Hussy Hicks are one of the hardest working bands going around. And one of the most entertaining. With incredible guitar work from Julz Parker and the dynamic Leesa Gentz on lead vocals, their indie root n blues act is always a standout.
It’s fair to say that 2022 has been a tough year for them. Their house on the northern rivers succumbed to the ‘once in a 100 year floods’, and like so many, life was turned on it’s head. Creatively though, they’ve continued to plow on.
Today they release their latest EP, with title-track “Capitulation”. Also, as if that isn’t enough, they’ve released a game, available on IOS and Android, which allows you to play the three tracks on the EP, with each track having its own game. They’ve called on family and friends to help put it together, and I’ve got to say, the games are pretty addictive.
I caught up with Julz to chat about “Capitulation”, the app, and how they have managed the trials and tribulations of 2022. They’ve also got an upcoming tour – dates are below.
Hi Julz! There’s so much going on with Hussy Hicks at the moment. You are releasing your latest song, “Capitulation”, and you are releasing an app for IOS and Android, that has a game for this new track, and your previous song, “Same Boat”. How did the games and app come about?
It’s actually been a really slow burn – James Clark (Monkey Noise – app creators) was one of my brother’s best friends through school and we’d spoken about it a bit over the years as something we’d wanted to do but didn’t really have the skill. We had just finished recording “Same Boat” and Leesa’s nephew said he thought it was a winner so we figured it needed a clip. Film clips as a band can be a bit of a punish and “Same Boat” being such a fun song I thought it could be the perfect track for the ‘interactive film clip/game’ idea. I spoke to James again and this time he said that he thought he could probably make it happen. Along with Jordan Barrington (another childhood friend) they went about creating the game. We had the rest of the EP recorded (but not mixed) and the boys asked if we wanted to try another game… and then another…. Then the app thing came up – they got Luca Maran involved and we ended up with a fully playable EP – it also has the option for us to exclusively share demos and weird recording etc for a while on the music player. So that’s gonna be fun.
Can you tell us a little about the track?
It’s a little Indi rock-ish tune with a fun guitar riff and a bunch of harmonies. A bit of a social commentary about how much people are seemingly being herded into sides where they find ultimate confidence on the black or white side of something and the nuance of the grey area is being forgotten.
I believe the game for “Capitulation” has a ‘choose your own adventure’ theme. Can you give us an insight into what to look out for?
I think the idea for the game was a real ‘keep it simple but interesting’ approach. We have a pretty wide-ranging age group of supporters and some of the less gaming inclined found “Same Boat” a bit challenging to ‘win’. Capitulation is just totally simple – choose this or that …. And watch the world unfold. It’s also mega cute and features cameos from my dad and Minnie Marks as well as members of my brother’s band Electrik Lemonade.
Who in the band is the queen of gaming?
Hard to say … none of us are diehard gamers by any stretch but we give it a good go. I’m a huge fan of the Mario era games and I reckon I could take all the others in kart at a pinch (that said, Ali is a dark horse – we have ongoing chess.com battles)
I’ve been playing the game for “Same Boat” – it took me back to my youth. Have you had much engagement from the gaming community as a result?
It definitely engaged a different demographic of our followers – there were some intense leaderboard battles in the release weeks. Blues musician Julian James was pretty hard to top – I think I maintained the top 5 for a while. But yeah it was super interesting to see who really dove in. People either thought it was the coolest thing ever – or didn’t get it at all – anyone with any gaming background was quick to jump onboard.
What else can we expect to find in the app in the future?
We create so much music that doesn’t end up being released so having the app with a built-in music player will mean we have a place we can share stuff that doesn’t necessarily end up on streaming sites. It kinda looks like our studio so I guess it will be like a little window into the creative world we have there. Also, it could become a great place to first release ticket sales for intimate shows etc.
The game for “Same Boat” has you in a lifeboat, not dissimilar to what you went through earlier this year in the tragic floods in the Northern Rivers. I can’t imagine how traumatic that must have been. Your house and home studio was ravaged. How is the repair/rebuild going?
It’s pretty much exactly 6 months on from the big flood and it’s crazy how many people are still nowhere near back to normal. I don’t think anyone, without driving through the area in March / April, can really comprehend the extent of the devastation that the entire town of Lismore and surrounding areas saw. So many people have been doing this winter with 2 power points and no internal walls, dealing with bank and insurance uncertainties etc. Even if you are in a position to get tradespeople, who are so hard to come by, are waiting times for materials that have all gone through the roof price-wise.
We were very fortunate that with what we do we are very visible and generally with a disaster of that magnitude people want to help. So many friends and family and even strangers came to our aid in the cleanup phase and we were lucky to be able to get back in and keep the fire and industrial fans and dehumidifiers running so that we were able to save a lot of our internal walls etc. Just before we left the country for our European tour, the space was back to a livable starting place. It felt good to be at a stage where we could lock up and head overseas.
We still have a way to go and the actual putting back together of the studio hasn’t started yet but I feel we will have a renewed vigour after the time away. I definitely feel blessed to have such a wonderful community around us – it was certainly a traumatic time.
I’ve been enjoying watching your travels on the ‘gram. Turkey, France, the UK. I’m expecting it has been a great tonic for you both. What have been some of the highlights?
Just being surrounded by different cultures again has been a highlight. All the different foods, attitudes, times to eat dinner etc.
We also have many friends over here that are a big part of our chosen family so being able to reconnect has been indescribably great for the soul.
What’s the best way for fans to contact you, connect and give feedback on their gaming experience?
Come to a show – we’re always up for a chat. Otherwise, we’re pretty available through all the social media channels and through our website.
Hearing people talk about their experience with the “Same Boat” game has definitely been a nice bonus to the release so far.
When are we going to see you back on the road in Australia?
We are getting back and hitting the ground running. The “Same Boat” EP launch tour is going all over the place – October- November to start with and we’ll try to cover anywhere else we haven’t made it to in early 2023. We love being on the road and there is a lot of lost time to make up.
Upcoming Australian tour dates
Keep an eye on their website for new dates
15th -16th October | Nimbin Roots Festival, NSW
21st October | Soundcity | Port Lincoln, SA
22nd October | Pichi Pichi Park | Quorn, SA
23rd October | Murray Delta Juke Joint | Goolwa, SA
4th November | Stag & Hunter Hotel | Mayfield, NSW
5th November | Patonga Blues Across the Bay | Patonga, NSW – with The Black Sorrows, Mitch Grainger Band
6th November | Blues and Berries | Woolgoolga, NSW
10th November | Froth Craft Brewery | Bunbury, WA
11th November | Settlers Tavern | Margaret River, WA
12th-13th November | Blues at Bridgetown, WA
15th November | Perth Blues Club | WA – with The Swamp Stompers
16th November | Duke of George | East Fremantle, WA
18th November | Star Court Theatre | Lismore, NSW
19th November | The Regent Cinema | Murwillumbah, NSW
20th November | Mo’s Desert Clubhouse | Burleigh Heads, QLD – with Yeeew Burger Joint
25th November | Manly Fig | Balgowlah Heights – with Zoe Elliot, Simon Phillips
26th November | Upper Lansdowne Hall | Upper Lansdowne, NSW
27th November | Hoey Moey | Coffs Harbour, NSW