“Apostrophe NOW !” – The Hussy’s Interview

“We Expected” – The Hussy’s

The Hussy’s are a 6-piece band from Glasgow.

Their songs recall the quirkiness and the pop hooks of amongst others, the vastly underrated Supernaturals. It will therefore come as no surprise to learn that head Hussy James McColl indeed used to be The Supers singer and songwriter. The Hussy’s however are not a rehash of McColl’s former band with a female singer, they have a sound, which is all their own, but one that is not afraid to draw on many influences. You could hear a dash of Madness in one track, a touch of Kirsty MaColl, or even a nod to Polly Styrene in others! Trying to pin down a style is difficult as the Hussy’s’ don’t seem to sit still for too long, compare “Tiger” to “We Expected” or listen to the quirky “Rock Concert”, and in terms of style, they could be by different bands, were it not for Filli’s distinctive vocals giving it that “Hussy” factor.

The Hussy’s released their debut EP ‘Tiger’, in September 2005, and their second EP in March 2006; both on their own label Fat Cheerleader records. These EPs picked up airplay on various radio stations, including Janice Long at Radio 2, Steve Lamacq at Radio 6 Music and Jim Gellatly & Dominik Diamond at XFM. Long commented “Any A & R man worth his salt should sign this band now”

In May 2007 the band released the fabulous “We Expected” as a single in the UK. It reached number 22 in the Radio 1 Indie chart.The band have also released an album in Japan and have had their song “Rock Concert” used on a nationwide advert for very comfortable, stylish yet affordable, shoes in the USA. They will release their excellent new EP “Sunday Morning” later this year.

If you’re looking for dark brooding angst ridden music, then you’ll be disappointed, however, if summery, sing-a-long Indie pop, guaranteed to put a smile on your face, is your thing, then you may want to check out The Hussy’s. We decided to find out what the scamps had been up to and for the sake of all the grammar Nazi’s out there (Mark!) we dared to broach the subject of … that troublesome apostrophe!

VP: James is well known from his work in The Supernaturals and the Hussy’s are oft referred to as “James’ project”…How did it all come about?

The Hussy’s: Steph and James started the band. James had written some songs like “We Expected” and wanted to do a female fronted band like the Cardigans/Eurhythmics. Had auditioned loads of singers but none were any good? Caught Fili playing her acoustic guitar in a folk club and that was that really.

VP: What’s with the apostrophe in The Hussy’s? Or is this a deliberate attempt to piss off the grammar police for whom “Eats Shoots and Leaves” is their Bible

The Hussy’s: No, it is to distinguish ourselves from the clothing label. It was intentional. Every two weeks we get e-mail from someone saying “Do you realise this means belonging to and why have you done this and so on”. We send back e-mails with terrible spelling and punctuation to annoy them.

VP: Is Pop the new Indie?

The Hussy’s: The whole Indie music thing in the UK with 4 little guys with mod haircuts who like Oasis, The Jam, Libertines, Arctics and the Beatles is extremely tired but record companies/NME just keep it going on and on and on and on. We don’t like being called Indie because we do try and make our records as pop as possible.

VP: Where do the ideas for the songs come from?

The Hussy’s: Television, books, people we know, Myspace. Life in all its shades and colours.

VP: Female fronted bands often get the Blondie comparisons but whom would you say are and were your musical influences

The Hussy’s: Each band member has their own thing and you can hear that in the way they take the songs and change them to get their little thing in. Gordy the drummer is a Rush fanatic and likes the Police and you can hear that in the drums. Steph likes punk and the Beatles, Greg- Ben Folds, Ronnie- Phil Collins, James -The Move and Fili likes Avril Lavigne and Distillers and so on. When each member plays their part in the rehearsal room or studio it just sounds like the Hussy’s but you can hear everybody’s influences. Of course we like Blondie- who doesn’t?

VP: What’s the best gig and the worst gig you’ve played and why?

