Funky folk band Husky hit Brisbane for a special concert, and we cornered them backstage.
To the unknowing eye, Husky may seem like a cool quartet of musicians with a definite hipster vibe, but to those in the know they’re just a bunch of friends who are all about the group hug and finding a good book to read.
Husky, a Melbourne folk band consisting of Husky Gawenda on vocals and guitar, Gideon Preiss on keyboards and vocals, Evan Tweedie on bass and vocals and Luke Collins on drums,are currently touring around Australia with Ben and Jerry’s Open Air Cinemas in the lead-up to the launch of their second album, Rucker’s Hill.
Written by Husky Gawenda in a small, moonlit room at the back of his house, the new album will bring fans 13 exquisite new songs when it launches on 17 October.
The ARIA nominees and Triple J Unearthed winners will return to Brisbane to play a show on Saturday 22 November. Band members Husky Gawenda and Gideon Preiss sat down with bmag during their recent Ben and Jerry’s show at South Bank to tell us what life is really like on the road.
Rucker’s Hill hasn’t been officially released yet, but some fans have already had a sneak peek. What has the reception been like?
Husky: It’s been a big job recording the album and it has taken us quite a bit of time. It’s been a challenge but also really fun and exciting. But this is the best bit, being able to release it. This is the big pay off.
Gideon: Some friends and family have already heard the record. The first song from the record ‘I’m Not Coming Back’ has actually already been released so fans would have already heard that one. So, so far so good. We were already playing that song before it was released at our live shows and I think part of the reason we released it first was that we did get such good feedback from the audience when we played it live.
You’ve come a long way since fans first discovered you on Triple J, with an ARIA nomination and a national tour. Has success changed you?
Husky: Success hasn’t really changed the dynamic of our band. We’ve been playing a lot and we’re now a more experienced live band because we’ve done a lot of touring and that definitely changes and shapes the way we play. We have developed a dynamic between us that is only possible when you play together on the road. It’s not so much success that has changed us, but experience.
You’ve got a lot of traveling ahead of you with your two national tours, how do you cope with being on the road so much?
Gideon: We don’t cope with it very well at all, actually. It is hard but you learn strategies and ways to get through it.The truth is the good parts are really good and the bad things are really hard but ultimately if you want to be out there playing shows that’s all part of it.You learn how to deal with the constant travel. The shows are what make it. Playing the music just makes it worth it.
Husky: It’s such an unstable lifestyle that it helps to have a constant, even if it’s just a great novel that you’re reading and whenever you need to you can just dip into that novel and it’s your happy place.
What do you do right before you head on stage? Any rituals you need to fulfill before you can play?
Husky: We all have our own individual rituals and some band rituals. Firstly, we always talk about the set list together. We come up with a plan and we generally have a hug before we go on stage, that’s something we do as a band.
Gideon:We always have a little think about where we’re at, about getting up on stage and the transition from normal life. You might spend all day traveling around then you just have to shake it off. Also, whiskey and coconut water work well.
What do you like about playing in Brisbane?
Husky: We always have a great time in Brisbane, we’ve often discussed that there’s just something about Brisbane, it’s just really warm and open. I’m not sure if it’s the perfection of the beautiful weather or what it is but we’ve found that audiences are just amazing here.
Husky will play The Zoo (711 Ann St, Fortitude Valley) on Saturday 22 November.