I saw Husky Loops live at The Old Blue Last back in 2016 when they first formed. Even when the three-piece were just cutting their teeth, they were sharp. Three years down the line and it seems they are just going from strength to strength, having been picked up by Danger Mouse’s label – 30th Century Records, the band are set to release their debut album I Can’t Even Speak English in August. As well as doing some festivals this summer, they are also touring the UK and Europe in October to promote the new album. We caught up with frontman Pier Danio Forni to find out how SXSW 2019 was, and to talk about the single and video promo for Everyone Is Having Fun Fun Fun But Me.
What’s the story behind the band’s name?
We wanted a name that sounded cool, weird and different. Something that could represent the music we make, but without sounding too specific. Husky Loops came about after playing with those two words for a while.
Also, no one else is called that, which was a plus. Whatever we do, from music to art to clothes…we’re the only Husky Loops on this planet.
Do all three of you go way back?
Not really, but we’re all from the same hometown – Bologna in Italy.
What brought you guys together? Was it the same taste in music?
No, we all have REALLY different taste in music. We have three very different personalities. What brought us together was sharing a goal, which was becoming successful with this project and this vision. But I guess at the beginning we mainly bonded on bands from the UK. That’s one of the many reasons why we moved to London.
You did SXSW in March, how did you find it? Which venues did you play?
I don’t remember the names of the venues we played in, but they were all packed and people were queuing outside. SXSW capacity regulations were very strict. We’d play in front of seventy-five people and there would be like a hundred waiting outside, but the entire experience was magnificent. We met and worked with some amazing people, too.
In the past, you’ve toured with some really cool artists – David Byrne, Sunflower Bean, The Kills, Spoon and Placebo. How was that?
We were honoured to open for those amazing artists. We knew we had a chance to show what we’re about to thousands of fans. And we had the chance to be ourselves, ‘cause the people we opened for were always very kind to us.
Any standout venues you enjoy performing at in particular? Or any venue that you’d love to perform at during your career?
VEGA in Copenhagen was absolutely wonderful. We’d love to play anywhere that has a great personality and beautiful architecture. Started at rave parties, we want to reach churches.
Are you doing any festivals this year? Which ones are you really looking forward too?
Home Venice Festival
Welcome to The Village
And NEVERWORLD on the 3rd of August. We love playing big festivals. Let’s have it!
Are you touring with the new album? Where can we see you play?
Yes! We are.
The Sunflower Lounge
The Blue Arrow
Hyde Park Book Club
Bermondsey Social Club
Bermondsey Social Club
The video for your latest single, Everyone Is Having Fun Fun Fun But Me, was filmed in one shot. It looked like you nearly got lynched a few times. How difficult was it to film?
To be quite honest, it was easy. It was filmed for real on Rye Lane in Peckham (London) at 11:30 pm on a Friday night. We fully wanted the real party atmosphere that you can breathe in Peckham on a Friday night. I actually wanted more strangers to interact and make my life way harder, but they were behaving.
I would have liked it to be more difficult! But I’m glad it came out the way it did. We finished in three takes; it was very hard to choose. All three were different and great. We went for the one where you can see the train moving on the tracks. We love trains.
Your debut album is set to be released in August. What direction have you taken with this record?
We didn’t have a clear direction. I had written twenty-three songs that I knew I wanted on the album. We ended up choosing ten. We really understood what it means to make an album for Husky Loops. And understood what we want an album to be like in 2019. It’s more songwriting based, but every song has arrangements that sound like a collection of what we worked on for the past three years. It’s heavy, it’s soft, it makes you want to dance and it’s quite weird but also very catchy. It was a very different process, obviously, from making an EP or a mixtape. We were in the studio more focused on what the album should sound like and what was best for the song. I was alone a lot, just working on the same tracks over and over again trying to really give my best of what I’ve learnt as a producer over the previous couple of years.
It was also edited way more. It was less about being a live band and more about showing the public what we want to be communicated. It’s the best of my songwriting and the best of my production so far. We didn’t worry too much about making a statement or establishing a sound. We know we’ll always change. We made what we wanted to make; our debut album in London in 2019. Any other time, in a different city and in a different studio, would have made this album into something totally different. You know what? It was very important to make it sound personal. Unique. Everything today often sounds the same, we didn’t want that to happen. We used the computer, but the analogue equipment and our instruments shaped most of this record.
Is there a specific process you go through when songwriting?
My process is to sit down and go for it. If you’re not confident with that, you don’t have a song in you or the moment isn’t quite right yet. Doesn’t matter if you have an idea in your mind or not, just sit down and go for it. I consider myself an artist and a composer, and that’s the most important thing. Just focus on your craft.
How do you build on an idea?
Endless options, especially if you sketch with a computer, which is why I try to limit myself. Sometimes having a strong vision or a niche taste limits yourself. And I love that! (I know it sounds confusing).
Follow your vision and build your idea up on that basis. I always follow my taste. Sometimes I don’t know what I’m doing exactly, but I just try to be myself, and that’s my only way of approaching something.
What was your vision for the new album?
Interact with people through songs and music. Surprise them. Make them feel excited. The last thing we wanted was to release a boring, anthem-like indie rock record.
How have you dealt with the pressure to produce new music?
I haven’t. I look eighty-seven years old, but I run pretty fast.
Who has most influenced you and your music?
Frank Ocean, Odd Future, Boy Better Know, Wu-Tang Clan, and Beyonce’s band at Coachella.
Finally, name one of your favourite albums?
Pet Sounds by The Beach Boys (or shall I say, Brian Wilson).
You can pre-order/pre-save I Can’t Even Speak English here. It’s released on 16th August. Cheers.