Brian Howe AKA SIKES is an American Alternative/Hip-Hop artist & producer who is known for his work in various musical projects and other artistic endeavors.
His backing band, THE NEW VIOLENCE is a diverse group of talent curated by SIKES himself to help bring his electronic compositions and ideas to life through live instrumentations. Together, SIKES AND THE NEW VIOLENCE have crafted a sound that is accessible yet difficult to define by blending unique elements from a wide variety of genres and cultures. With a well respected reputation for his creativity, relentless live performances and D.I.Y. work ethic, SIKES continues to play by his own rules, takes the road less traveled and never follows in the footsteps of anyone but himself.
Since 2007, SIKES has recorded, self-produced and self-released 5 full length albums and 2 EP's as well as playing a respectable number of live shows in between commitments to his other music projects. 2012 saw a complete restructuring of SIKES with the addition of a 4 piece backing band for live performances and the band made their official studio debut with SIKES on his 2012 album "Self Portraits & Self Destruction".
In 2015, the backing band adapted the name of "THE NEW VIOLENCE" and together, SIKES AND THE NEW VIOLENCE released an album titled "I've Seen Better" available both physically on Vinyl, Cassette & CD as well as digitally through iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, Bandcamp and most other major digital streaming services. The release was also accompanied by 10 play-through videos of the band performing the album from start to finish exclusively for YouTube. Later that year, SIKES was nominated in the Best of 2015 Pittsburgh City Paper Readers Poll under the Hip-Hop category.
In 2016, SIKES released 2 alternate versions of "I've Seen Better". "They Got Better", which is a collection of demos and alternate takes from the I've Seen Better recording sessions and "They've Seen Better" which is a collection of remixes featuring work from 10 different beat makers & producers including C. Scott, Emerson Jay, KRACKILL$ & More. Both of these albums were released as Free Downloads on SIKES' Bandcamp page. Later that year, SIKES was nominated again in the Best of 2016 Pittsburgh City Paper Readers Poll under the Hip-Hop category.
In addition, 2016 saw the release of SIKES' collaborative "Split" release with Pittsburgh based Punk band TRASH BAG. "Split" is currently available digitally via Bandcamp as well as physically on Vinyl, Cassette & CD via Get Hip Records.
In February of 2017 SIKES AND THE NEW VIOLENCE recorded a live performance for Pittsburgh based radio station 105.9 The X. The performance featured 6 songs including the debut of a new song titled "10 Years". The performance aired via 105.9 The X on February 12th and afterwards it was released as "Live From Studio X" via Bandcamp & Spotify. In April of 2017 SIKES AND THE NEW VIOLENCE recorded another live performance for CMU on 88.3 WRCT's Advanced Calculus program and debuted 2 more new songs from their forthcoming album.
In addition to everything mentioned above SIKES has played and contributed to a wide variety of other projects over the years. Most recently, his role as lead vocalist in the Melodic Death Metal band GREYWALKER. SIKES has also handled a large majority of the visual direction for these projects as well from designing album artwork & packaging to designing t-shirts and manufacturing merchandise via screen printing to directing & editing music videos and everything else in between. He also hosts a weekly podcast covering the DIY music / arts scene called START THE BEAT with SIKES and works full time for GET HIP RECORDS.
Currently, SIKES is working on new material for his next full length with THE NEW VIOLENCE, playing a ton of shows and probably drinking a lot of coffee.
Press & Reviews: