Bobby Hussy, Musician, The Hussy – Lorenzo’s Music Podcast Season 1 Episode 11

I’m Tom Ray from the band Lorenzo’s
Music and you’re listening to the Lorenzo’s Music podcast. the guy that I
talked to today I actually wanted to meet for quite some time he runs band he
has a label he records bands he does all kinds of stuff
I’m Bobby Hussy my band’s The Hussy I mean Cave curse I mean by her heads on
and off and no bunny I record a lot of bands put out records put out tapes so
we got together at his house and we talked about how he runs a label how he
got started about all the kind of stuff that he does I already knew you had a
lot of bands but like nobody’s I’ve never heard of that one that’s a bigger
band i me and Heather were his backing band years ago like five years ago we
were his backing band and we did tours in America in Australia we would always
open and then we would be his band behind him where are you from I’m from
Plymouth Wisconsin originally so that’s near Sheboygan okay yeah it’s about two
hours northeast of here been in Madison since gosh 2004 I lived
most of my adult life here I went to college here would you go to college for
I have a journalism degree from uw-madison I do I think you’re the
second person I’ve met with a journalism degree from the UW somehow meet a lot of
people with journalism degrees around here and they’re not all not doing
anything to do with journalism how did you get started like what was your first
instrument that you first started out with when I was 12 I played drums for a
tiny bit and the drum set that I bought then was a hundred dollars and it
literally is a drum set that sits at the practice face now and all the bands use
it’s a horrible piece of trash but um it’s still I don’t know people still use
it but I was not very good at drums and my dad always had guitars he had a
guitar since I mean he’s had he played in bands in the seventies but he always
had a guitar laying around and then I was like 13 I was like picked up a
guitar I was like just like could play it really quickly I don’t know it just
like made way more sense to me and then why did you start out with drums because
I just wanted to play drums I don’t know you’re
a kid you want to do something you’re not good at it then yeah I don’t know
then I found a guitar like the guitar and then started a band when I was 15
what was a band it was called death by chickens it was not my band name that
was the first band I ever played in and then we formed a band called bleached
which is actually crazy cuz now there is a band called that yeah when I moved
here I don’t know I met Heather like within a year I met her because uh back
in the day at uw-madison they had these like at the dining hall
they had like a little it would be an ad for the shows at the Union I went down
the list you know I was like the second month I was in school I went down the
list and all of none of them said Rock except one and I was like wow I’ll go to
that one and I went to that one and it was Heather’s old band cats not dogs and
I was in that band ultimately but so I went to see them and on that same night
my in my freshman college class or was my this guy I met he was a senior and he
was playing the same night so Heather cats not dogs played at the Union
sleeping in the aviary played at the catacombs and like I caught both I went
and caught both became friends with both of them right after that and then
Heather I like became really good friends with just like via myspace like
I emailed the band I was like hey I want to pick up a CD and like I met her on
State Street and we talked and then she was like hey we’re playing King club
like I’m pretty sure like Tristan and Lisa will let you in like if you don’t
drink like I didn’t drink at the time I the hussy was pretty much a sober band
at the beginning for a long time oh I was way under age I was 18 years old and
she was like but if you sell merch and don’t drink they’ll let you in so I
could go to all the King club shows that they’re play and see the screamin since
then the pounds and the commies and all these bands that I loved then and I just
sold their merch forever and then eventually like six months in their bass
player quit and they got a different guy they had always had bass player problems
the list of people that have played bass in that band is like crazy like it’s
really long it’s nine people yeah eventually they were like hey we need a
bass player no you played like I put you played
guitar since you were 13 you know like I’m it was approaching yeah I was 8 I
was 19 at the time and then I said yeah sure they bought me a bass they bought
me an amp and we we did tours we toured the u.s. we did Canada were you not in a
band when this had happened well my band was back from Plymouth so I had moved
here and I didn’t really have a band going it that’s what I was wondering I
didn’t know if you were currently doing something like I always you know knew I
wanted to have a band and like I was involved with it and I don’t know yeah
just like worked out this way and like could play the songs easily and got
along with Heather and and the other guy kind of just fizzled out and he quits
