Dark Stares

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Dark Stares
Dark Stares live at The Forum in Hatfield.jpg
Background information
Origin St Albans, Hertfordshire, England, United Kingdom
Genres Alternative rock,[1][2] indie rock[3]
Years active 2009-present
Labels AWAL UK
Website darkstares.com
Members Miles Kristian Howell
Taylor Howell
Harry Collins
Brett Harland Howell

Dark Stares are a British alternative rock band from St Albans, Hertfordshire. Formed in 2009, the band is composed of brothers Miles Kristian Howell (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Taylor Howell (drums, additional guitar, backing vocals), Brett Harland Howell (bass guitar, backing vocals) and Harry Collins (lead guitar, backing vocals).

The band have produced three studio EPs: Tell Your Friends (2012), Octopon (2013) and Soul Contract (2014),[4] all recorded at Outhouse Studios in Reading, Berkshire and released with AWAL.[5][6]



The band began rehearsing in their shed in late 2009, under the name Kalazar. With the two youngest members of the band only 16,[7] they played their first gig in December 2009,[8] supporting XFM Manchester Unsigned 2007 winners, The Scratch.[9][10] Eventually the band settled on the name Dark Stares, inspired by the theme tune of Welsh children's television series Funnybones.[11] The brothers have "proud Welsh roots" on their father's side,[9] as well as a Welsh surname. Dark Stares is also a reference to the George R.R. Martin series of epic fantasy novels, A Song of Ice and Fire.[11] They continued to perform extensively at small venues mainly in local counties and London, but also nationally, including shows with The Subways,[12] Bleech,[13] Touchstone,[9] Canterbury,[14] Fun Lovin' Criminals,[15] Goldblade, What Now, Bo Ningen, The Static Jacks and Willy Moon.[16]

As they became more locally established, they were invited by fellow St Albans band Enter Shikari to open for them at The Forum, University of Hertfordshire in December 2010.[17] The sold-out show featured performances from Rolo Tomassi and Young Guns, as well as Don Broco and The Qemists.[18]

Tell Your Friends (2010–12)[edit]

Their debut EP, titled Tell Your Friends, was recorded at Outhouse Studios, in Reading with Ben Humphreys and It Bites frontman, John Mitchell.[19] Opening track “Whisky” received repeated airplay on XFM from Ian Camfield’s Rock Show.[20][21] AbsolutePunk interviewed the band on the release, who cited Nirvana and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club as influences.[11] In October 2011 they were invited to perform as sole support to The Darkness for their "comeback" show at the prestigious 100 Club on Oxford Street, London.[22] The gig sold-out quickly and was heavily attended by music journalists,[23] as well as notable appearances from Queen guitarist Brian May and comedian Rufus Hound.[24] In November 2011 the band were interviewed on BBC Introducing to discuss the debut release,[25] and Powerplay Magazine reviewed the EP, declaring Dark Stares "to be on the radio soon – and getting the recognition they deserve."[26] Black Velvet featured the band as "Supersonic Future Superstars" and labelled the EP "rock n' roll fantasy full of sonic supremacy."[27]

Octopon and "Bad Machine" (2012–14)[edit]

In October 2012, the band released a music video for "Bad Machine" ahead of their second EP Octopon. The video quickly rose to over 100,000 views on YouTube.[28] Hit the Floor speculated the EP name came from cult animated series The Pirates of Dark Water and had "the sleazy glamour of Audioslave, in their 'Cochise' days."[29] The release was picked up on by national magazine Metal Hammer, which controversially quipped that the record was an imitation of the style of Queens of the Stone Age, claiming "they may have QOTSA's debt-collectors knocking on their door soon."[30] Rock Sound magazine reviewed the release favourably, also drawing comparisons to Queens of the Stone Age and Foo Fighters respectively, and stated "we're more inclined to throw Muse into the equation."[31] Powerplay Magazine followed-up their previous feature positively, stating "randomly dropping into any track would elicit a hypnotic pounding groove."[32] In August 2013 the band officially launched the EP with a headline show at the Barfly in Camden, London.[33]

Soul Contract (2014–present)[edit]

On 28 October 2014, the band announced their third EP Soul Contract, releasing a teaser video on YouTube featuring five new songs.[34] On 24 November 2014 the EP was made digitally available worldwide,[35] with a physical release scheduled for 6 April 2015.[36] In January 2015 MAMA announced a Dark Stares headline show on 2 May 2015 at the Camden Barfly to officially launch the EP, with support from Alexis Kings and Franklin.[37]

Band members[edit]

Current members


Extended plays[edit]

Title Album details
Tell Your Friends
  • Released: July 1, 2013
  • Labels: AWAL
  • Formats: CD, digital download
Soul Contract
  • Released: November 24, 2014
  • Labels: AWAL
  • Formats: CD, Digital download

