Husky Loops: Good as gold

Danio from Husky Loops ruminates on life, love, and creating a debut album.

After a smattering of well-received tracks and EPs, UK-by-way-of-Italy trio Husky Loops have just released a debut album full of musings on life and relationships. “Love, incomprehension, arguments… every single song comes from an experience I had or something I felt,” says frontman Danio.

Hello Danio, how’s it going? What’ve you been up to today?
Hi, the world is fucked, but I’m ok. Today I was discussing with Kari about the new Kari Faux album, which I produced.

How are you guys feeling after the release of ‘I Can’t Even Speak English’, pleased to have it out? Happy with how it’s been received?
We’re so happy that it’s out finally because as artists it feels terrible to keep art in. Releasing your work is the only way to find out who you truly are. And we can’t wait to play the album live.

What’s the biggest compliment you’ve received about the album so far?
That it sounds absolutely like nothing else, a lot of people said that. It’s a compliment not because we’re trying to be original and “cool”, but because we want to be ourselves, you know what I mean?
I think every artist wants to be unique. So it’s flattering to hear all these people saying we sound like ourselves.

It’s a huge deal to have a debut album out there, how did you find the process of putting it together? Was there anything you found particularly challenging?
I’m not gonna lie; we didn’t want to work on an album initially. We didn’t really think an album could mean anything to anyone in 2019, and we didn’t get the point of it.
But then all our fans really wanted us to work on one, and it seemed that in our bubble people could listen to an album in the way we would like people to listen to it.
The real challenge was understanding what a full length meant for us. Especially in 2019. It was a great journey! We released many EPs and a mixtape before, and we can now distinguish really clearly each one and the process behind each one.
A Husky Loops album is really about songs, but not just a collection of random tunes, something that you wrote all in the same period of time so it can really become a record of what you were about at the time.
It’s more about the songwriting, the story, the feeling of each song. I wrote 21 songs last July, and then we went to record it all at East Cote studios in London in November 2018.
And it just seemed right that way, the album should be a solid 30 minutes of us telling you something through songwriting, which is a strong element in our band. I just think people and fans were more used to us experimenting with sounds and weird arrangements before, do you know what I mean?
This said though; every song still has fucking sick, crazy elements going on, it’s still us… ahah. People find this latest work “poppier”, but I actually think it’s fucking NUTS, it’s 100% Husky Loops, it’s recorded live… every song has all the elements of what you expect to hear in a classic Husky Loops tune. That’s why it feels like our debut album; it’s a collection of everything we’ve done so far even tho it’s ten unreleased songs.
We’re happy we’re still the kind of project that wants to experiment with all formats, EPs are still a form we love, we’re going to release more mixtapes thought the year and next year too.
There wasn’t too much pressure recording this; we had fun, we did what we wanted.

How analytical are you when it comes to music, did you do much research into what makes a good album, or did you just follow your instincts?
I am super analytical, but also I work following my gut feeling 99% of the time. I think that unbalance actually helps me producing better music because I always find myself in difficult situations, and when you get lost, that’s when you create your best material.
When I am in the studio to me, it feels like a church, a place where I can find myself. Every moment is sacred. You need to be open, you need to feel the space, and I put all of myself in it. All of my heart is in everything I do, genuinely.
There’s also always a vision behind what I create, which is the most analytical side of my personality, but you battle that constantly with your inner child going, “Go left! Go right!” and that is what makes a great recording session, in my opinion.
Specifically talking about this album… no, we didn’t have any reference. The goal was really being ourselves. I had references for mixes; I wanted the album to sound mega, mega, mega PHATTT.
D’Angelo’s Voodoo is always my number one reference for sound.

What were your main inspirations for ‘I Can’t Even Speak English’ regarding lyrical themes, did you have any topics you were keen to include from the outset?
It’s an album about relationships. It’s the running theme. Love, incomprehension, arguments… every single song comes from an experience I had or something I felt.
Everyone thinks the title is ironic ’cause we are not from the UK, but actually the idea came from me thinking, “wow all of these songs, are about communication…” and ‘I Can’t Even Speak English’ seemed a good title to sum all of it.
We speak the same language, but we still don’t get each other. We live in a dangerous era of miscommunication and fear. I want people to feel ok with themselves. I want people to feel creative.
Also, I want my songs to be extremely relatable; I want people to really listen to this and feel whatever they want to feel. That’s why I don’t use references much in my songs; I never write names in my lyrics… I want my lyrics to be open letters to everyone.

“We didn’t think an album could mean anything to anyone in 2019, and we didn’t get the point of it”
Danio, Husky Loops

How have you found the process of putting together artwork and videos for the release, did you find it easy to develop a visual aesthetic?
No, not at all. Fucking hated finding a visual aesthetic for it. What we do is too diverse, or sometimes too specific.
And that’s how we came out with the idea of the customisable artwork…
Each vinyl and CD we sell is a blank canvas with a marker attached to it. That’s it.
We wanted people to make their own cover; we just give them the music. The artwork is up to them. Do your own thing.
It’s a great idea because we wanted to something that really expands the concept of the classic artwork and could make people interact with us. We want the fans to be part of the process.
This album is ours as much as theirs, and the artwork idea really shows it! And also we’re so tired of this phone alienation, everyone is on Instagram following trends every day, posting a ton of images every second, it’s oversaturated!
I find I can’t even remember what I watch anymore… my brain can’t take it.
You know what? Get a record, put the vinyl on, sit down, listen to it, have a moment for yourself… and do what you haven’t done in ages which is using your hand to draw on a piece of paper, make something. Be creative.

If you went all the way back to the beginning of Husky Loops with your current knowledge and experience, how do you think it would affect your music or general outlook?
I think we’d be even more human and probably make even worse mistakes. We’re too emotional now. The longer we go, the more emotional and baby we get. It’s crazy, man. I don’t know why. We probably would make a ton of grime.

What’s next for you guys? There’s a tour coming up, right?

Do you get much say in which bands you get to take out on tour with you? If yes, how do you choose your supports?
We always try to choose someone that makes real different music from what we do and can make the crowd real excited and warmed up at the same time. ‘Cause that’s what we would love to see when we go to shows.
We’re a bit bored of the usual indie band before another indie band type of thing. Wouldn’t be great to see Flying Lotus opening for Elton John? It would. Correct.
This great London MC called Fusion is joining us this time, greatest main support. Your grime ears have to be ready. Get ready.

Husky Loops’ album ‘I Can’t Even Speak English’ is out now.

Words: Sam Taylor

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