Ethan Miller, while still with Comets on Fire, felt the urge to pursue a more melodic sound in his music and express the influence of growing up on the Lost Coast, so he formed Howlin’ Rain with his former high school band-mate Ian Gradek, and drummer John Moloney (who is now with the neo-folk ensemble Sunburned Hand of the Man). After the 2006 release of Comets on Fire’s last album, he released Howlin’ Rain’s self-titled debut album on Birdman Records and began touring with Queens of the Stone Age.
Shortly after the release of their first album, Moloney left the band. after which Garett Goddard (The Cuts), Eli Eckert and Joel Robinow (both of Drunk Horse) were added. The band’s second album Magnificent Fiend was released in 2008. The EP Wild Life followed later that year.
The current incarnation of the group features Ethan Miller and Joel Robinow, along with a new rhythm section composed of Cyrus Comiskey (Drunk Horse, ex-Saviours) and Raj Ojha. The group now also features Isaiah Mitchell (Earthless) on lead guitar.
The band was chosen personally by Belle & Sebastian to perform at their second Bowlie Weekender festival presented by All Tomorrow’s Parties in the UK in December 2010. In late 2010 Howlin’ Rain released the EP The Good Life in digital format, followed by a limited vinyl edition in early 2011 via American and Birdman records. The album The Russian Wilds was released in February 2012. Mid way through The Russian Wilds touring in 2012, band member Joel Robinow left Howlin Rain unexpectedly, leaving the band as a four piece.