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The Hussy: Prefix Artist To Watch

Midwestern Garage Rock Duo Make More Out Of Less

The Hussy: The Hussy: Prefix Artist To Watch

The Hussy have a lot on their plates. Fourteen hours after playing at a Chicago bar to support their new LP, Weed Seizure, the garage rock duo from Madison, Wis., each ordered a Cermitas Mexican sandwich that had to be cut in half just to fit in their hands. Chicago was the first stop on a nationwide tour that stretches across the typical boundaries of New York City and Los Angeles, but they connect these dots with a few bizarre stops in towns as small as Minot, N.D., and Missoula, Mont. But between bites of their decadent sandwiches, they claimed a special fondness and familiarity with the crowds in these smaller locales.

Since their inception in 2008, Bobby and Heather Hussy (shared surname acquired through band membership, not marital status) have worked hard to grow the music scene in the cozy Madison area, both by helping young bands get started, and also by luring touring acts and the exposure they bring to town. With Weed Seizure, there’s reason to think some of this larger attention will soon be their own. Whether thrashing about on stage or seated quietly in a taqueria, the two find ways to insert affirmations and playful revelations into the other’s speech without interrupting the flow. It’s a seamless process of tug-and-war that makes Weed Seizure a consistently rewarding final product. They’re an overzealous duo, though, and have already begun to lay down the roots for what will become their third full-length record. Before then, they will have toured two coasts and released nearly 10 more seven-inch records, as well as a few by other bands on Bobby’s Kind Turkey record label. It should come as no surprise, then: they both finished their sandwiches.

 

How do you write songs?

Heather: We both just write songs, and then we’ll bring them in to practice.

So you [Heather] will write a song on guitar?

Heather: Yeah. We usually get the melody first. I still play guitar—not as well as Bobby, but...

Bobby: She’ll show me the song, and since she wrote the song she’ll already know exactly how the drums are in her head so we only need to practice them like two times and they’re fine. We’ve just been playing songs together long enough that we can learn them really quick. Lately I’ve been writing kind of goofy songs with a lot of changes compared to our older songs, but it’s mostly the same from there.

About 90 percent of the songs get finished by both of us. Heather or I will have different ideas on things we should change. I like that we both write songs so we can collaborate and make better things. This band is about both of us.

And it probably helps to have another songwriter as an editor.

Bobby: Yeah yeah, sometimes you definitely need

Heather and Bobby in unison: Quality control.

Bobby: That’s why we’ve been doing things like recording lots of songs. We’re strong believers in finishing a song, recording it, and then judging it after. We record a lot of songs, and then dump whatever we don’t think is good.

Each of your LP’s are less than a half-hour long, but how much initial material do you think went into actually making them?

Heather: There are a lot of B-sides [laughs].

Bobby: Yeah, we did 35 songs for Weed Seizure.

Oh, so you cut out over half of them.

Bobby: Yeah, and then that stuff got tiered out into going on seven-inches, which I think makes the 7”s sort of worthwhile because you’re not just buying things you could get elsewhere. [Our first LP] Cement Tomb Mind Control was originally like—we recorded 20 songs and weeded it down to 13, so our new record got weeded out a lot more. 

It seems like a quick turnaround between Cement Tomb, which came out last summer, and Weed Seizure, but I think you’ve been working on this for longer, right?

Bobby: Cement Tomb is essentially, what, two years old. 

Heather: Yeah, uh huh.

Bobby: The songs on Cement Tomb were so old, and then it took forever to get out. So by the time that came out, we already had another record of songs finished. But instead of just finishing that and throwing together a record, we just wanted to record for a long time

Heather: Take our time...

Bobby: Yeah, we actually took our time on this record, pieced it together more, made sure we were happy with it. [Cement Tomb] felt rushed, and it’s weird that we rushed to finish it because then it took a year to come out. I feel like the mixing process was a little rushed because we just really wanted it out. I’m still happy with it, I just think the new record is way better.

I listened to Cement Tomb for the first time in like a year a little while ago, and I realized there were just a lot of effects on the vocals on the first record. Like, a lot. And that’s cool, I think it sounds good. But I also think it’s cool if you don’t have to hide behind that, and Heather has a really good voice.

What do you think is next for you? You played a new song last night, are you already looking at getting back in the studio?

Bobby: We still have about 15 songs that will be coming out over the course of the year on some other records. There are a couple of other labels interested in doing some seven-inches, but I think we’re going to try to make another LP, right?

Heather: Yeah.

Bobby: So record 30 songs again, probably.

Heather: Oh yeah.

Bobby: At least. And then whittle them down.

Another thing I noticed last night was that you [Bobby] used a loop pedal on your guitar. Is that new?

Bobby: It’s been since Cement Tomb, I guess. It’s actually Heather’s pedal. We actually got it to do vocal effects on Cement Tomb, and then Heather was like, “You should figure out how to use this [on your guitar].” Because we didn’t have much experience with the pedal. We just got it to do little slap-backs and [makes a gobbling noise]—little turkeys. But then I started dicking around with the loop part of it, and I think it’s really come into its own in the last year. It just makes it sound like there are three people in the band instead of two, which I think is cool. ... Anything that makes people go, “Wow, how did just two people do that,” is cool to me.

***

Band/Record: http://thehussy.bandcamp.com/

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