Indigo Husk are in a league of their own, and they wouldn’t have it any other way. This garage rock outfit is charting their own path in the competitive London music scene by combining catchy hooks with rock-and-roll Julian Casablancas vocals. Their newest single, “Goes Around Comes Around,” points to an energetic and creative band with a lot of successes ahead of them. We chatted with frontman Joe Hamm about what music he listens to when writing songs and what it’s like to crash on his friends’ floors on tour.
Northern Transmissions: So, three Joes in one band. Does it ever get confusing?
Joe Hamm: I mean, not really for us. We have little names that we call each other and that makes it quite easy. But when we introduce ourselves to people it happens. Now we just sort of group together as one, and it’s not really a problem anymore.
NT: Can you give me an example of the names you call each other?
JH: We switch the letters of our surnames and our first names. I’m Joe Hamm, so I’d be Hoe Jamm, Joe McLaren would be Moe JacLaren — just stupid names like that.
NT: Tell me about how the band got together.
JH: Basically Flynn [Allott] was in a band before we were Husk, and I was looking for a band. I auditioned to play guitar and he was playing bass at the time. Obviously, we left that band and started up Indigo Husk, and assumed the right order. I stopped playing lead guitar, because that shouldn’t be the case. I met the other two Joes at school, so it sort of became the Indigo Husk that we know.
NT: In the past, you guys have described yourselves as grunge. Is that still the case?
JH: I think originally it was grunge, but it’s probably changed and become more indie rock, more garage rock. I’d describe ourselves as garage rock but we’re not afraid of a pop sound or a more modern sound. It’s hard with guitar music to put it into one genre, to put one label on it. I don’t think you necessarily need to do that, it’s just rock and roll at the end of the day.
NT: Your newest single, “Goes Around Comes Around.” What’s it about? Is it directed at anyone in particular?
JH: It’s not really directed at anyone in particular. It’s more commenting on how I was feeling at the time. It’s about dishonesty, but it’s not critical in any way of anyone else, because at the time it was quite autobiographical of myself and how I was acting. It’s not supposed to be a sad song, it’s not supposed to make you reassess things. It’s more meant to make you feel happy.
NT: What sort of music were you listening to when you were writing the record?
JH: I was listening to everything really. I’m always listening to bands like Pavement and Modest Mouse, and I think that’s always the main influence for me, and with my idol Marc Bolan. I think it’s a culmination of everything I’ve heard — it’s hard to distinguish one or two particular things and how that might have affected that song.
NT: Do you feel like the music scene in London influences you as well?
JH: We’re not really part of the scene in London, we’re not really coming up with other bands or doing it with other bands. I think naturally when you see another band, a British band doing well, there’s an element of competition. I think if anything, it inspires you to do better, get one up on them or whatever. But I wouldn’t say there’s a scene for us in London. It makes it a little bit harder in some respects to boost yourself up, but that’s the way it’s been for us.
NT: Tell me about your live shows. What sort of energy do you try to bring to the stage?
JH: Live shows this year have been just mad, everyone’s been going crazy. We want to enjoy the live shows as much as anyone else, so there’s no rules. It’s been good to see, in every city that we’ve played in this year, how much energy and how into the music the crowd has been. We try to be as loud as possible, have as many mosh pits as possible — that’s the best outcome really.
NT: Do you find there’s any challenges with playing so many shows?
JH: I mean it’s definitely tiring. We do it on such a shoestring budget. So we crash in so many people’s floors, get all of my mates to let us sleep on their floors. But I like it. If we ever did get big and started getting hotel rooms, I guess we wouldn’t have to like sleep in the kitchen of a hole in Manchester.
NT: Do you guys have an album in the works?
JH: There’s loads of material, I’m always writing, trying to make it better. But there’s no rush to get an album out, I think. It’s something that kind of falls out of our minds. I think especially with bands these days, it’s such a long process, it takes a much longer time to make an album because that debut album is so important. I don’t feel the pressure to get one finished, it’d be enough to put a body of work out. I’d just like it to be as good as possible.
NT: What’s next for the band? Do you have any shows coming up?
JH: We’ve got a few festivals, a couple of shows in Oxfordshire. We’re going to record some new singles as well. There’s a lot of focus that goes into releasing a single and recording a single, and it’s kind of nice to have a break to get some new stuff down.
Interview by Max James Hill