and me and Heather like cool that’s fine like we’ll make our own band and then we
made the housey this whole time I’ve been recording bands like since I was 15
and I recorded cats not dogs at the end we never came out and stuff because all
the stuff happened but so I was kind of into recording but when we were making
the first thing we were like no we needed like go to somebody that knows
what they’re doing because we had an idea maybe we were onto something and we
knew a couple record labels like we actually sent it to a lot of record
labels thought if we could get one seven-inch out that would be like the
coolest thing that we ever did in our lives and that would that was our goal
when did you realize that it’s like I can kind of accomplish a lot of this on
my own it was hard at first like the first couple years it seemed like we
were treading water and stuff but like I’ve said it this year to a lot of my
friends I said I did everything I ever wanted to do in my life already like I
where me and Heather are from Heather’s from Marinette we thought you know the
best you could do in your life was you played a VFW hall maybe for some kids
and then maybe when you got older you were in a cover band that’s what I am
from like I didn’t even think it was possible to get a record I didn’t think
you could tour the US I didn’t think you could do or the world I could just
didn’t think we just didn’t even think that was possible our goal was get a
7-inch out play some cool shows with our friends in Madison and if we’re lucky
holy cow we could play Chicago you know and we did and then the Chicago label
eventually like put one of our records out and then it became really easy to
play then another Chicago label put out the
second what labels ah the first one was slow physic that’s defunct second ones
tic-tac totally now-defunct at one time tic-tac totally was actually a really
big taste maker in the underground and it was like when we played Austin the
first time the Husky ever played Austin we we had been a banner year ‘s and we
played it was sold out on a Monday night because this label had from Chicago
which has like such a respect in Austin like everybody knew who the band was I
was like that was the first time I really was like wow like okay record
labels do matter and this is a tiny record label this isn’t even like a big
record label but like even in the underground there’s these little pockets
where it’s like sometimes people look to certain places but yeah and then after
that then southpaw picked us up were they finding you were you contacting
them how was that having a contacted me and Heather contacted the first few
record labels where were you finding them in other
bands that we love like through the underground first Chicago one came to me
science of sound did the first 7-inch actually and they agreed to do it the
day before this Netherlands label came and wanted the same songs and so then
that’s when we quick scrambled and recorded with science of sound to make
the second seven-inch because the first two seven inches came out like
concurrently because we sent them to over 60 record labels demos like hard CD
sent it with a photocopy of like onion article about us a little onion clip we
were opening for this band that we loved called cheap time and it only talked
about us and we just couldn’t believe that we were like wow we love this band
the little thing is about us though and so we sent it to a lot of labels that
were involved with cheap time and the guy from cheap time and so a lot of
times they would read that and they’d be like okay well play with cheap time and
they’re not even talking about cheap time so like I strongly believe that’s
probably how the first the one in the Netherlands cuz that guy put out one a
Jeff the guy from cheap times original bands so they just and it was up their
alley I knew like the key to sending to record labels is not to send to every
record label ever it’s like you have to know what your band sounds like you have
to know what the bands on the label sounds like or you’re never they’re not
even gonna listen to it if it doesn’t even if it’s not in their wheelhouse
you know so we were sending to garage labels just all the time I mean
constantly and then forever I was emailing I don’t know you just make
friends with the people eventually you trade them records you you send them
like hey man here’s the records I’ve made like what do you think you know and
then they see that you’re out touring and they’re like oh yeah I’ll work with
you and I remember when when I shopped weed seizure to tic-tac totally that’s
who we wanted to do it so like we were like we’ll send it to Matt first I sent
it to in the red first like that was always the first choice and Larry liked
it but he wasn’t he didn’t bite on it but when that happened we had literally
had four record deals lined up that we were had seven inches coming up for four
in a row when I shopped and I told Matt that I was like hey man these labels are
all confirmed to do a 7-inch and I’ve got stuff set up for that but here’s the
record we want to put up before all of that and because back then me and