The Hussy’s: Best gig – probably to a half empty Fopp records (at closing time) in May. We were amazing and played out our skins for some weird reason.Worst gig- a gig in Baby Blue in Glasgow where the police stopped the gig just as we were about to go onstage. We sold 10 CDs though so it wasn’t that bad.

VP: What do you make of the current music scene? We seem to have genres every week, nu-rave, nu-gaze. Is it complete bollocks or will the influence of the Internet herald a new musical age and wrest the power away from the big labels, whom, it would appear haven’t really anticipated the change in the musical landscape?

The Hussy’s: For example it costs us £450 to do a gig in London (diesel/van/hire/hotels). We have to fund that from CD sales or our jobs. A signed band would get that paid for by a record company. It will cost us £7000 to make our next album- we have to get that together ourselves somehow. A record company would laugh at such a cheap record. They have e -teamers whose day job it is to go on forums and hype up say “Air Traffic”. You can’t compete with that and that’s why everyone wants to be signed to a big label- life is so much easier and you can quit your job and tell all your friends how cool you are. People don’t realise that bands like Camera Obscura and Pipettes, on very small labels, have achieved huge amounts.

VP: What’s going on in Scotland musically right now? Are you drowning in A& R men trying to discover the new “View”?

The Hussy’s: We have no contact with A & R men so wouldn’t know. Glasvegas, Johnny and the Debutantes are some of the good bands kicking around.

VP: Ever felt the urge to maybe cover “The Day Before Yesterday’s Man” or “Smile”

The Hussy’s: We did “Smile” once when Fili was being sick backstage and James had to sing all the songs. No one in the audience realised he used to be a singer and so well the crowd congratulated him afterwards for doing. Apart from that one time- no.

VP: You’ve released what I would say is your strongest single yet ” We Expected “ in May 2007 what’s next on the agenda?

The Hussy’s: We release our next EP through Weekender on September 24th called “Sunday Morning”. It has three other tracks “Jesus”, “Rock Steady” and “Sister Mary Jo”. It is classic Hussy’s and well worth buying.

Links

Myspace

Official Site

Click below to buy!

Japanese mini-album
Japanese mini-album
Release 01/08/07

Tiger Napoleon Necklace Ep
Tiger Ep Napoleon Ep *NEW* Necklace Ep
Sept ’05 April ’06 Sept ’07
Click here! SOLD OUT! Click here!

 

VIDEO

“Sunday Morning -Live On Channel M” By The Hussy’s

Hussy’s Wallpaper

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

Some Candid Talking- Havana Guns Interview

“My Surfing Days Are Over” By Havana Guns

Life can be funny,… unlike Jenny Éclair. But there are many other things that play havoc with my quest for meaning in life, for example, how did George W Bush attain power, how did Tony Blair become a political Del-Boy and sell the “WMD Could Be Deployed In Just 40 Minutes” scenario to parliament? Why is David Beckham so revered? Did Dame Thora Hird ever throw aside her floral nylon nightie and indulge in rampant rumpo,… like……ever …………And did I imagine it, but was racist, homophobe Jim Davidson, once considered a suitable candidate to present family entertainment on Saturday nights, at teatime! Yes such questions are irksome but they hardy keep me awake in the wee small hours. However one question and one question alone often keeps the sandman at bay, and it is this, “Why aren’t Havana Guns one of the most popular bands in the U.K? ”

The “VPME’s” nemesis, the ludicrously named “NME” called them” Blondie for the Libertines generation”. The band themselves describe their sound as “Motorcycle Pop”, but what delights would a casual listener expect to uncover? Well, imagine the Jesus and Mary Chain complete with Peter Hooks thundering bass lines, or Blondie forming a supergroup with The Sundays,The Primitives,and The Pixies or picture if you will, The Supremes hanging out in Surf City, The Shop Assistants mud wrestling with the Go-Go’s,(steady) or Lush jamming with My Bloody Valentine. Yes if you can picture all this and its sounds your cup of tea then, hey, get yourself acquainted with Zoë Durante, Philippe Di Nero, Linda Hollywood, Greg Gallo, and Nenad “Killer” Santiago. AKA Havana Guns.

