"I really hate music," Husky Rescue founder Marko Nyberg says, via phone from Helsinki. "I have a really really strong love and hate relationship with music. This world is drowning in really bad music. And then there's some saviors. That gives me some sort of motivation to produce and compose music because there's always possibility to compose something nice and beautiful."
Husky Rescue With Judah Johnson and Lillydale. Chop Suey, 1325 E. Madison St., 206-324-8000, www.chopsuey.com. $8. 9 p.m., Wed., Sept. 6.
Nyberg's mission to channel his frustration about the appalling music pouring in over the airwaves into something constructive began about three years ago when he sat in his basement writing and recording songs he "wanted to hear on the radio." The initial versions of Husky Rescue's dulcet, melancholic songs were released on their debut, Country Falls, a largely instrumental disc that merges hushed melodies with delicately prancing ambient beats, was a collaboration of almost 20 musicians and singers who gave life to the songs he'd been penning. The album's protracted, meandering songs are the result of Nyberg's singular vision, but Country Falls sounds like the result of a cohesive live band—and now is one.
"This whole live thing started in the U.K. because there was one radio DJ who actually asked us to play in his club," Nyberg explains. "That was the starting point for the live performances."
Although the five-piece band Nyberg culled together almost two years ago to translate the self-proclaimed "comforting" music on Country Falls into live tracks has spent most of their time in British clubs, Husky Rescue is beginning to attract quite a following in the United States—a fact that was apparent at their performance at last month's Lollapalooza. The festival grounds at Chicago's Grant Park may have only just begun to fill with people when Husky Rescue took the stage for their early set, but the fivesome's sincere interpretation of the tracks off Country Falls attracted an expansive crowd that truly seemed to react to the moody atmosphere they created. Nyberg, who plays bass onstage, is quick to note, however, the perhaps extreme disparities between the Husky Rescue that recorded the album and the Husky Rescue that plays as a live band.
"It's of course different than the CD because there's only one singer," he says, referring to Reeta-Leena Korhola who converts all the vocals on the album into one distinctive voice on the stage. "The album was composed as something that would be easy to listen to. Sometimes it's not that easy to listen to an album because there's a couple of singles and some fillers. For me, it's a record I listen to all the way through."
Nyberg, who recently began to notice an influx of American fans thanks, naturally, to MySpace, believes he and his bandmates have reached a singular vision that will be revealed on Husky Rescue's next album. Nyberg admits that fans can expect to catch a few new songs on this tour, but seems adamant about keeping the focus on Country Falls until the follow-up is released next year.
"I wouldn't really like to talk much about the next album because we are playing mostly Country Falls," he says, almost mysteriously. "But it's maybe a bit more of a better compilation of music. For it feels that it's more Husky Rescue in a way because we've been touring with this five-member band for the last two years and we've been getting more like a band. We have really great chemistry between us and it's so beautiful at the moment."
Indeed Husky Rescue, whose moniker is derived from Nyberg's desire to move to a husky farm in Northern Finland when he gives up on music, has faced very few obstacles thus far in their career. Nyberg is both surprised and stumped when he discovers he cannot think of a single hurdle his band has had to leap, but after a lengthy pause he pulls one out of his sleeve.
"Maybe it's how to find good quality food in the States," he says. "That's not that big of a challenge, but it is actually. We had such a tight schedule when we were touring the East Coast we only saw lots of gasoline stations and it's junk food and it's awful. Only Burger Kings and McDonalds. But I'm really lucky if that's the only real challenge."