Heather were like recording 25 songs a time were you recording them yourselves
oh yeah yeah and then from there on that we recorded from the first LP after only
the first three seven inches are not recorded and we’ve made 12 seven inches
and six LPS and all the LPS I did well yeah after I sent it to Matt I said yeah
we would always have like 25 songs we Whittle it down to 1514 for the record
and then the rest would go to 7 inches and Matt just was like I have to hear a
band that has 7 inches like lined up for all these late Howard all these labels
lined up to because we had a little thing going in underground you know and
like all those labels end up doing the records right in a row in the exact
order my way of thinking about it was is if you had somebody putting out
something of yours they wouldn’t want you to put something out on something
else how are you doing multiple things everything is a handshake deal I’ve
never signed anything I own all the rights to everything that’s the smartest
way to ever do it that is how Jack white did it if you allow the record label to
pay for the record they own it so I recorded it so it’s like I own it like I
had never really had I had a little bit of a problem with tick-tack they didn’t
want me to like transfer the rights of the record to somebody else and I was
like well dude what you show me something where I sign that’s
you own a you don’t own it man I wrote all the songs I recorded so you’re
saying even the stuff that was put out on a tic-tac you were releasing seven
inches of songs from no no no nothing everything’s always been different every
single release has different stuff on it but eventually tic-tac when it when it
starts to I see that he’s like kind of running his label into the ground I’m
like hey man I want to move this to a different record label and southpaw
reissued our first LP already so they were gonna reissue the second LP then
they were gonna reissue the tic-tac totally one and he kind of wanted some
money from that and I was like dude no way like I where does it say that like I
didn’t sign anything like I own it were they selling them because you were
touring or whether it was already picked up by distributors the hussy was on like
revolver distribution which they distribute like all the best Garage
stuff so like that distributor like my record label is distributed by this this
company it’s in California it’s in essa yeah like all these labels have are
linked up with them so that’s how it gets to a store so the record the
records were in stores you know and I don’t we were touring a lot we played a
hundred shows a year there was a small window of time that we had a booking
agent but like it just didn’t I didn’t like how they were doing it so I just
went back to doing it myself how did this then turn into you were in multiple
bands and then you started your own label the label I started in 2010 I
don’t know I just looked up to like Jay retard and that’s what he was doing
before he died he was playing as many shows as you could recording bands he
was putting him out he was producing records getting them put out on labels
and that’s a lot of what I do now is help other bands get off the ground I
mean originally I never intended to be in more than one band Heather was always
in many bands at once because she’s a great drummer and drummers are the
hardest people to find fire retarded was what they were called at the time they
sent me their demo I knew them from like Alex Ross and Eric love the hussy they
had a different band that like they loved the hussy and they like finally
came and talked to me and I heard that they were making this new band and I was
dating somebody that lived with one of them at the time so I’d kind of be
around all the time and yeah they started this band and like their first
show was going to they were going to play out of town and in a Cano show with
with some friends just to like kind of get their feet wet so I went with them
really good band and I was like man you got like I want to be in this band like
if you had another guitar player like I I’m not gonna write anything I don’t
want to write anything but like if I’m in the band like I can get somebody to
put this out easier if I’m in it then just me kind of telling him they should
put it out and I don’t know I just started playing
in that and that was fun and we never intended to do that much and all of a
sudden like yes stuff we were playing a lot of shows and like and then cavers
just kind of came out of like being in between tours and recording demos at
home of synth stuff and some label wanted to put it out so I put it out and
then I met the right guy who wanted to drum at one time and then we played some
shows around and then he moved away and now then I was like well I have an LP
coming out I have to keep this band kind of going or I’m screwing over that
record label I found the people that I wanted and they all were into it and if
you were actively putting this stuff out through labels then when did you finally
decide like okay I’m gonna create this kind turkey label and why I just wanted