Life, as I have mentioned can indeed be funny, but also unfair, I submit, if there really was such a thing as “Pop Justice”then Havana Guns would have kicked Simon Cowell’s high waisted derrière all the way to Devils Island for his heinous crimes against music, sentencing him to the dreadful (and some would say a too harsh) fate of listening to his own monstrous pop creations for all eternity. At which point Havana Guns would then emerge as our musical saviours, they would re-educate a post-Cowell world, and demonstrate that music really does matter, it can be good and just and have meaning. And Havana Guns matter, and Havana Guns have meaning and they are good and just and we should embrace them

So what’s all this “motorcycle pop” stuff about?

VP: Where does the name come from?

Zoe (Vox): We were initially called “Hamburger Buns”. When we booked our first gig, the promoter got the name wrong and put “Havana Guns” on the poster. Since the poster was already sent to the printers, it was too late to change it, so we simply adapted the name.

VP: You have been described as “motorcycle pop” band? What exactly does that mean and how would you describe your sound?

Philippe: That was from a US reviewer. I guess he probably meant that we mix some dark noisy sides with a pop songs. I liked the sound of it, so I put it on our myspace page as a quote. Greg (Bass) actually went as far as buying a motorcycle this summer.

VP: My space, the bee’s knees or the dog’s bollocks?

Linda: We all used to be MySpace addicts, we are currently being weened off it with a dose of Facebook.

Philippe: Why are there so many error messages all the time? They got $580 millions from Murdoch; couldn’t they spend 0.1 % of this money in bug-fixing?

VP: What do you think of the current music scene

Philippe: I am not very impressed with the current UK scene. To me it feels a bit like in the late 90’s when the music scene was just awash with thousands of Britpop clones. Everyone says that UK music scene is great now because there are so many bands doing well. I’d rather have few great band leading the way, than hundreds of mediocre bands swamping the scene.

Linda: Kaiser Chiefs just scare me. Every single one of them looks like a weird scary ventriloquist dummy. Specially the little man with the hat.

Philippe: What’s the deal with NME solely hyping bands based on the amount of hair (Horrors) and amount of tattoos (Gallows). What happened to the days when “Indie” was all about new and creative music?

VP: In the past you’ve released limited edition 7”s, any plans for Cd releases or an album?

Zoe: We are doing an EP next, this will be also on iTunes etc. No plans for an album yet: We are thinking of just releasing a series of singles and EPs, a bit like The Smiths and other Indie bands did in the 80’s.

VP: The Spice Girls- “ Girl Power” Or “Pure Greed”?

Philippe: My favourite spices are: Pepper, Cinnamon, Oregano.

VP: What have been your highlights of the year thus far?

Linda: We did this gig at the Barfly and some friend of ours prepared pyrotechnic FX for our stage show. On the first chorus of the first song, he had these fireworks go off, and set the roof on fire. The gig was stopped, and we didn’t get paid!

VP: Your record label is called Cigarette Music, any views on The UK smoking ban?

Philippe: I think a spitting ban should come next.

VP: Sum yourselves up in five words

Havana Guns: Hundreds-making underrated under aged undertakers

Links

Official Site

On Myspace

I Want My Havana Guns

Singles

She Always Goes Down

  • Released: February 9, 2005
  • Format: 7″ Single
  • Label: Cigarette Music
  • B-side: “Sister Brother”
  • Writer: Philippe Di Nero
  • Video Director: Dan Knight
N.Y.C.S.

  • Released: March 26, 2007
  • Format: 7″ Single
  • Label: Cigarette Music
  • B-side: “I Want To Die”
  • Writers: Philippe Di Nero / Linda Hollywood

VIDEO

“She Always Goes Down” By Havana Guns

I love this band