Official Bio for Press Purposes

Hussalonia is a “pop music cult” owned by Nefarico™, a soap company. It is largely the work of one, prolific, multi-instrumentalist, home-recording artist (known only as the Hussalonia Founder) who creates concise, literate, art-pop in the spirit of ‘60s beat and record-store-clerk-indie-post-punk-singer-songwriter-whatever-ness.

 

Why does Hussalonia call itself a cult?

It is a matter of semantics. People often use the term "band," or simply "group" to refer to a conglomerate of musicians who write music together. But in the traditional sense, Hussalonia is neither a band nor a group; Hussalonia is mostly the work of one person – the Founder.


In the early 2000s, as the music industry struggled to compete with illegal downloading, the Founder became somewhat disillusioned with the increasingly crass commercialism of music. Bands, desperate to market themselves without the aid of record labels, began using social-networking websites to promote themselves. This created a culture of desperation, as thousands of bands struggled to get noticed in an increasingly vast sea of unknown musicians. The Founder's decision to begin using the word "cult" was made in an effort to distance himself from this somewhat sad and pathetic culture of music marketing. This coincided with the founder's decision to cease active promotion of his music.


Hussalonia's music is not easily defined by one genre. The founder has released acoustic-based albums, electronic-influenced albums, power-pop-influenced albums, a metal album, albums with robot singers, albums of soap commericials, and an album of experimental sound collage. Using the word "cult" is an act of liberation from the confining restrictions that the word "band" can be burdened with. Though the word "cult" is a somewhat exotic (if not humorous) way to describe a musical project, it is really no different than the modern day concept of a "band" or "group." Think of your favorite band and reconsider them a cult. Like a cult, every band has a "founder" as well as loyal followers. One can argue that the idol worship of pop stars and/or bands sometimes exceeds the fanaticism one might expect from a cult. The only difference between the two words in relation to their meanings is the negative connotation "cult" has when compared to the rather benign word "band." It is the founder's love for words and their complex relationship to our lives that finally confirmed his status as a cult founder.


Finally, phrases like "cult following," "cult status," or "cult success" are often used to describe artists who enjoy levels of success below the radar of mainstream culture. The Founder has historically been most fond of artists who enjoy this type of underground success. And so it is with a certain sense of self-deprecation that the term "cult" was embraced. Hussalonia, with its esoteric projects and unpredictable trajectory, has been preordained for a type of cult-status success ordinarily relegated to the world's most misunderstood artists.

 

Since Hussalonia is a cult, does it have any guiding beliefs?

 

Yes, and here they are.


Pop does not mean popular
The phrase "pop does not mean popular" refers to the etymology of the phrase “pop music” and its discordance with our contemporary perceptions of the word. “Pop” was initially an abbreviation for “popular,” distinguishing the lowbrow music of commoners from the respected, highbrow music of the wealthy, such as classical or sacred music. From the 1940s to the 1960s, the term “pop music” became increasingly linked with the music of teenagers – beginning with crooners like Frank Sinatra and then eventually rock and roll, beat music, R&B, and the music written by the Brill Building songwriters. Today, people often link the term “pop music” with the fabricated, overly-produced sounds of top 40 singers. Historically, the term “pop music” denoted popularity, but it also connoted lowbrow, mainstream tastes. An enthusiastic appreciator of popular culture, The Hussalonia Founder resents this division between high and low culture. The fact of the matter is this: hundreds of thousands of bands/songwriters who make what we call “pop music” will forever toil in complete obscurity. They will never be popular, and in this sense the term “pop music” can be a misnomer; it has nothing to do with popularity. In fact, pop music may even display an inverse relationship with mainstream tastes. It is with this rich meaning that The Founder embraces the term “pop music” to describe what he does.

 

Balance production and consumption
We live in an era of heightened consumer culture, an era in which we are constantly subjected to advertisements. Even our most intimate interactions with friends and family on social media are mottled with sponsored posts and brash messages revealing which of your friends have “liked” some department store or chain restaurant. Greater consumption of goods, services, and content seems to be everyone’s ultimate goal. But what of production? There was a time when people built instead of bought. There was a time when, if you wanted to hear music, you had to play it on an instrument yourself. Today, so much has been prepared for us, and made so readily accessible, that it can seem outright foolish to do-it-yourself. But imagine filling your car’s gas tank, only to let it idle in your driveway, awaiting its next fueling. This how most people live: consuming movies and songs and print content, only to leave their minds idle, awaiting more content. Embrace the DIY ethic! Don’t just take — make! Contribute to the ageless ecosystem of ideas! In order to make worthwhile art, one must study (or consume) the art of others. But to only consume others’ ideas, and not generate your own, is a kind of intellectual gluttony. The Hussalonia founder lives his life actively trying to balance production and consumption. He consumes books and movies and music to stimulate the production of his own music, hoping that it will, in turn, inspire others to produce their own works of art. It’s a beautiful reciprocal cycle, one that you, too, can join!