to help other bands like I never I’ve only put out like one thing by the hasi
ever like I usually don’t put out my own stuff I’m mostly just trying to help
somebody else maybe get something out you know like and that’s what I did back
then now I changed the name the name is no Coast no I ran the label with a dude
that I knew for a little while and we had a falling-out and he didn’t want
anything to do with the label anymore so like I you know took it over this was a
long time ago now so then eventually I was just like you know I’m just gonna
change the name and I’d been thinking about for a while like he was alone and
came up with the name I didn’t really love the name I liked no coast so I was
like yeah I’m gonna call it that and maybe change the aesthetic of it a
little bit you were already doing a bunch and then you said well I can do
more than that so why did you add this on top of it and what does that entail
to like okay now you’re doing this label helping out other people I think it
probably really started because originally you know I was throwing shows
and then you can kind of put them all into this like box that it’s like hey
this is my thing this is my promotion company and I always made the fliers
look the same way so people would know yeah that’s that’s like Bobby’s show to
really promote bands that was bringing through to a lot of the I
mean most of the bands that I’ve ever released have been bands I have booked
in town or that I am actively bringing and like right now I’ve got I just got
tests presses back from a Montreal ban that’s never played here and they’re
coming to play my birthday party in April and putting out their LP it’s the
first LP I’m gonna put out they’re called red mass they’ve been a band like
ten years and they actually shopped me the record they sent me the record and
I’ve known the guy a long time he’s had a lot of records put out a lot of like
similar labels as the Hasim kind of floated in the same circuit I was like
honestly man I don’t think I can take on anything you know and then he sent it to
me and it’s so good that I was like nah I’ll do this like so I don’t know I just
I want to help bands that’s what I’ve always done and I don’t I don’t want to
just help my band my buddy Rick he runs rare plant which is like the most
prolific like tape label in town you know when he was starting out I was like
kind of like wanted to pass my thing off to him I actually like stopped doing a
lot of stuff and I would if a band would come to me I’d be like hey actually you
should just do it on Rick’s label and I passed him a lot of bands and he founded
most of the bands of course he found but I think he’s doing such a good job at
like documenting what’s happening in town here he’s putting out like so many
local bands he’s the guy putting out all the local tapes and I think he’s doing
that good that well of a job that I kind of wanted to step aside and let him do
that so I’ve been focusing on out-of-town bands or maybe something
that he wouldn’t normally touch because we’re homies he’s in fire heads were
very good friends when I met Heather she was a little bit older than me and she
taught me a lot about booking and stuff and I was thankful I had an older friend
to do that and I was like hey I’m gonna pass this on to Rick like here’s how you
run a tape I mean I’d help them run it get it started but he’s figured it all
out and he does it his own way he’s got his own scheme to do it like I’ve got my
own thing like he doesn’t have distribution he just distributes like
around here and I kind of like that no I love it like it’s like he’s doing it his
way and like and he’s put out like almost 40 tapes or something I like that you’re recording this stuff
here in in your house but you’re doing an analog you’re not doing it on the
computer I have a task am 388 that I use for most everything and that that I’ll
usually have the band play live in the live room I’d like to record a band
entirely live and then do the guitar overdubs in the vocal overdubs I
generally don’t like to try to ISO everything and do it all perfect because
it just doesn’t sound like a punk band and I usually I’m very picky about the
bands that I’ll even want to record I usually approach a band and ask them if
if they want to record I of course have people ask me and sometimes I say yes
sometimes I say no I generally don’t have enough time in my life to record
every band that I want and it’s not about money for me basically I have them
the drums miked up all the tape machine the guitar – the tape machine base – the
tape machine and then record that I usually generally only let a band do
like three takes of a song usually tell them they can’t do more than that and
I’m not rude about it I’m just like hey man like it’s good enough because guess
what like you know many times I’ve just let it be okay and it slid right through
the average listener is never gonna hear those little things and it doesn’t
matter and it actually probably makes it better honestly because it’s not perfect
like do you if you want to make a perfect record I don’t know why you’re
working with me is what is the deal so so then I dumped it to a computer and
