Track Marks is a weekly music questionnaire for people who make and or love music. The people change but the questions remain the same.
This week we check in with Bobby Hussy who plays guitar and sings in the Madison garage pop duo The Hussy along with drummer Heather Sawyer, who did a short stint in the sadly defunct Milwaukee group The Spectras.
The Hussy's new LP named "Cement Tomb Mind Control" -- an homage to the classic LP from the Catholic Boy's "Psychic Voodoo Mind Control" -- comes out in April on Slow Fizz Records.
Despite having moved to the Bay Area, the 24-year-old Hussy stays involved in Wisconsin's music scene booking shows and putting out records on the label Kind Turkey Records, which he runs with his friend Robert. Kind Turkey put out the excellent debut 7" from Milwaukee garage rockers Trent Fox and the Tenants, which gets its Milwaukee release party Friday at Frank's Power Plant, 2800 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., with additional performances from Milwaukee punks White Faces and the Ohio band Prisoners.
Hussy took some time out from his busy schedule to talk about not regretting No Doubt, crazy shows in Oakland, hanging with Keith Richards and his admiration for Jay Reatard.
OnMilwaukee.com: What was the first tape/CD/record/8-track you ever owned?
Bobby Hussy: Blue Oyster Cult's classic "Secret Treatie"s from the Black and White trilogy (their first three records). It was their third record, and honestly I still think it's their best. The first LP is more riffy, but really if I wanna hear B.O.C I still, to this day, put this record on. I stole this from my dad when I was like 7 years old. So I technically didn't own it (my dad did), but I deteriorated more than at least two "Secret Treaties" tapes that my dad dubbed me in my early youth (by the age of 12). People totally think this band is cheesy because all they know by 'em is either "Burnin' For You" or "Don't Fear the Reaper" ... or worse yet, the "More Cowbell" skit.
OMC: What was the first concert you attended?
BH: First major concert I attended was No Doubt with Lit and the Black Eyed Peas. I totally do not regret seeing this bill.
But the real first band I saw live is Plymouth's (my hometown) excellent Sunblind Lion. What a great band. I'll still go to see them every now and again with my dad when they do reunion shows. They're a huge deal to the people in Sheboygan County, and that's awesome. Everyone comes out to see them when they play, and there's just something really special about hometown charm that's rad. My dad really got me into the best music: The Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Blue Oyster Cult, Teenage Fanclub ... even Nirvana.
OMC: What was the last concert you attended?
BH: Last concert I saw was Bare Wires, Sleeping in the Aviary, this folk band that had no drummer but five members, and some other bands I can't remember. Good show, but the last amazing show I saw was Black Lips, Thee Oh Sees, Bare Wires for free at SF Public Works! They had five huge bouncers at the front of the stage "protecting" Thee Oh Sees. You couldn't even see the band, but the crowd was demolishing the place and getting so wild that the bouncers literally had to get on stage so that the crowd wouldn't affect the music. One of the weirdest things I've seen at a show for sure. Thee Oh Sees never fail to amaze me. I saw them a few months before that at the Uptown in Oakland and the crowd was just as rabid. The pretty great thing about the Bay Area is that you can always catch amazing shows almost any night of the week. Ty Segall is also worth mentioning, because his shows are always totally raucous.
OMC: Who is one popular musician or music act you just can't understand?
BH: Not a musical act, rather a musical "phase" or "fad," auto-tune. It's really a great humorous tool, but really? We're giving millions of dollars to artists that can't even actually sing these days? Come on!
OMC: Musically what are you into that you're embarrassed to admit to?
BH: I mean I don't think it's embarrassing, but I think Elliott Smith wrote some pretty amazing songs. He might not be the most punk person to like or whatever, but to all the naysayers: Let's see you write a better song than "Son of Sam" or "Pictures of Me." You can't. So shut up.
Plus his old grunge/punk band or whatever you'd categorize it as (post-grunge?), Heatmiser is one of my favorite '90s bands ever.
OMC: What are you listening to right now?
BH: As for semi-newish bands: Black Bug, Black Time, Jay Reatard and all affiliated bands/projects, The Pharmacy, a Mickey tape that Brent from the band sent me, the new Midwest Beat LP that's gonna slay ("Back to Mono" is the jam!), Ty Segall like always, Thee Oh Sees, Moonhearts and I'm sure I'm missing plenty. I mean the Catholic Boys always get a good run in every week or so. That LP still slays me. Trent Fox and the Tenants.
As for old bands: Beatles, Johnny Thunders, Verbena, Guided by Voices, Love Battery -- "Between the Eyes" and "Dayglo" rule -- Rolling Stones, a lot of jazz that I don't really care for but am subjected to at work, and I've been on an Electric Wizard kick, that's not necessarily an old band -- their new LP is good, but I've been listening to their old stuff more lately. Oh and Hickey! That band rules.
OMC: What song do you want played at your funeral?
BH: "At Your Funeral" by Saves the Day obviously. But seriously, "I'm So Gone" by the Reatards or "Hammer I Miss You" by Jay solo. Definitely something Jay Reatard related.
OMC: What artist changed your life and how?
BH: Jay Reatard -- I think he's the definition of proving that hard work does NOT go unnoticed, and that talent shouldn't be wasted on being lazy. I mean yeah, in the grand scheme of things he'll never be as famous as he deserves to be, but honestly in the underground garage and punk scene I can't think of a single more important man in the last 20 years. He was a completely unique and strong songwriter and he definitely wasn't afraid to do whatever the hell he wanted to. I admire that. Plus he toured constantly and put out more great records than any other single person/band I can think of.
OMC: If you could see anyone perform past or present who would it be?
BH: Nirvana or the Beatles. Or the Stones in 1972 or '73. I mean I'd like to see Nirvana on the '90 tour at some small club that was overcrowded. Really I'd prefer to see em on the "In Utero" tour at a small club, but I would not want to see them in an arena. I'd like to see the Beatles circa 1969 when they obviously didn't play live anymore, but this is hypothetical so I can pick any date I want!
OMC: If you could spend one day with any artist living or dead who would it be?
BH: Keith Richards hands down. Me 'n' Keith! I mean his stories have to be some of the best in the world. I'm reading his biography right now and even the first chapter is a ridiculous story about how he just always carried guns when on tour and if he wanted people out of his hotel room he would not only brandish the gun, but he would shoot it indoors too! What a badass.
OMC: If you were stranded on an island with one record for the rest of your life what would it be?
BH: Hmmm. That's rough. I'd probably bring "Exile on Main Street." It's a long record, and it's got a lot of different tones. It's definitely in my top five favorite records.
But honestly in terms of records I've played the most and deconstructed the most, it's Verbena's "Souls For Sale." It's the completely underrated first LP by Verbena when they were more of a Rolling Stones influenced band than the pet project of Dave Grohl once they got onto Capitol. It was on Merge in the '90s, but no one gave a sh*t and ultimately they broke up after two more LPs that never lived up to their first one, sad.
But AA Bondy is solo doing Dylan thing now and he's getting more of a response than Verbena ever did I think, so good for him. Scott (AA) writes great songs, and all those early Verbena songs on their first LP still seem to be their freshest and most exhilarating moments on tape, and trust me, I've heard pretty much anything Scott's done.