Follow the muse blindly.
The Hussalonia Founder recognizes that he has created something unwieldy, something somewhat difficult to explain to the newcomer: the cult, the soap company, the countless albums of jingles and robots and metal and folk and lo-fi pop and sound collage. In this way, he’s guaranteed himself a life of artistic obscurity. What of it? For him, art is a form of therapy, a way to cope with stress and anxiety and depression, a way to sort through memory and tell stories, a way to have fun and preserve one’s inner child. It’s a personal journey, not a marketing strategy. To confine this journey to something palatable for mass-consumption is a kind of artistic suicide. The Founder believes in seeing his artistic whims to their logical conclusion, no matter how unfavorable or alienating the result may be to the outsider. Like a man walking around with a divining rod, he will go wherever his artistic impulses take him, for art will reveal the truth, if you will only let it.

 

What does the name Hussalonia mean?

The name was taken from a series of stories written in Polish by the Founder's grandfather. It is a country, a family, and a cult. The name significantly implies the word "alone" in the center, yet the "onia" suffix suggests a republic of people. The stories were intentionally burned by his grandfather just before his passing.

 

Why are Hussalonia's songs so short?

We'll let the Hussalonia Founder respond to this one. He recently listed his top five reasons for writing short songs in an email exchange with a colleague. The Founder wrote:

  1. As a listener, I love what a too-short song does to me. There's this feeling of, "What just happened?" It's exciting and also a little confusing, like an amusement park ride. And isn't that entertainment? People will stand in line for hours just to experience 45 seconds of pleasure. The engineers who design these thrilling devices know this: it is better to be unsatisfied than it is to be dissatisfied.
  2. To me, there is no greater experience than wanting more of something. 'Tis better to be unsatisfied than dissatisfied. It is what propels us forward in our lives. And in the larger picture, there are so few moments that we wish we could prolong. So in these treasured moments, there is also a note of sadness. Desire and sadness. I want to capture that in my music.
  3. The shorter the song, the more mysterious it can be. It's gone before you can truly get a chance to know it. And no matter how many times you play a short song, it seems (at least to me) to retain its mystery.
  4. Short songs add a sense of urgency. I want the listener to get the feeling that my songs have some important business to attend to and there just isn't time to dilly dally around with long intros or choruses senselessly repeating.
  5. Finally, there is the old showbiz adage, leave 'em wanting more. Of course this doesn't account for the sheer volume of my short songs. Whatever.

What is Nefarico™?

Nefarico™ is a soap company that purchased Hussalonia in 2011. One of the stipulations of this ruthless, corporate buyout was that the Hussalonia Founder was disavowed use of his name or likeness in association with Hussalonia. As a result, all evidence of his name and face was removed from this site in January 2011. It is widely believed that Nefarico™ purchased Hussalonia in order to employ the Founder to write commercial jingles for their fine luxury soaps. When, in April 2011, the Founder refused to participate in the production of a two-hour radio play that was, in fact, a thinly-disguised, two-hour commercial for Nefarico™ soap products, Nefarico™ "deleted" the entire Hussalonia back catalog and removed this site from the Internet. It was during this period that the Founder began releasing material under an undisclosed psuedonym on another website.

 

Scores of angry letters from Hussalonia fans forced Nefarico™ to reconsider the harshness of its actions, and in the fall of 2012, Nefarico™ unleashed a new Hussalonia website, albeit with an abbreviated Hussalonia discography and Nefarico™ advertisements throughout the site. While the Founder never did participate in the Nefarico™-themed soap opera, he did resolve himself to writing scores of Nefarico™ jingles, many of which were released on the contractually-obligated Hussalonia LP, Nefarico Jingles.

 

Can I use a Hussalonia song in my movie/tv show/art project/website?

Probably. Just contact us and ask. Remember, not all Hussalonia releases are public domain and most are published under a non-commercial Creative Commons license. Please note that remixes will not be possible as the Hussalonia Founder erases all his masters once they are mixed.

 

Where is the Hussalonia Founder from?

Buffalo, NY, United States

 

Does Hussalonia tour? Will they play a show in my town?

Probably not. The Hussalonia Founder rarely plays shows in his own hometown of Buffalo, NY. So the likelihood of him traveling a long distance to play in your town seems improbable. However, serious offers will be considered.

 

How can I help Hussalonia?

Good, old-fashioned encouragement always helps. You can send us your encouraging words and Hussalonia-related stories by visiting the Contact page.

 

You may also donate money by clicking the button below. You can fill in any amount you like. Alternately, you can send funds via PayPal to hussalonia (at) gmail.com.