Husbands AKA Interviewed / Performing Thursday 6/18!
Interview by Jason Benz
Feel like catching one of the hottest local ska bands in the Burlington area this summer? Well, you better hurry because Husbands AKA have a limited schedule, and this Thursday (June 18th) at Higherground opening for Bedouin Soundclash may be your best chance.
Husbands AKA provide the high energy, alcohol fueled, off-beat music you’d expect from a typical ska band, as well as bring their own unique style, sound, and fun. Originally formed from a group of close friends, Husbands AKA was doing nothing more than looking for something to do while drinking. However, the somewhat recent addition of Dylan Burns on vocals has infused an energy and creativity to the songs that inspired the group to continue to work on and improve their song writing skills. Still celebrating their recent CD release Swift Street, and being named Higher Ground’s Artist of the Month, BHW had a chance to sit down and talk with four of the five members of Husbands AKA which features Dylan Burns (vocals), Sean Fitzpatrick (guitar), Tyson Valyou (keys), Alex Pond (drums), and Chris Valyou (bass).
BHW: To my knowledge, Burlington doesn’t have the largest ska scene. Did that have any effect on your decision to play ska music? Or do you have any particular influences that helped you to create your sound?
Chris: Well, Fitzy, our guitarist, has been in love with ska for as long as I can remember. He had a college radio show, and him and I bonded over ska when we first met each other. He never really had an opportunity to be in a band that played music that he actually liked. So we started goofing off, drunk. It was more or less three friends sitting down and just playing whatever came out. It wasn’t like we sat down and said we’re going to be a ska band. The Bouncing Souls have been a big influence on us, and being able to play with them was a dream come true. We joked about it when we first confirmed the show, that if someone had gone back in time to the first month of us goofing off in his apartment, and said in two years you guys are going to be opening up for the Bouncing Souls we would have laughed, and there is no way we would have ever thought we’d be at this point.
Dylan: When I moved up here in ’98 there was a really decent ska scene. Club Toast would have a ska band about once a week.
Chris: It was easy to listen to ska then. One thing about Burlington, there’s so many different eclectic bands in Burlington, there’s not just 1,000 straight ahead punk bands, or 1,000 straight ahead indie bands, or there’s not 1,000 straight ahead hard-core bands.
Alex: There’s one of each. [laughs]
Dylan: Which is good because then the crowd of people are a whole bunch of different people too, and you’re exposing people who wouldn’t normally listen to your type of music to it.
BHW: What was the recording process for Swift Street like?
Tyson: Every other band I’ve been in, I have always gone through and done instrument by instrument, so we tried that. It was good, once we worked out the parts the way we wanted them, but it was just….lacking. After some discussions, etc… we just decided to do live, and we did drums, bass, and guitar all at once. Two or three takes. We did it at One Main Street over two or three days. After they were finished I went in and did all the keys, and after that Dylan did his parts. From there we sent it out and worked with Steve Foote in Boston for the mixing.
BHW: So did you enjoy the recording process or are you much happier playing live?
Tyson: Yeah, definitely live. I’m definitely a fan of recording because you can do so much with it, that you can’t do live, but if you’re not careful you can lose a lot. It can sound bland on the record.
Chris: More than anything we're just five close friends who really enjoy playing music together. If you came to our practice, or saw us at a show, we’re just as excited at both.
Dylan: It’s the first band I have ever been in where every practice, every show is just fun, and there’s no drama. No one is fighting or arguing over anything.
Alex: It’s the one day a week you’re guaranteed to hang out with your best friends.
BHW: So what would you like people who come to a Husbands AKA show to walk away with?
Chris: I just hope that after coming to see us for 45 minutes or so, that maybe, for that time they we able to just clear their mind and have a smile on their face.
Tyson: I like that, but also I like it when people are like, "I haven’t listen to ska in ten years, and I forgot how much fun it is."
Dylan: Yeah, that’s always fun to hear.
Chris: Or the "I hate ska, but I like your band!"
BHW: Anything else that you’d like to share with the folks at home?
Alex: Can we do some shout outs?
Chris: Don’t look at me. If you’re asking for some shout outs, don’t look at me!
Alex: I just wanted to give some shout outs to the moms, man.
Tyson: What? Tell them I’m the biggest loser in the band. [laughs]
Chris: Alex, is the only single guy in the band, so it’s just like ‘Hey moms, I’m here’. [laughs]