Husky Rescue interview
Celebrated by The Music Fix since 2004 debut Country Falls, Finland's Husky Rescue have recently released new album Ship of Light, a record that continues to weave the band's unique and otherwordly spell. TMF chats to founding member Marko Nyberg about ghosts, pets and magic drums.
Hello Husky Rescue. Your new album Ship of Light has recently been released in the UK. Can you tell me a little about the evolution of the album?
When I started the production of this album, I spent 10 days in Northern Norway. It's a place full of inspiring stories: how giants came over the mountains with bags full of gold, but turned into stone at the break of dawn, since they could not bare the sunlight. During the trip, I also got a magical drum from some Saami people. When I play that drum, everything turns for better. Then, spending many days, early mornings and late evenings at my studio in central Helsinki, the songs started coming together.
Any standout tracks for you personally?
'They Are Coming'. They will fetch us for a better place - new, better times are coming. The gentleness and liberation of that idea!
You originate from Helsinki in Finland, which experiences extended periods of darkness during winter. Do you find the change in season affecting how you write music – is there any noticeable shift in the tone of your material from summer to winter?
The change and contrast does feel good. My favourite season is autumn, which always fills me with such longing. Seeing the birds leaving makes me want to join them. It's often a time for new ideas as well.
Your music often draws comparisons with film soundtracks - for example, the moody likes of David Lynch. Do you have cinematic images in your head when composing songs? And would you consider writing for film?
Absolutely. To me music is like clay with which I can build moving worlds between loudspeakers. It's a fantastic canvas, or screen! Still, music leaves space for visual imagination, like a good novel can. Last year I composed the score for a new Finnish film, 'Twisted Roots' by Saara Saarela.
Lead singer Reeta has a very distinct voice. Does she draw inspiration from any particular female rock stars?
Eva Cassidy and Nina Persson.
The artwork for all your records is unmistakeably part of the Husky Rescue identity – can you tell me a little bit more about this?
I've been very lucky to have been able to work with Kustaa Saksi, an unbelievably imaginative illustrator and a good friend of mine. It's been a fruitful interaction. When I was in the middle of making the last album, he got excited about a sound of a Singapore traffic light and sent it to me via MMS. I was just laying down some bird singing sounds and was amazed to see the traffic light sound was in the right key! Perfect harmony! And it felt very much like a sign.
You have already released one remix album. Will this record be accompanied by a remix album in the future, or do you yourselves plan to remix material by other bands?
This is an aspect I have always trusted the record label to deal with. We'll see how things develop, some remix tracks will follow. 'Sound of Love' remix by The Twelves is a good one and more remixes will follow, on the next single.
Your 2007 album was entitled ‘Ghost is Not Real’. Do you really believe that or do you have any ghost stories of personal encounters with the spirit world?
I am fascinated by ghost stories and all that. But at the same time, I don't believe in the natural-supernatural-divide. Everyday we're surrounded by the extraordinary.
You obviously have a fondness for huskies – any pets??
Oh yes, I share my home with two cats. A very wild Finn and a white Siberian beauty!
If you had to ‘rescue’ one album from your record collection – and only one – what would it be?
It could only be Neil Young's 'Harvest'.
Thank you, Marko of Husky Rescue. The band return to the UK in June and can be caught at Glastonbury.