Madison garage duo the Hussy is set to release their sophomore LP, Weed Seizure, on Tic Tac Totally next month. They’ve already released a video for “Undefined,” which we posted last week, and you can hear two songs on Bandcamp. In addition to the album’s title, we here at Rock Star Journalist were curious as to how the band maintains such a ridiculously high output level. A brief glance at the band’s discography is enough to make any collector nerd completist sob uncontrollably. Those questions and more are answered below by Bobby and Heather.
Just to get things out of the way, is Weed Seizure about having your stash seized, or is about seizing because of your stash?
Bobby: Weed Seizure is a reference to a kid having a weed seizure at a show I was at. He’s a good friend of ours and he goes to shows all over Wisconsin and is just a music loving guy, but shit that freaked me the fuck out man! He’s all good now, so nothing negative happened of it, but honestly it shook me to my core. And honestly I didn’t realize the double entendre until like way after we had decided the name of the record.
The new LP seems to be a little more straightforward than your debut. How did the process of writing and recording it differ?
Heather: With this record, we took our time with writing and recording. Pretty much we just didn’t rush anything and went over things with a more fine toothed comb than we did with Cement Tomb. The record was recorded over a series of months as well – not all in one session.
You’re on a new label with Weed Seizure. How’d you hook up with Tic Tac Totally?
Bobby: We’ve been shopping shit to Tic Tac for years. I think Heather sent out the first package to em when we recorded our first set of 9 songs back at the end of 2008. This time I just emailed Matt the owner and asked him if he’d be interested in hearing demos of our new LP, and I told him we had plans for 4 new 7″s this year. That enticed him and he checked out the tunes (we had about 35 tracks recorded), and between him and the band we were able to come up with 13 solid tracks for the LP (with an extra interlude we added later as well as a hidden 14th track).
Weed Seizure came rather soon after Cement Tomb Mind Control. Why so soon for a follow-up?
Heather: “Why not?” I say. We are always writing and recording. It just made sense to put another record out. It’s fun putting out records.
Of course, new labels are nothing new for the Hussy. How many different ones have released your music?
Bobby: Well, shit, I lost count a while back…but we can count right now. Science of Sound, Fistful of Records, Big Action Records, Jeffrey Drag Records, Slow Fizz Records, Kind Turkey Records and then we’ve got 2 brand new 7″s on Eradicator Records and Goodbye Boozy Records, and then the LP on Tic Tac Totally. So that’s 9 labels that have released our music so far. We have new 7″s coming out later in the year on Evil Weevil and Black Gladiator. So I guess that puts us in double digits! And we’ve got another tape coming out on Jeffrey Drag that’s a split with Useless Eaters. Not a new label, but still a new release! Kind Turkey might do another tape for the band too, but not sure when.
Does the two-person drum and guitar thing ever work against you – White Stripes comparisons and all that?
Heather: Sometimes people might think we’ll sound like the White Stripes at first glance … the two piece guy on guitar and girl drummer, but then they hear us and they won’t think that afterwards. I wouldn’t say it works against us at all. If the songs are there, the songs are there, regardless of how many people are in your band. Let the music speak for itself.Is it a challenge to work within that framework, or does it push you to new creative heights?
Bobby: I absolutely LOVE the structure of this band. It lets each of us breath our own life into songs. Each person adds a distinct element, even to songs that the other person wrote completely. This band is about THE BAND. I love that. I love that I only have to check with one other person about decisions, I love that we can tour in a car, I love Heather. She’s a really good friend of mine and has been for quite some time. I really just like being able to explore whatever sounds either of us are imagining/thinking of without any negative vibes. We both 100% trust in the other person, and that’s great. That’s how this band functions so smoothly, I think.
Ever since I started doing the engineering for the band’s record (the first of which was our debut LP) our creativity has GREATLY expanded. It’s great that in the year 2012 we can completely exist outside of any real recording studios. It saves us a lot of costs. Usually we’re just paying minimal costs to either have a record mastered or for the artwork. This new 7″ on Goodbye Boozy is our first record that cost us nothing to make or release, and that’s a really exciting feat I think! It also gives us unlimited time to create and expand. The two-piece sound can be thin or just boring on record if it’s not produced either really raw or with a bunch of fun noises in the background. We try to record with both of those things going on. Lo-fi but still a lot of sound. Raw but still produced enough to let the pop melodies shine. It’s a balancing act, but I feel like it’s one of our strong points … balancing the trash with the pop.
How do you change your songs from studio to live performances?
Heather: We pretty much just play the meat and bones portion of the song. Bobby will sometimes use a delay pedal to make things sound more full. That’s about it really.