards for Three Mile Pilot, and played bass for prog-rockers the Sleeping People, all while earning his living composing music for television and radio commercials.
After leaving the band Tarantel, he formed Howard Hello in 2001 and was soon joined by Marty Anderson, who shared his penchant for experimental, noisy rock songs, though the band soon became inactive.
He released a debut solo album Repetition in July 2010 on Temporary Residence Limited, utilizing an experimental blend of dream-pop vocals and krautrock rhythms.
“I didn’t know at the time these songs were going to become a record, let alone one with my name [on it],” says Thibideau of the album, which he wrote, performed, recorded, and produced at Singing Serpent Studios.
“This was the first time I recorded a bunch of songs that were simple and true to how I felt.... Music to drive through the desert or listen to late at night with headphones on while drinking.”
On December 7, 2010, Thibideau took another step in breaking away from other people’s projects when he embarked on his first solo tour — in name, anyway — which kicked off opening for Pinback’s Rob Crow at Spaceland in Los Angeles. Thibideau’s all-star backing band included locals Chris Fulford Brown, Ali Ozkan, Nathan Hubbard, Tim Soete, John Baez, and Emily Joyce.
After L.A., Thibideau and his tourmates headed up the coast for ten more gigs at small venues and taverns — a change from the large venues he’s played in the past.
“It’s my first tour for this record, under my own weird name.... I can pretty much guarantee that there will be no big crowds. I have already made my peace with just playing to whomever attends, whether it’s 2 people — including the sound guy — or 30 people.
“I just hope I can buy my friends, who are nice enough to play with me, some food and motel rooms.”
In 2016, Howard Hello resurfaced with a new single, “Last Chance,” followed in 2017 by an album called Election Year.
In 2018, he launched a solo electronic project he called Welcome to San Diego.