Leo Howard is an American actor and musician, known for his roles of Jack Brewer in "Kickin’ It" and Young Conan in "Conan the Barbarian". He very often incorporates his martial arts skills into his roles and he has been training them since early childhood. This year he founded a rock band called Ask Jonesy & Company with his friends, in which he plays the guitar and sings. In the interview, Leo is talking about his memories from the set of "Kickin’ It", his love for martial arts, his band Ask Jonesy & Company and future plans.
You started your acting career at the age of eight from the role of Little Karate Kid in "Monk", but became popular after playing Jack Brewer in Disney XD's "Kickin' It". How did you join Disney and what are your favourite memories from playing in Disney TV series?
I joined Disney by auditioning alongside hundreds of other kids. "Kickin' It" was such a great experience for me. By the end of it everyone there was family. I learned a lot of great things and I got to experience a lot whilst growing up on the show.
Playing Jack in "Kickin' It" or Young Conan in "Conan the Barbarian", you had an opportunity to show your amazing martial arts skills. What is your favourite thing about karate and what role does this sport play in your life?
Martial arts is still a major factor in my life. I currently train Brazilian jiu jitsu. And I am loving it. I've done martial arts my whole life and plan on keeping it that way! The work ethic and discipline you learn by perfecting a craft is second to none. I use it every day.
This year you formed a rock’n’roll band called Ask Jonesy & Company with your friends Troy Romzek and Ricky Ficarelli. How did you come up with the idea of making music together and what are the origins of the name of your group?
Troy Romzek and I had worked together on "Kickin' It" years ago. We lost touch over the years. But somewhere around one year ago we reconnected. We both wanted to play music and agreed to see where it went. He knew Ricky Ficarelli from a past band experience and brought him to the table. The name Ask Jonesy came about at some street corner in Los Angeles when a homeless man heard us talking about music and told us we should ask his imaginary friend Jonesy about what to name the group. Started as kind of a joke and then it stuck so we are now Ask Jonesy & Company.
Your songs "Burning Fire" and "Stings" are similar in style to the music of the bands from 1970s or modern British bands like for example Arctic Monkeys. How can you describe your main sources of inspirations as an artist?
I think we can all agree 60s and 70s classic rock is where we all pull from. To me there is nothing like the blues. That's what I grew up listening to and where I pull most all of my inspiration from. SRV, Eric Clapton, Freddie King, and Jimi Hendrix were all huge for me.
With Troy and Ricky you had already your first concerts and you seem to enjoy playing music together. Have you already got any crazy fan experiences? How do people react to your music?
Pretty unanimously when we play live people seem to love it. We are a very high energy rock band. And we all love to perform and I think anyone that comes to our shows can really see that. Also all of us really click on and off the stage and that is something that makes it special.
Your band is slowly getting more recognition, so I guess that you are working on more music and probably your debut album. What can we expect from you in the foreseeable future? Could tell us something more about the next plans of Ask Jonesy & Company?
We are opening up for Berlin at the wine country music festival in November and then after that we are gonna focus on an EP. But we are always writing and always working to make ourselves better.
If you want to learn more about Leo Howard and his band Ask Jonesy & Company, please visit the band's official website: