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American Soil’s Good Stomping Ground for Aussie Band Husky

Published: Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Updated: Thursday, July 19, 2012 18:07


Shawn Brackbill

It seems indie music fairy tales do exist. Once upon a time, an Australian band created its first record in the comfort of a band member’s home, when an American label picked them up, signed them, and launched them into the dizzying world of global touring and traveling.

Husky from Melbourne, Australia, were busy making a name for themselves in their homeland when Sub Pop Records signed them and flipped their lives upside down. In fact, they have been touring so much that this is their second Phoenix stop in less than two months. They’ve released their album Forever So in the US and are ready to conquer the world. Front man Husky Gawanda chatted with College Times all the way from Australia about the band’s creative process and lucky break.

College Times: What was your first US tour like?

HuskyGawanda: Well, I guess for guys who grew up in Australia we’re a long way away from America and yet it’s in our daily lives that we get so much American music and American everything really. The US is sort of like the Holy Grail of touring. It’s kind of like a dream come true so to tour it for the first time [was] really exciting. The shows were really good and the audiences were pretty cool. Now we’re excited to get back there. We’re really looking forward to get back on the road.

Tell me about how you made the album and how your relationship with Sub Pop came to be.

We made the album a long time before we became in contact with Sub Pop. We recorded it in my house in Melbourne, which is in Australia [laughs], and so we put up a studio in my house. Gideon [Preiss], who plays keys in the band, is also my cousin, so we put up a studio together and produced and engineered the record together. We had never done that before and it was a big learning experience. I had a bunch of songs written and I wrote a bunch more while we were recording the album as well. All together it took us about a year and at the same time we did a lot of local touring. And then it was probably about a year later that we came into contact with Sub Pop. Our manager happened to be in Seattle and had an unrelated meeting with Jonathan Poneman, who is the owner of Sub Pop. He ended up being interested in working with us. We weren’t expecting it or even seeking that relationship at the time but we were really excited and happy. Sometimes these things just work out without even trying. Often we try really hard and things don’t work out well. [laughs]

Each song feels really unique, how did you choose the tracks for Forever So?

It was a long process of trial and error. To start with we kind of took the raw songs, Gideon and I and the other guys who play drums and bass, [and] we cut the songs and stuff and fleshed them out and recorded them and sort of see how they sounded. And then we sort of keep working on them and let the songs guide us. It was all always about what the songs needed rather than try to achieve some sort of vision that we had for the album. It was more trying to let the songs have what they needed. Often it was just clear to us at a certain point whether the song was right for the album or not. And then more and more it became even easier to pick out which songs were right for the album… It all happened quite naturally, not to say there weren’t also songs we had to perhaps get rid of. A lot of it took shape quite naturally.

What is it that inspires you to either pick up a pen or pick up an instrument and write a new song?

I don’t know. It’s a mysterious thing. It can be anything really. I’ll pick up a pen and I’ll start to write and I can kind of tell within 10 or 20 minutes if I’m getting anywhere really. I’m not the sort of guy that will dedicate hours and hours and toil and toil and try to wretch material out of myself. If it’s not happening, it’s not happening and I kinda got to let it go and wait for the next inspiration to come.

Shearwater w/Husky, K N E S S E T, Snow Songs, Crescent Ballroom, July 13, 8:30 p.m., $11 adv, $12 dos

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