On The Road Interview: Husky
Hailing from Melbourne, Australia, comes Husky – a family band producing dreamy indie-folk tunes that’ll transport you to the rolling waves and soft sands of their home country. I caught up with lead vocalist Husky Gawenda having just returned from a European tour of their second studio album, Rucker’s Hill, an album packed with nostalgic tones and delicate songwriting.
Hey Husky! So there are some people out there who haven’t yet heard of you or your music, can you tell us a bit about yourselves? How would you describe your music?
Gideon and I are the principal songwriters and producers in the band. We’re cousins, which makes for an instinctive and harmonious creative relationship. Our music comes from a tradition of folk – it focuses on lyrics, harmonies, acoustic instruments – but has all sorts of other elements and definitely isn’t traditional in any way.
Can you tell us a bit about your creative process – do you all write together, or do you take it turns, or do you just kind of throw your ideas out there when you have them?
I do a lot of the initial writing and then Gideon and I work on the songs together. Sometimes we write together to begin with and then take the idea away and work on it separately. We’ll often escape the city for days at a time to have intensive writing sessions. A few days in a tent or a shack somewhere out of town, usually by the beach. We don’t have rules though. We just go with what we feel.
Your second album Ruckers Hill was released this year – how do you think your music has evolved since you first started making music together?
To some extent it’s evolved naturally as we’ve changed as people. You get a little older, have different experiences, different desires, adventures, heartbreaks, etc. So what you write about changes and so does the feeling of the songs and the music. We also toured a lot after the release of our first album, both in Australia and abroad. That kind of touring changes the way you play and write. We’re working on new material now and it’s different again. I think that constant change is a sign of a relatively healthy artist.
Is there a track in particular that really means a lot to you? Can you tell us the story behind it?
‘Rucker’s Hill’, the song, really represents a time and a place in my life that means a lot to me. I’ve lost some of the things I had during that time but they remain important to me and I feel like the song kinda captures some of those things I lost, and immortalizes them. That’s a comfort to me personally. They’re not gone entirely.
That’s a great sentiment to have. From stalking your Instagram feed, I see that you’ve recently toured Europe. How was that? Was there a particular country where the crowd’s reception blew you away?
Europe is a pleasure to tour. Audiences are great, venues are great, production crew are super professional and friendly, the travel between cities is not too bad, much better than Australia or the U.S. Germany and Netherlands the crowds were particularly amazing.
Any hilarious stories from the road that you can share?
One of us woke up in the lobby of a hotel in NY in just a towel and had no idea why or how we got there. Not naming any names.
Classic. I love ‘I’m Not Coming Back’ – it’s such a tune! What is your favourite track to play live and why?
‘Saint Joan’ and ‘I’m Not Coming Back’ are both great to play live. Heaps of energy and they’re both kinda straight ahead. You can just dive in with them.
What’s next for the band? Do you have any tours or festivals lined up for 2016 yet?
We’re playing Womadelaide in March and otherwise working on new material. But there will be plenty of touring this year, no firm dates yet.
And finally, if you could choose one defining moment for the band from 2015, what would it be?
Our first sold out show in Europe (Hamburg) was pretty significant. It felt like we had taken a big step. We went on to sell out other shows (such as Berlin, Amsterdam) and coming from Australia, that feels like a lot of hard work is starting to pay off.
This piece was originally written for Gigslutz.
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