Danny Davis is an introvert, but as he’s been touring multiple weeks in a row this year, he’s had to switch it off.
“I basically decided I cannot be an introvert for like, a month, I just decided to not be one,” Davis, lead vocalist and guitarist for Husbands, says. “I don’t know if it worked or not. I’m definitely going to need to recharge now.”
I’m an introvert too, which makes talking to Davis so easy in the press tent at Lollapalooza Chicago after Husbands’ early afternoon set on Sunday, Aug. 6. Husbands is yet another band I’ve listened to for some time now and finally got the chance to see it live.
On Wednesday before Lollapalooza kicked off, Husbands played an official Lollapalooza after show with Men I Trust at Thalia Hall. But the band members didn’t just get to hang out in Chicago until their Sunday Lolla set—instead, they continued driving in their tour van and playing shows.
“We’ve kind of been all over the place,” Davis says. “We’ve been on tour with Goth Babe, and it’s been a blast. Just playing shows, having fun and driving.”
This was Davis’ first Lollapalooza set, and he notes the difference between big festivals and smaller intimate shows.
“You have to bring it yourself a little bit when you’re separated from people versus when you’re in the small places, you know, people sort of feed off that a bit,” Davis says. “But that being said, it’s so beautiful. The weather was amazing. And we were just so hyped to be here. It’s a dream come true for all of us.”
Opening the festival on its last day, the band played its groovy, uplifting dance rock to a crowd that was large for that early in the day. The band from Oklahoma City creates dreamy indie pop-rock meant for dancing.
Chilled out sound
Husbands first started out as a recording project with Davis and Wil Norton, adding a live band in 2016. It was DIY surf rock—more aggressive with a louder sound and higher notes. But throughout the years, the band chilled out its sound and constructed the songs more tightly.
Davis says the band has changed a lot since 2016, and this is the first tour in which the band spent more than two weeks on the road. He says it all just fell into place this year.
Last month, Husbands released a new single, Can’t Do Anything, and is set to release more music in the next year—including another single on Tuesday, Aug. 8 titled Used To Surf and the album on Oct. 13, titled Cuatro. This is the first new music from Husbands without Norton on board.
“So, the new record is sort of about I quit my job. And my buddy [Norton] that I started the band with is not in it anymore. And so, a lot of it is about just how we got to this point. He has a new kid and a new job. So, you know, sort of just a natural thing. Just couldn’t do it anymore,” Davis says.
It’s the first record Davis is working on essentially by himself. He says Norton was always the person to challenge whatever ideas Davis had, so that aspect is missing in his process now—but the music feels more of his own.
“I was having to just figure out how to push myself without that outside force challenge,” Davis says. “A lot of the songs came from older stuff, but it did all happen quickly. It’s probably the most personal record I’ve had, because before I tried to speak for the both of us and now, I’m speaking for myself.”
Davis tries to make positive music, reassuring listeners to not sweat the small stuff. He allows people to find a way to frame their perspective and twist it, so they see the positives in life, too. Music is an outlet for him to reframe his own mindset, but it’s also a part of him.
“I got a guitar when I was in seventh grade. And it’s just the most fulfilling activity in the whole world. To me, it’s like I must do it. So just the need to do it drives me to do it, because I love it so much,” Davis says. It’s also seeing people react to it. You spend all the time alone by yourself making it and then you get to see people vibing with it and connecting to it and part of it that drives it is just wanting to connect with people.”
Davis’ favorite artist now is Toronto-based pop-rock band Alvvays, and lucky enough after our interview, he was heading to catch their set at Lollapalooza. It’s a special thing to witness a musician so grateful to perform their own music, and then get to soak up other music around them. That’s an artist through and through.
Keep up with Husbands here.