then we do vocals through like a classic like sm7 like Michael Jackson Thriller
vocal mic in do Universal Audio compressor it’s classic you know chain
what software used I just do it on GarageBand that’s all I’ve ever had yeah
so I dumped it to GarageBand and then I you know I’m using these good analog
tools so it still sounds like it’s just a means to arrange it yeah yeah and it’s
a means that you can make everything you know fade and pan and do all that crazy
stuff that like you know of course I’ve mixed records on the tape machine and
stuff it’s just it’s 2018 you kind of be an idiot to not at least use some of the
tools of today like you can use some of the old tools to get a certain sound but
like if you’re gonna try to like stick so you’re just gonna get blown out of
by the rest of the competition you’re just not even in the same competition
anymore I mean every human has to evolve like that I don’t know you should try to
make things as good or as close to as good as you want them to be and I
learned a lot from like the O C’s John Dwyer told me he’s like yeah forever he
would only use the 388 and he refused to allow them to use a computer and then
one of the best recording engineers Chris Woodhouse out in Sacramento he was
recording a lot of the records and letting him do that and being like fine
we’ll mix it on there whatever and then finally what house is like you know what
I’m gonna a be him I’m gonna record play it off the tape play it off the digital
I’m gonna make Dwyer not know which one is which and I’m gonna ask a man can you
actually tell and he never could tell so it’s like and he’s just like that was
like mind-blowing to him he’s like then I switch to like using the tape machine
and then dumping it to a computer because know with what’s easier no
normal person is sitting listening with $20,000 speakers that they can hear like
oh my gosh that’s a little like if you are why again why are you listening to
our bands like you know you should be listening to us Steely Dan record or a
Fleetwood Mac record that was they spent a million dollars making you know like
that’s what that’s for but yeah so that’s generally why I dumped it to a
computer I mean of course there’s analog purists and whatever generally me and
Heather write our own songs outside of the band we bring them in who for the
last couple years if I write a song I’ll usually record it to click like a demo
like a quick acoustic or like an electric guitar direct in and then do a
vocal take and then I’ll send that to Heather because then she can have some
time at home to think about it because I mean generally when Heather records her
songs she shows me it I mean the way the hussies works in the past like will know
which songs are gonna be played live will know which ones were only gonna
record will have demoed them like practice them two times or something
then we’ll go in the studio and hit record usually record right away and
just keep it the way it is and like some so many songs that we’ve made have never
been played live like we just recorded them in the studio because it’s like
from in a record yeah we I got these twenty I
got 12 songs you got 12 songs coolest record em all and you know which ones
are better you know you know you know but why not record them all like we’ve
always that’s what Jo is that J retard I was recorded and put everything he ever
did out there is no unreleased Hussey recordings they’re all out on something
yeah it’s like when we make something it gets sent to a record label and somebody
takes it and then it’s put out when we’re trying to scrape the barrel
someday there’s not going to be much of a barrel escape I’ve been lucky and most
things I’ve ever done in my life have had support you know but you still you
know I don’t know it’s like it’s hard to get record labels in general we’ve had
unbelievable good luck you know I but like we’ve also been crushed by a lot of
bigger labels that we love that we thought might work with you know in that
that’s a real part of the music industry is like being told no you know like and
we’ve been extremely fortunate so I don’t want to come across the wrong way
but you know there’s always been record labels that I’ve looked up to that I’ve
wanted to work with that pass on it yeah so like and I live with that you know
all the time like I send I still send you know demos and stuff to big labels
and I love that hope and someday you know maybe they’ll do something and yeah
I’d like Larry from in the red he’s told me a story once he’s like yeah you know
I turned down the white stripes that sounds ludicrous now like a good label
turned down like this band that’s so obviously good you know but it’s like
it’s it’s not that easy to see when it’s happening you know for them for the
label you know they you know I don’t know yeah so you always hope maybe
someday somebody thinks that about you that’s why we’ve made so much stuff
that’s why we kept putting stuff out that’s why we keep playing show that’s
why we keep working because it is it is a slow build I strongly like I work at a
record store I’ve seen the the you know the phase of a hot band that like really
