“I eventually realized I had nothing else but music,” he says.
Produced by and co-written with Manchester Orchestra’s Andy Hull and Robert McDowell over the course of a year, Nobody Likes A Quitter (released through Manchester Orchestra’s Favorite Gentlemen label along with Bad Timing Records) is a more nuanced and restrained affair than the palpable aggression of The Season and 2015’s Movement EP—but it’s no less vulnerable or emotionally exhausting. That visceral angst has been replaced with introspection, as Hussey has learned to channel the passion that permeated his last two releases and articulate it more eloquently.
“I couldn’t write like a 21-year-old,” he says. “When I started writing this record, I was 29. I had to accept a few things: I had to accept what the record was sonically. This is where I am. I sound a little softer: I don’t have angst; I have worry. I’m not angry at other people; I’m concerned with myself. Andy really held me accountable to the meaning of the songs. We’d go over lyrics and he’d ask me, ‘What are you trying to say? This is what it sounds like to me.’”
That soul-searching takes many forms over the album’s 10 songs, whether Hussey is reaching into his past to address personal relationships—many of which take the shape of former All Get Out band members (“Get My Cut”)—or trying to wrap his head around universal themes like ego, guilt, doubt and self-fulfillment (“Home”). At its core, Nobody Likes A Quitter is about coming to terms with yourself and who you are, about realizing that even though you might not measure up to your idealized self, your faults and flaws are ultimately what make you human.
“I’m finally becoming aware of who I am,” he says. “There’s a sense of disappointment that comes when you figure out who you are in a way. You find out what you’re made of. It’s like the first time your fight-or-flight reflex is tested, and it turns out you’re a flight. Instead of going, ‘Oh no, I’m a flight,’ it’s ‘Hey, I’m a flight. It’s who I am.’ It’s also learning that ‘I don’t know’ is sometimes a completely reasonable answer.”
What Hussey does know is he never wants to wait half a decade between releases ever again. Now experiencing a period of prolific creativity unlike ever before, his attention is squarely turned toward the future of All Get Out. It took him a while to revisit the project, but sometimes you have to detour through life before returning to things that are truly important.
“You give up a lot to do this: plans and time and commitments,” he says. “There’s definitely a sacrifice you make, especially as you get older and watch other people’s lives happen—but I know it’s good. I know the records we have are good. I know people like the band. It’s something with integrity to it, so I know it’s not worth letting go.”