Given the chance, HUSK could have probably done pretty good in the punk/hardcore scene. We had a lot going for us, not the very least of which was the skillful songwriting of Ben Jaques. Ben wrote complex, melodic, long, grungy songs. I have extreme trouble remembering a "simple" Ben song, except for the first time I played music with him (when I think he doubted my abilities to play bass proficiently). Nevertheless, Ben's songwriting also offered me a solid foundation with which I could try adding some more melody to my bass lines.
That said, HUSK, the Heavenly Undeniably Sexy Kings, never really got their chance to make their mark in the Santa Barbara scene.
Ben, at that point simply my friend and physics classmate, had mentioned something to me about wanting to play in a band. I don't think his initial intention had anything to do with me being in the band... he was talking about playing with some other people... but somehow we started playing. Ben was the musical mastermind in HUSK. This time, he was the one writing the songs with 50 parts. I played bass, and somehow started on a little bit more of a melodic route. I also provided the lyrics as necessary. But, like the case of Folk Songs (my other band at the time), we were on a tight schedule. Ben was to leave Santa Barbara in a couple of months, ironically enough, also to move to North Carolina.
We originally started practicing with a guy named Mike Davidson on drums. But after the first practice, (where I spent a lot of my time frustratingly trying to demonstrate drum beats with my uncoordinated drumming skills) we decided that we might have to reconsider due to the time involved. So, as a stab in the dark, I asked Brian Tamborello, who formerly worked with me in Jeberrekeñelle, if he would be so crazy as to accept an offer to play music with me for just a couple of months.
Surprisingly, (I say "surprisingly" because I think Brian knows that I accept nothing but the best from him... he simply rocks!) he said yes, and three practices later, we had five songs ready to be recorded, and one show lined up. The show was both our first and last, and it went terribly. We were supposed to record our demo with John Lyons the following day, and I could just see him cringing at the thought of spending a day in the studio with us. But the following day, we recorded the demo, the results of which surprised even us. Then we had dinner and the band broke up for the time being.
We got back together again for about eight hours one Christmas when Ben and Brian were both back in town, and we managed to record one song. We recorded the song a lot faster than it should have been played. Ben managed to break almost all of his guitar strings and didn't have any extras, so I taught the song to Brian while Ben went on a long excursion trying to find a store that was open that sold guitar strings. Then we did a similar thing some months later, this time only meeting for about five hours. Ben and I practiced the song a couple of times before going into the studio. Brian heard a tape of it, and then came up with the drum parts while John was setting up the recording equipment. It was awesome.
Who knows, the Kings are still Sexy... so there's no predicting whether HUSK's life is over or not.
As a side note, HUSK also had a lighter side, "HUSK (Old School)," that originally started as an acapella duo (and produced some fine recordings, I might add!). The name was inspired by our teacher, Mr. Billig, who was talking one day about a husker he had....
As another side note, HUSK almost got into some major trouble one time when my coworker, Dick, came up with another meaning for our acronym: Heavy, Undesirable, Sex-Deprived Krooners. He wrote this on a piece of paper that somehow ended up in a customer's hand. She thought the note was about her, and was planning on taking Dick to court.... Oh what fun.
Click on a CD to go to the download page or to find out more about it.
HUSK was also featured on a Japanese 2CD compilation, "No Fate Volume IV."
Cassettes are no longer available....
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