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Aussie artists
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Howzat! Archive - September 8th 2010

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HOWZAT! ALL OVER ME LIKE A CHEAP SUIT
Like Bon Jovi and Van Halen, Husky take their name from one of the band members – singer Husky Gawenda. Aside from Husky, what is Husky’s favourite band named after one of the members? “I believe Grizzly Bear have a member called Christopher Bear; I assume the band is named after him. They’re one of my favourites of all time.” Husky’s folk pop has actually been compared to Grizzly Bear, while one reviewer likened the band’s demographic to Coldplay’s, and compared Husky’s voice to Matt Bellamy from Muse. “It’s amazing how differently people hear things,” Husky smiles.

Husky launch their new single, Hundred Dollar Suit, at the Toff on Saturday. “I’d love to own a really expensive suit,” Husky admits. “I had a suit made in Bali for about 100 bucks. Sometimes when I have things to do, I put it on because it makes me feel like getting down to business. A part of me envies those guys walking to work at 8am in their expensive suits – they look like they’ve got somewhere to be and things to do! Apparently, Leonard Cohen gets up each morning and puts on his suit, even if he’s staying in all day.”

Hundred Dollar Suit is the first single from Husky’s as-yet-untitled second album. “I’m still waiting for it [a title] to wake me up one night. I don’t want to force it. Perhaps it will be self-titled.” Was this the “Difficult Second Album”? “No, not in the ‘Difficult Second Album’ sense. There were difficulties in taking on all the recording and production duties ourselves. We worked extremely hard at capturing the exact sounds and moods and performances we were after. But we felt no pressure to match or better our first effort. If anything, our first album was like a stepping-stone to this one, a learning experience we needed in order to create the album we really wanted to create.” The band also had a rule when it came to recording – to use only real instruments and sounds. “That meant if we wanted a Hammond sound, we had to find a real Hammond, with a real Leslie.”

The Herald Sun’s Cameron Adams gushed: “Husky Gawenda oozes talent”. He’s also a versatile guy, with the band’s bio pointing out that he’s a “lead singer, songwriter, guitarist and poet”. “The songs are always sparked by words,” Husky reveals. “Sometimes it’s a full ‘poem’ and sometimes it’s a line or two. I’ll often write a verse and a chorus, say, and then write the music, and then write the rest of the lyrics once I’ve got a structure for the song. This can take a day or three months … even years in some cases.”

The bio also highlights the influence of the music of Husky’s grandparents and parents, with lots of European music and American folk and singer-songwriters. But who have been his biggest Aussie influences? “As a kid, I was a huge fan of INXS. My big sister put me onto them. They had a sound that was theirs – unmistakable. Paul Kelly is the greatest Australian lyricist I know. He has an amazing handle on the art of subtlety. And Crowded House – great songwriters!”


WAGONS HITCHES TO THE US
Henry Wagons has hit the US. He played last night in Bellingham, Washington with Justin Townes Earle. Henry will return to play his traditional Cup Eve show at the Northcote Social Club, on November 1. He will then record the new Wagons album, which will be released in March/April next year. Henry is hinting at a new Wagons sound.


WHEATLEY’S PIE NIGHT
Glenn Wheatley is no fan of the tax office – or the Collingwood football club. His new book, Facing The Music ($40, Hardie Grant), documents his time spent in Beechworth Correctional Centre, where “I swear 50 per cent of the inmates were Collingwood supporters”. Wheatley quotes one inmate who declared: “Anybody who is not a Collingwood supporter doesn’t deserve to be a prisoner!”


AMAZING GRACE
One of Howzat!’s favourite artists, Ronnie S. Peno, is doing a Thursday residency at the Grace Darling Hotel in Collingwood with his new band, RSVP & The Return To Senders.


CHART WATCH
The new John Butler Trio single hits the Top 40.

Plans BIRDS OF TOKYO (number 11)
Love The Fall MICHAEL PAYNTER (20)
Choose You STAN WALKER (23)
Magic Fountain EP ART VS SCIENCE (31)
Revolution THE JOHN BUTLER TRIO (34)
We No Speak Americano YOLANDA BE COOL (36)
Baby, I’m Getting’ Better GYROSCOPE (38)

Barnesy’s new album lands at number three.

Rage And Ruin JIMMY BARNES (number three, debut)
Theory Of Everything CHILDREN COLLIDE (five, debut)
From The Inside Out STAN WALKER (six)
Running On Air BLISS N ESO (seven)
I Believe You Liar WASHINGTON (eight)
Down The Way ANGUS & JULIA STONE (nine)
Birds Of Tokyo BIRDS OF TOKYO (11)
April Uprising THE JOHN BUTLER TRIO (14)
Illumination MIAMI HORROR (24)
It’s Gonna Be OK ADAM BRAND (25)
Melinda Does Doris MELINDA SCHNEIDER (27)
Golden Rule POWDERFINGER (30)
Immersion PENDULUM (31)
Aphrodite KYLIE MINOGUE (33)
40 Years True Blue JOHN WILLIAMSON (36)
Modern Day Addiction CLARE BOWDITCH (37)
Cinema THE CAT EMPIRE (38)


HOWZAT! PLAYLIST
Hundred Dollar Suit HUSKY
Wasted SKIPPING GIRL VINEGAR
Who Knows Where CHRIS ALTMANN
Your Wedding Day PRINCESS ONE POINT FIVE
Lost In Space THE STU THOMAS PARADOX

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