David Howald

David Howald

David Howald is a well known one-man band in the Alternative Rock genre in Switzerland, with two digital album releases and one EP produced by the Red Brick Chapel. As with other sounds in the genre, Howald’s music is associated with lots of shouting and a wide range of emotions, as he rocks on his piano world. Besides rock, he also plays Chanson, Kitsch, Prog, and Gospel.

David Howald has been described as a man with a voice coated in a peculiar mixture of heart, vocals, and cojones as it should be. He has been away from the music scene for a while, but started his comeback in 2012 with performances on Basel stages just before the release of his 2012 album “Set Out to Meet Beauty” (released on a digital platform). His previous album, “Vampire in a Hurry” was released in 2008.

Working mainly alone as a one-man band, Howald has collaborated with various musicians in his 2012 album. Still, in most of his songs, Howald enjoys playing the piano primarily, and occasionally uses a vibrant cello. He has used the guitar only once, which was interesting seeing how he could evolve. His style of music is characterised by impatience and turmoil, which is not unusual in the genre of Alternative Rock.

History of Alternative Rock

Alternative rock emanated from pop music style with distorted guitars and a generational discontent; an unusual kind of music that dominated and changed rock in the early-to-mid 1990s. The term “alternative rock” described rock music that could be classified under any other genre, though it technically refers rock music that descended from punk rock.

Although alternative rock gained popularity between 1991 and 1996, its history goes back a little farther than that. Before alternative rock music became popular with the mainstream audience, the genre had been slowly gaining popularity with underground music and college crowds.

Top bands were starting out in alternative rock music in the 1980s, with most of their airtime given by college radio stations, giving them the opportunity to create a loyal fan base. Their commercial success did not, however, begin until the time when the genre started to become popular in the 1990s after the grunge period.

Grunge was a form of alternative rock music that condemned commercialism. The movement started in the US in Seattle, Washington, and quickly throughout the world, which was ironic since this is the kind of music that actually helped to initiate the commercial success for alternative rock music.

As alternative music started to emerge, many bands opted to follow the genre in order to express their feelings and ways of life. While targeting colleges, these new bands also built underground followings by constantly touring and frequently releasing low-budget albums. These albums spread to other followers, who built off of them, producing new bands and new followers. Eventually, the alternative rock music genre built a massive underground audience. The release of hit songs by early bands like Nirvana took advantage of the widespread popularisation of alternative rock with breakthrough success, further popularising the genre.

Alternative rock became even more popular than punk rock in Britain, entering the mainstream earlier than it did in the US. This created a wider venue for alternative bands even before the genre became popular in the US.

During its period of success, many record companies classified lots of music from emerging bands as alternative rock in an effort to boost sales, though most of the music was more pop than alternative. With David Howald’s latest album release though, you can enjoy true alternative rock.

Photo credit: davidhowald.tumblr.com

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