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Dark Stares - ‘Octopon’ EP (Self Released)". Uber Rock. 2013-07-10. Retrieved 2014-02-18. 
  2. ^ "Live Music Scene - Dark Stares - Octopon". Live Music Scene. 2013-07-13. Retrieved 2014-02-18. 
  3. ^ "Dark Stares Tell Your Friends". Room Thirteen. 2012-08-09. Retrieved 2014-02-18. 
  4. ^ "iTunes Catalogue - Dark Stares". iTunes. 2014-01-16. Retrieved 2014-02-18. 
  5. ^ "Tell Your Friends – EP – Dark Stares". AWAL. 2012-05-12. Retrieved 2014-02-18. 
  6. ^ "Octopon – EP – Dark Stares". AWAL. 2013-07-01. Retrieved 2014-02-18. 
  7. ^ "The Story Behind the Song: Invaders". Blues Rock Review. 2012-10-10. Retrieved 2014-02-18. 
  8. ^ "Dark Stares Interview". Blues Rock Review. 2011-12-29. Retrieved 2014-02-18. 
  9. ^ a b c "Quick Questions With: Dark Stares". The Luton Scene. 2011-12-13. Retrieved 2014-02-18. 
  10. ^ "Versus Cancer ‘07". Versus Cancer. 2007-03-30. Retrieved 2014-02-18. 
  11. ^ a b c "AbsolutePunk Interview – Dark Stares". Absolute Punk. 2012-07-10. Retrieved 2014-02-18. 
  12. ^ "Dark Stares Unleash New EP To The Nation!". Planet Mosh. 2014-01-16. Retrieved 2012-06-26. 
  13. ^ "Juicebox Bleech Event". Juicebox Indie. 2013-02-28. Retrieved 2014-02-18. 
  14. ^ "Pioneer Club relaunches gigs after three year absence from St Albans music scene". Herts Advertiser. 2010-08-14. Retrieved 2014-02-18. 
  15. ^ "Rising UK Rockers DARK STARES To Release New EP". Metal Mouth. 2013-05-23. Retrieved 2014-02-18. 
  16. ^ "Juicebox Indie Facebook Post". Juicebox Indie. 2012-02-02. Retrieved 2014-02-18. 
  17. ^ "AN ENTER SHIKARI CHRISTMAS PART ONE - HATFIELD, HERTS - DEC 2010". YouTube. 2011-01-15. Retrieved 2014-02-18. 
  18. ^ "Enter Shikari Announce Christmas Party". Kerrang. 2010-09-21. Retrieved 2014-02-18. 
  19. ^ "Get Ready To Rock Reviews by Pete Whalley". Get Ready To Rock. 2011-01-01. Retrieved 2014-02-18. 
  20. ^ "Dark Stares Octopon EP". The Ringmaster Review. 2013-08-04. Retrieved 2014-02-18. 
  21. ^ "Dark Stares – Tell Your Friends". This Is Not A Scene. 2013-01-14. Retrieved 2014-02-18. 
  22. ^ "The Darkness Announce 100 Club Show". Metal Hammer. 2011-09-30. Retrieved 2014-02-18. 
  23. ^ "The Darkness @ 100 Club 10th October 2011". Planet Music Reviews. 2011-10-13. Retrieved 2014-02-18. 
  24. ^ "The Darkness Wow The 100 Club At Intimate Show". JustinHawkinsRocks.co.uk. 2011-10-11. Retrieved 2014-02-18. 
  25. ^ "Kelly Interviews the Dark Stares - 18/11/11". BBC Introducing. 2011-11-18. Retrieved 2014-02-18. 
  26. ^ "Powerplay Magazine - Issue 146". Powerplay Magazine. 2012-04-16. Retrieved 2014-02-18. 
  27. ^ "Black Velvet Magazine - Issue 74". Black Velvet. 2012-02-11. Retrieved 2014-02-21. 
  28. ^ "Dark Stares - Bad Machine - OFFICIAL". YouTube. 2012-10-01. Retrieved 2014-02-18. 
  29. ^ "Review: Dark Stares – Octopon (EP)". Hit the Floor. 2013-08-02. Retrieved 2014-02-18. 
  30. ^ "SaN PR Facebook Post". Facebook. 2014-11-21. Retrieved 2013-06-21. 
  31. ^ "In the Magazine: Issue 177 - Summer 13". Rock Sound. 2013-08-30. Retrieved 2014-02-18. 
  32. ^ "Powerplay Magazine - Issue 155". Powerplay Magazine. 2013-07-21. Retrieved 2014-02-18. 
  33. ^ "Dark Stares EP Launch Plus Alexis Kings". MAMA & Company. 2013-08-09. Retrieved 2014-02-18. 
  34. ^ "Dark Stares - Soul Contract (EP) Teaser - OFFICIAL". YouTube. 2014-10-28. 
  35. ^ "Soul Contract - EP". iTunes. 2014-11-24. 
  36. ^ "Dark Stares – Soul Contract EP". Vanguard Online. 2015-01-17. 
  37. ^ "Dark Stares (EP Launch) + Alexis Kings + Franklin". MAMA & Company. 2015-01-05. 

External links[edit]