*Husky "Nine" is a homemade CD-R lovingly handcrafted one at a time in our NYC shop.
"Christopher Occhialini's new project Husky shows the growth and grasp of great melodies entwined with classic yet still alternative guitar lines. It's rare these days to get a chorus as great as the one in "Jukebox." Do yourself a favor and take 3 minutes to hear something you haven't heard in a while...a good song!"- Michael Lockwood(producer/guitarst- Aimmee Mann, Fiona Apple, Lisa Marie Presley)
Some of Christopher Occhialini's earliest childhood memories are that of himself, his older brother and his father dancing around the apartment they inhabited to the music of Derek and the Dominoes and Queen. By the time Christopher was in the Fifth Grade he made his stage debut singing the Beatles song "The Long and Winding Road " in his grammar school talent show.
In 1983 at the tender age of thirteen, and after a few failed attempts at piano lessons, he received his first guitar and from that day forward he was consumed with the passion of music. At a time when Eddie Van Halen, flashy guitar playing and big hair bands were all the rage, Christopher ignored the flavor of the day and turned to guitarists such as Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Jeff Beck for inspiration practicing for hours on end. He formed his first band, Raspberry Jam with a few neighborhood friends a few short months after picking up the guitar. Sharing lead vocal duties with the bass player, these youngsters again eschewed the popular rock music of the day playing songs by Chuck Berry, Joe Cocker and the Rolling Stones. Around the same time Christopher bought his first four-track tape recorder and discovered the thrill of writing and recording original music.
As time went on he started private guitar lessons and developed an almost insatiable appetite for learning music theory and composition. He soon turned to Jazz and Classical music, studying both to learn the basic building blocks of music. In his junior year of high school he started attending the Educational Center for the Arts in New Haven Connecticut as a music major. In 1989 he appeared in his first Guitar Magazine article as an up and coming guitarist to watch. That same year he attended the University of Miami, Florida School of music on a full scholarship as a studio music and jazz guitar major.
In 1993 upon receiving his degree he headed to New York City to pursue his original music. A few short months after arriving in Manhattan he assembled Die Laughing, a power trio that blended his love of tough, blues based guitar with pop/rock sensibilities. While Die Laughing wowed audiences around New York with their energetic live performances, Christopher built a home studio in his tiny one bedroom apartment and began recording what would be the first of three Die Laughing CD's. Upon release of Die Laughing's self titled debut, Guitar World Magazine gave the CD a four-out-of-four star review in their August 1996 issue, comparing Christopher's guitar playing to that of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimi Hendrix. That same year Christopher was featured in the June issue of Swing Magazine in a feature article.
In 1997 Die Laughing released it's second CD "Become" and again Guitar World Magazine gave the CD a four-out-of-four star review in the April issue. In 1999 Die Laughing recorded and released their third CD "Running from the Sun." In June of 1999, Guitar Magazine featured Christopher in an article alongside guitarist extraordinaire Steve Vai. In June of 2000 Die Laughing was invited to appear as the musical guest on the Oxygen Television Network show "Trackers." Other musical guests who have appeared on the show include Aimee Mann, The Goo Goo Dolls and Vertical Horizon. The "Trackers" television appearance would be Die Laughing's final show.
Christopher decided to take a break from the rigors of live shows and assembled nine by nine, a brand new recording studio aptly named after the nine foot by nine foot space it occupies in the corner of his apartment. Based around an Apple Macintosh G4 computer, He began writing and recording all brand new material, often times committing it to the hard drive the moment it was conceived. Handling all the duties on these new tunes (which included vocals, guitars, bass, drums, engineer, producer) the goal was simple it was all about the songs, nothing else. Husky is the amalgamation of a lifetime of musical influences and as such there are no boundaries or limitations set in place when it comes to writing or recording these songs. It hearkens back to an ideal that an artists sound has to do with the combination of any and all influences, not constant rewriting of the same song over and over. In January of 2003 New York rock radio Q104.3 DJ Jonathan Clarke heard the Husky song "Know Why" and featured it on his show "Out of the Box" alongside brand new cuts from Everclear and Tonic.