If you’ve never heard Boone Howard‘s music before, you’ve still very likely heard his work. Howard, an accomplished musician and the former frontman of Portland rock band The We Shared Milk, is also a sought-after live sound engineer and throughout the years has become a staple of the rock club scene in the Pacific Northwest.

Now’s your chance to hear both. Last month, Boone Howard unveiled his solo debut record, “The Other Side Of Town.”

Longtime listeners will notice a stark departure from his previous band.

“I wanted to write more straightforward songs,” Howard said in an interview with opbmusic’s Matthew Casebeer. “[The We Shared Milk] shows had a reputation for being rowdy and drunken. And the shows that people liked the most were the ones that went the most wrong,” he added with a laugh.

While this new venture focuses more intensely on songwriting and less on raw energy, Howard goes out of his way to reassure fans that they can still expect intense live performances from him.

“The new band isn’t that far from that either,” he said. And his lively opbmusic session bares that out, with a stage presence that lies somewhere between lounge lizard and punk rock instigator.

You can watch videos from that performance above and listen to our interview with Howard below. He sat down with opbmusic’s Matthew Casebeer and chatted about his move from Alaska to Portland, his big break working as the live sound engineer for fellow former Alaskans Portugal. The Man, and his evolution as a songwriter.

You can catch Boone Howard live at Mississippi Studios in Portland on July 20 along with Reptaliens and Vexations.