The first two things you'll learn about The Hussy is that they're a two-piece and they're from Wisconsin, but since we'd all like to put aside the often misplaced and unimportant first impressions we make on people, you can forget those two details right now. With the power and magic that The Hussy's third album, Pagan Hiss, delivers, there leaves very little room—actually, no room—for the listener to breathe. Moving with haste frrom one song to the next with deliberate, electric riffs, and the witchy yawping of Heather Hussy, one feels like they've been taken on a psych-grunge odyssey and both Bobby and Heather are the distorted Sirens pulling you to their Midwestern shores. Each song doesn't just “pack a punch,” as many music writers are wont to say—The Hussy invented the punch. If you feel like the one thing your standard garage punk has been missing is guitar licks that propel into outerspace, then listen to the stream of Pagan Hiss below and hear how it's done right.
What word is used most often to describe The Hussy? Which of these words do you hate most?
Heather: Probably Psych/Pop/Garage/Punk. But we really have no beef with how someone wants to describe us.
Bobby: Yeah, we're pretty laid back turkeys. Gobble Gobble.
What kind of scene is happening in Madison, WI? Do you think your new success will change the way people see the Midwest?
Bobby: Right now a lotta young kids starting up some really new rad bands right now. It's a pretty exciting time to be from Madison. With all the new band activity came a lot more people actually attending shows as well. The scene has definitely gotten a lot stronger over past couple of years, for sure.
Heather: The best bands going right now are Fire Retarded, Non-Travellin' Band, Dharma Dogs, Trin Tran . . . and I'm sure I'm missing some. We're totally proud to be from the Midwest, it's in the center of the country so touring's easier and the people are really friendly.
Bobby: We don't think our success will change anyone's views of anything, we're a garage-punk band and we're just looking for people to have a good time listening to our tunes.
What are some of the pitfalls of being a two-piece? Some of the rewards?
Bobby: I really don't see any pitfalls to be in a two-piece.
Heather: Yeah, I agree, it's just easier to travel, which we can do in a car. Decisions are easier to be made, and everything just seems to flow a lot better as a two-piece.
Bobby: To me, the rewards are exciting because you're sharing a moment with just a single other person, and each accomplishment is shared closely with each other.
What is the most exciting part of touring Europe? What are you dreading? Who sleeps better on the road? Who gets grumpiest?
Heather: The most exciting part is getting to travel while playing music for people in a completely new continent. Seeing new places is something we really love, and playing for new people is always exciting!
Bobby: I think we're both not looking forward to the flying out there part, and just getting the gear there in general seems like that's going to be the biggest challenge. Once we're there it's gonna be smooth sailing we hope!
Heather: We both sleep really well on tour and never have issues, even on hardwood floors. We've been sleeping on floors and cars together since the mid 2000s. I'm probably the grumpier one of the two. Haha.
What are both of your favorite songs on this new record?
Heather: My favorite song on the new record is “Dead To Me”, the album closer. It was the newest song we finished for the record. A close second is “Blame” because it's a lot of fun to play live. But I'm really proud of the whole record overall so it's really hard to pick out a favorite.
Bobby: “She Don't Belong To Me” came out really well I think, with the violin part from our friend Justin. It gets really heavy at this one part that's really killer on the record and live. And I too like “Dead To Me” a lot, it's a departure from what we normally do on records and we're hoping people hear it and go “That's The Hussy? Cool!”
How do you fill a room up with only two players? What tricks do you use?
Bobby: We really try to keep our songs short, concise, and to the absolute point, and we try to play them in the quickest succession possible. Any dead space kills the energy. We also both sing a lot, and have a lot of vocal interplay that keeps the sound full. And for the past few years we've been using a delay pedal on the guitar to loop riffs during solos a lot. It really fills out the sound.
Are The Hussy fussy?