didn’t do any work they come up they get really hot and then nobody cares about
him four years later because they never even put in they have no real fans they
had fans who jumped on at the time when it was cool to jump on whereas I think
me and Heather have done the thing where it’s like okay we’ve cemented our thing
that we did and like it’s not just a fluke it’s not just we didn’t just come
about got popular cool walked away it’s been a slow burn the whole time and
everything is a slow climb like you know I mean that’s that is what it is every
every contact you make is a contact again in the future and I tried to
always make shows events I didn’t try to just make it a show if the hussy was
playing it had a it’s not just to play like I see so many local bands just
playing a show to just play it’s like well what no like play a show for a
touring band or play a show for like a cause there’s no need to just like if
you just want to play just play at your house like you know and a lot of people
don’t want to do the work of going to see the other bands want to do the work
of getting to know the other bands but I’m out there I see all the bands like I
work two jobs I play in three bands I’m still at all the shows I’m still you
know trying to see a new band because that stuff still excites me and I think
a lot of people are not in it for the same reason as me maybe you know like
I’ve said this a lot in the last year like I think there’s two types of people
who make bands people who make bands to play music with their friends and have
fun and that’s like their creative outlet and then there’s people who have
a message and I strongly am the person who doesn’t have a message my message is
like hey man isn’t it fun just to play music I’m like isn’t it fun just to see
a cool band that you like like they don’t need to sell you anything they
don’t need to sell you a political view like so is it like a problem that I just
want to like go in a room with four dudes and just jam and right now I’m
finishing up recording wash which I think is a very good band in town
probably the best band going right now that’s new they played maybe 10 shows
eight shows the records really good and then I just finished wood chickens new
record and dumb vision and those are both like out now they’re finally like
on vinyl I would wear do you print your vinyl the
one I’ve have coming I had rainbow do it but usually the chain would be I mix it
it gets mastered by Justin Perkins and then it used to always go to lucky
lacquers which is a great place and then he would send it to rainbow it just
depends on the record label that we’re working with the wreck like the record
label that we work with out on the East Coast big neck
who like I got like to do the wood chickens record and they do fire heads
house eat wood chickens and dumb vision I’ve got all those deals worked out
there a minimum for what they press or oh yeah yeah they’re pressing like 500
probably of everything like they go through Morpheus this pressing plan out
there because it’s it’s right near them and that’s that labels existed for 20
years so they have always worked with this one pressing plan but yeah they go
there it really just depends on the label some labels you know have
relationships with other pressing plants and when we are on southpaw he switched
it up almost every time back then it was took a long time to get records like now
there’s a few more plants so this the the weight has been lifted off some of
the other plants but back then he would kind of call around and see which one
could do it quicker and you probably have to pay more you know but like a lot
of times we needed it because back then we were working so much we were touring
all the time that it was like yeah we need this record out like we have a to
her booked like we need it for that then it’s really important for the label like
you know spend an extra $500 to get it because otherwise you’re not you’re
missing out on selling those hundred copies right there on that door you know
I always try to do over 400 because at that point it’s a better price break per
copy yes it sucks because maybe you’re gonna sit on them but it like I
generally only will put out a band that I know can get rid of 400 I just like
you have to be a business person and be financially smart and know that a band
is gonna to her and that is the hugest part like if bands not gonna tour
they’re gonna sell 100 records it’s I mean unless you’re extremely lucky but
if you’re from Madison Wisconsin you’re not from Chicago you from that
from New York and not from LA there’s probably not a spotlight on you so you
probably have to get out and at least play you know 30 shows out of town to
get rid of some records like and that’s the way you get another label to work
with you I mean that is just hand-in-hand with it it’s like a record
labels not chomping at the bit to put out some band that’s only interest in
playing 12 shows a year in their hometown you can check out more of the hussy at or you can just search the internet for the hussy like
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