Julz Parker, Hussy Hicks

I feel like it's becoming easier for people, especially the uninitiated, to seek out Gold Coast music ...

Julz Parker and Leesa Gentz are the powerhouse duo known as Hussy Hicks. Their infectious energy and distinctive sound, which sits somewhere in between blues, folk, gypsy rock, country and soul, has seen them steal hearts and tingle spines across the world. The local duo recently took out Album of the Year at the Gold Coast Music Awards, so Julz took five to chat to us about award-winning music, underground tunes and having zero expectations.

Congratulations on taking out Album of the Year at the 2018 Gold Coast Music Awards! On The Boundaries is the Hussy Hicks’ fifth studio album – tell us a little about how this one came together?
The album came together quite naturally. We weren’t even sure if we would make a whole album, we just had some time in London with our really good friend Raphael White, who we have been musically connected with for many years. We just went into his studio with no expectations and see what we could create. Yeah, it went really well and we ended up with a whole album, and an album we are really happy with!

Given the different approach, how do you feel this album differs to your previous releases?
We approached it with more layers. Our strength and something we are used to doing in a studio is recreating the sound of a live band playing. For this album, we experimented with sound a lot more, so we were less focused on trying to sound like our band and more about making the best sounds we could for the songs. Though, there are enough similarities, like the vocal harmonies and melodies, that are in keeping with the other albums – there are just a few more layers and I guess a little more of a produced sound to it.

You’ve been heavily involved in the Gold Coast music scene for some time. How have you seen it evolve, and what do you think the future holds?
It’s fantastic. I’ve been playing in bands on the Gold Coast since I was a teenager, so I have seen lots of different phases of it. To see so many people in the same room, coming together and patting each other on the back at the Gold Coast Music Awards last week was really great. I think the coast has always had a great music scene, but I feel like it’s becoming less underground and it’s becoming easier for people, especially the uninitiated, to seek out Gold Coast music.

What’s your earliest musical memory?
I have vague memories of being taken to the Newport Arms in my pram with my parents to listen to an Australian band called Goal Rush. I also played the violin when I was three, so I have memories of going to some very early violin lessons!

What were some of your biggest musical influences, both growing up and nowadays?
When I was growing up I was listening to a lot of Neil Young, then I got into more guitar-focused music like the Emmanuel brothers. Right now, my biggest influences are the musicians that I see live, from local acts to people I have jammed with all over the world. I seem to connect with music more when it’s live.

What words of wisdom do you live by?
If you’re not excited by something, don’t do it – otherwise you can’t leave space and time for the things are do excite you.

What’s next for Hussy Hicks?
Well, the rest of this year will see us doing a few more dates around Australia promoting the album, then we are in America for their summer, then we’re back here playing a bunch of September festivals, the off to Europe … and eventually home for Christmas with the family!


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