Madison guitar/drum, boy/girl duo The Hussy are no stranger to WMSE’s airwaves — their singles and 7″s have heavily populated our Local Lunchbox segments and unsurprisingly so; The Hussy’s energy and hard-hitting garage rock sound is the epitome of youthful energy, full of unapologetic smarts. Bobby Hussy and Heather Sawyer are even more eagerly stepping it up for a brand new release, Cement Tomb Mind Control, on Slow Fizz Records, which showcases their penchant for sub-two minute songs and a straightforward style. WMSE talks to Bobby Hussy as the band hustles into a spring/summer tour schedule that has them showcasing their new songs and supporting like-minded nationals like PUJOL and Times New Viking.
The new album got an official release in your hometown at The Frequency — since your album is pretty concise (all of twenty-one minutes) did you play the entire album as a set?
We did not play the entire set. Since we were playing a hometown show we figured we should play stuff the crowd will know in addition to a bunch of new stuff. The LP is actually semi-old material now. It took almost a year just to get the thing out (it’s been recorded and mastered since April of 2010). Plus, we put out a 7″ on a local Madison label so we played two of those songs from that 7″. There’s just some songs that you know the crowd loves, and there’s a few songs on the LP that we don’t even play live anymore unless we wanna do something fun/different for a change.
Your sound gets more and more solid even though you’ve never branched out beyond a two-piece. Ever consider adding more members and more sounds or do you feel as though you’ve proven yourself strong as a duo?
We actually have never really honestly considered adding another member. Logan from the Midwest Beat has played bass at two Hussy shows (one being a show that required all bands on the bill to be three-pieces and the person running the festival thought it’d be interesting to see us on the bill as a three-piece, so we did it for fun). We’ve been asked this question by MANY bass players over the years, and honestly The Hussy will always be a two-piece. Just doesn’t make sense to change the format now. We like the way it is and it makes things a lot easier because you only have run stuff by your good friend to see if they’re cool with it. And yeah, I think we’ve proven our might as a two-piece, people know us by that.
Who writes the tougher songs — you, or Heather?
Well, that’s a tough question. I honestly write the more ‘riff’-based songs, but Heather writes the more melodically clever/tough songs. Like she can write a more intricate melody than myself. I’m usually barking something, and she’s usually singing something. That’s the best way I can describe it. And we work together in different ways, it really just depends on the song. Sometimes either of us will bring a completed song in with 90 percent of it perfected and we’ll just have the other person add their Hussy element to it. Or sometimes we’ll write a song right in practice like we did with “Pavement” from the LP. It really depends on the song.
You recorded this particular album yourself, right?
Yeah, I did all the recording of this album and we had a really close friend of ours Todd Ostertag do the mixing with us. He’s such a nice guy and has some of the best ears in Madison, so I really trust him. He rarely works on musical projects anymore so it really means a lot to me that he still helps us out (He used to work at Smart Studios among a few others for MANY years in Madison). I did about 75 percent of the tracking in this old basement space we practiced at in the super hippie part of Madison called Willy Street. Then some of the guitars and vocals I did at my apartment. Just blasted the guitars during the day when no one was home in the complex.
Tell me about tour — I see you’re playing with PUJOL in Nashville?
The tour is gonna be a total blast! We’re doing a trip down to Nashville and back, and then a trip out to NYC and back. Good friends all around in most of the cities. PUJOL will rule. That’s at a house show so I can only imagine it will be off the chain. Other shows I’m really looking forward to are: Empty Bottle in Chicago because I’ve never played there, Athen’s Ohio with Wheels on Fire, Cleveland and Columbus with Day Creeper and the Wolly Bullies, and all of the dates with Eric and the Happy Thoughts (that band rules!).