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Interview: Husky Loops

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Pop has, in the modern sense, being thrown about as a taboo word, associated with the choreographed dance routines and questionable hairstyles of groups formed in the noughties. However, increasingly so, pop is returning to the experimental and innovative genre that it once was, with artists like Charli XCX and Robyn holding the torch for a new generation of experimental pop. 

Bands are again incorporating a blend of genres into their music, that resists the increasingly formulaic style that seems to be permeating the mainstream indie music at present. Husky Loops are a band that does just this, blending heavy, animalistic riffs with hip-hop beats and intimate lyrics, to create their own unique sound. We spoke to frontman Danio and drummer Pietro in the atmospheric alleyway of Liverpool’s EBGB’s venue ahead of their live show.

The band are natives of Bologna but bloomed in London, where each member moved to develop their own talents as artists and eventually disrupt each other's social circle in order to form a band. A common phrase when scoping reviews of the band is "unpigeonholeable". Though this conjures up images of discordancy, Danio argues experimentation is absolutely key to forging new, intrusive pathways through sound.

“I think what we do is coherent if you listen to all of it together, I think it sounds like us. But we don’t really try to find a formula, because there isn’t one really. What we do is just on the spot, we’re definitely not going to pigeonhole it now. We’re doing our thing and I think if you listen to us you get that that’s our sound.”

One thing that is particularly striking about a Husky Loops' live show is how wholly immersed you are as a listener in the entire experience. You are their very own test subjects; the first to bear witness to their probationary techniques using a microphone pitch changer and psychedelic back-lighting. As a band, they hone in on three-dimensional expression, inviting us inside the concepts they explore in their latest EP Spool

“I think we get influenced by concepts, than actual music for what it is," Pietro tells us. "We never go "oh that track is sick, we’re going to sound exactly like that." It comes more from Danio developing his own writing than doing songs front to back and doing it in less time and being more direct and more confident with our sound. While the previous EP’s were a longer process of trying to find our sound, a longer process of experimentation, now it’s more like we go for it.”

One thing that is apparent sometimes at smaller gigs is the fear of really letting loose, something the band have taken to Twitter to express when announcing their single ‘20 Blanks’, taken from Spool. They probed the music industry's quantity over quality approach, and more specifically some of the young people working in the music industry who come to gigs and act almost dead. 

Pietro echoed their Tweet, but spoke further about the dynamics between presenting the Husky Loops concept on a big stage vs those smaller, intimate venues: “We saw our visual live show on such big screens and it worked so much better, because the kind of decisions we take artistically often are focused on very high contrasts, very focused on dynamic, and maybe sometimes you can see them as conceptual. But when you have a large audience they resonate so much, they can become more intense, that becomes really relevant. When you’re in a smaller venue, it still works but you need to create the right atmosphere, it’s hard.”

I would personally love to see people dance, I think a lot of what we do is based on rhythm and grooves, we’re really inspired by R’N’B and West African music and all those, so yeah, I feel that it’s made to make people move, but at the same time we have an element of experimentation that makes people just stand there in surprise.”

In a climate where a lot of acts gain exposure through an online presence and digital streaming, younger bands often struggle to gain support from the higher rungs of the music industry. Reflecting on this, Danio adds: “The music industry should invest in younger people and risk more, cause you never know, you might go to a show and think this band is just insane and then in ten years they are Radiohead."

Husky Loops show no sign of slowing down, Danio concludes. They're riding a huge wave of creativity in the direction of more new music: “We are writing like motherfuckers,". If you’re looking for a band to invest some time and love in, Husky Loops are just that one.

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