It’s been a huge year for Husky. The foursome have been on heavy rotation on triple j and community radio all year, and are fresh from supporting the likes of Gotye and Kimbra on their respective national tours. With their highly anticipated debut album Forever So due for release on October 21st, Gideon Preiss (keyboards/vocals) spoke to Tone Deaf’s Annika Holden about growing up with lead singer Husky Gawenda (lead vocals/guitarist), what it’s like to make an album in a bungalow, and what’s next on the agenda for Husky.
The genesis of Husky can be traced back to the family gatherings of Preiss and his older cousin Gawenda. “We’d done a lot of playing for many years at different family things, and Husky taught me one of my first songs, which was the chords to ‘Easy’ by Lionel Richie – but it was the Faith No More Version that I really liked!”
The boys later brought in Evan Tweedie (bass/vocals) and Luke Collins (drums) to complete the band. For Preiss, this family connection made recording Forever So particularly special. “It was a little bit of a dream come true making an album with your big cousin that you grew up adoring.”
One thing that jumps out when listening to Forever So is the depth and quality of the sound on the record. Given this, it’s kind of mind blowing to find out that it was recorded in a makeshift studio in a house in Northcote. “We built a studio into the house, and the bungalow was where we did a lot of the listening to the recordings, and a lot of the writing of the songs. We partitioned different bits of the house off, and that was where we would record a lot of the vocals and guitars and different instruments.”
When asked how they managed to maintain fidelity of sound in such a homespun environment, Preiss credits the band’s decision to only use real instruments, as well as classic microphones and recording pre-amps. He also says that producing the album themselves allowed them to have a greater level of control over the sound. “We were pretty clear with the ideas and concepts we wanted in the album, and we didn’t want a producer telling us how to do thing. Having our own studio meant we could…be scrupulous about everything in that album, and put in the time in.”
Preiss says that Husky talked a lot about making a record that they would love, and not necessarily one that would suit triple j or its listeners. When it’s pointed out that triple j love it anyway (Richard Kingsmill called “History’s Door”, the first single off Forever So, a “near perfect song”), Preiss laughs. “They seem to, yeah! We’ve been very lucky, they’ve been very supportive. Everyone knows how difficult it can be to get them onside so we’re thankful.”
While Husky have just been announced on the lineup for the St Jeromes Laneway Festival in 2012 in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, Preiss is unsure what bands he will check out when he isn’t busy playing. “The beauty of a lot of those festivals is that you stumble on things that you haven’t seen before or haven’t heard before, and those are often the things that thrill you the most because you have no expectations. I did notice that on that bill there were a lot of bands that I didn’t know, so I’ll just see how I go.”
Husky have just announced a national headline tour, which will take the boys across the whole country playing tunes from Forever So. While Husky are experienced with national tours, having played support for some fairly major acts, Preiss says that headlining is “definitely more pressure. They’re there to see you, so it’s a different feeling. You don’t feel like you have to win over the audience in the same way as for a support gig, but you have to deliver.”
As for what’s next, Preiss says “I don’t want to look too far beyond for the moment, I just want to concentrate on doing a great headline tour. It will be interesting to see what will happen now because we have been doing all these support tours – Jinja Safari, Kimbra, Gotye, John Butler – so, who knows what sort of audience we’ve built? It will be interesting to see whether we’ve converted all those fans.”
– Annika Holden
Husky’s album Forever Now is out now and you can hear them live on the band’s upcoming tour. Check out all the dates and ticketing information here.