‘Every time we change everyone freaks out, but it’s just because we want to do everything, and we love everyone,’ says Husky Loops Danio.
The band have been keeping listeners on their toes since their formation following a move from their native Bologna to London.
Comprised of Danio (vocals & guitar), Pietro (drums & samples) and Tommaso (bass), the trio released their debut track Dead in 2016 and have been enjoying a steady incline ever since.
Taking an unconventional approach to rock music, the band have shaped a unique take on contemporary pop, to the intrigue on an increasing fanbase.
Following the release of the self-titled EP, their unique perspective earned them support slots for acts like Sunflower Bean, The Kills, Yak and Estrons.
On the eve of the release of their debut long player, I Can’t Even Speak English, the band are set to embark on a UK and European headline tour.
We caught up with Danio for a chat about the band’s journey from Italy to the UK, their inspirations, processes and more…
How did the band form?
We’re all from Bologna, originally and we moved to London. When we realised we were all there it just felt natural to start a band really. We were all in different bands before and then we gravitated towards each other.
What’s your take on the UK’s music scene and have you felt welcomed into it since moving to London?
Massively. We’ve always been fans of the music from the UK, that’s primarily the reason why we moved to the here. We’ve always been really into UK bands, the obvious classic bands from the sixties and seventies. And then the eighties and Blur in the nineties. All the indie scene of the 2000s, we we’re like, ‘that’s amazing.’ Since we moved to England we stopped being into that world and we understood what the grime world was. We got into UK hip hop and grime. The UK has a massive influence on what we do, and I love it.
How does it compare to Italy’s scene?
It’s very different and very hard to explain. It’s a different culture. I personally love Italian music, the classic pop music that we have; Lucio Battisti, Luigi Tenco and other singers from the seventies. They were making this amazing, beautiful real Italian form of pop music, in Italian, obviously. But Italy has never really… when they started copying what the US and the UK were doing it went downhill from there. But it’s just a very different culture for music in general, it doesn’t have any of the scenes that you have over here. The energy and the industry are very different.
How would you describe your music to the uninitiated?
It’s always a very hard question because we try not to identify ourselves to any genre or scene, we kind of do our own thing. We make the music that we want to listen to, and we make the music that people need out there. If I had to describe it somehow – we’re about to release an album called I Can’t Even Speak English, this album specifically I would say is based on repetition and loops, but there’s also a very strong form of songwriting on top of it and that clashes with the rudeness of the grooves and the beat.
Who or what are your primary inspirations?
That’s also a very hard question [laughs] because the reality is that we love everything. I think that’s why our music is so open. We’ve changed every time and people are still not used to that. Every time we change everyone freaks out, but it’s just because we want to do everything, and we love everyone.
I would say in the past five years the people we love the most are, luckily, actually contemporary people alive now. To name a few, Frank Ocean is definitely one of them, we think he’s one of the best songwriters in the world right now and Kendrick Lamar is pushing music forwards. I think Solange is making incredible albums and Boy Better Know in England are just amazing, everything they do is just super cool. We are actually working with Jammer these days, he’s great.
How do Husky Loops tracks start life?
They all start is a different way. The process is really mixed, we don’t have a formula. Again, this album was more based on songwriting than the previous albums we released. A lot of stuff just started with a drumbeat; it really just depends on what we want to communicate with each song. It can start from a drumbeat, it can start from lyrics, it can start from a jam, or it can start from a classic form, like I write a song and we arrange it together. Very different, very mixed. I hardly know what to expect, but that’s the beauty of it, right? When we start something, I have no idea where it’s going to go.
What’s the thinking behind your debut album, I Can’t Even Speak English?
We wanted to make an album that kind of broke the rules of contemporary music, mainly of the band scene, if you can call it a scene. We didn’t want people to be able to listen to it and put it in a box, like this is indie rock, or this is hip hop, or this is whatever. We just wanted to make something that was really modern in the sense that it’s mixed.
The title came from this idea that in London, particularly today, immigration is what makes it London. The diversity of the culture is what makes it London. Not being from England we thought it was kind of amazing to call it I Can’t Even Speak English because it’s really representative of the music that we do, which is very varied. In a way, also, every song is about relationships and communication. But we’re still living in a world where we find people are still so bad at communicating with each other. And that’s another interpretation of the title, which is we can all speak the same language, but we still can’t really communicate.
Who came up with the idea for fans to draw their own album covers?
I don’t want to sound like a rock star when I say we’re breaking rules [laughs], but that’s kind of what I mean. We have this amazing responsibility and privilege of being in London, which is an expensive city, and making what we like, and we want to make the best out of it.
We don’t just want to put an image out there, so we came up with the idea to expand the concept of album artwork with something that everyone could be part of. We wanted the fans to feel like it is their album. You can customise it, you can draw on it, you can make it yours.
You’ve got a UK and European tour coming up, what can we expect from the shows?
We’re still working on it but, again, it’s going to be very different from what people have seen before, because we need to change to please ourselves and to make it harder [laughs]. We’re going to perform the entirety of the album live, pretty much, plus some of the old songs. But we really want to perform the new material because we’ve been touring the EPs for more than a year. We’re really excited to play the new songs and to show something different to people.
During that process, how do you find your music has evolved since the earlier stuff you put out?
I think it’s more influenced by the modern age, not in the way that it’s following a trend, or we want to sound modern. It’s just that we’ve gone from being a band that makes things between friends in a room to really trying to understand the world we live in and the environment around us and being influenced by the people around us. Jammer from BBK, Supernorganism, we’ve worked with them as well, so we find that that really influenced us. We’re more aware of the world around us today. When we first started, which I think is natural for a band, we’ve always been into contemporary music, but it was like, let’s just get our instruments and get into a room and make something special, but we don’t really care about what’s outside. Today is more about living and seeing things.
Following the tour, what’s next for Husky Loops?
We’re already working on another full-length. We have all the music written already but we still don’t know what it’s going to be. I think we’re probably going to release something with our collaborations, which we like doing as well. We just don’t know whether we’re going to call it Album 2 or Mixtape or whatever. We just like to record all the time.
I Can’t Even Speak English is out via Fighting Ourselves on 6 September.
Forthcoming tour dates:
October 9 Jimmy’s, Manchester
October 10 The Sunflower Lounge, Birmingham
October 11 The Blue Arrow, Glasgow
October 12 Hyde Park Book Club, Leeds
October 16 & 17 Bermondsey Social Club, London
October 19 The Joiners, Southampton