Interview: The Hunna

The Hunna's Bassist Jermaine

Hertfordshire based 4-piece indie-pop outfit The Hunna have been making waves across the UK since starting out in October 2015. They’re currently embarking on an near sold-out tour for their debut album ‘100’, and boasted a busy summer with festival slots at D2D and Reading. Add this to a consistently loyal and energetic fan base and you have one of the most exciting upcoming acts in the indie world right now.

Impact had the pleasure of catching The Hunna before night one of their tour at Rescue Rooms Nottingham. Here’s what happened:

Hi guys, how was Germany last night?

It was a good show, but we’re fucking tired though! We arrived at 5am to fly and when we got there they wouldn’t let Jack in the country, so we were at the airport for four hours trying to find out what was happening and then the police finally let him in. We flew back again at 5am this morning but he had to go to Berlin to get documents from the embassy to get back into the U.K. Weird day.

Sounds like a busy tour, you’re playing six nights in a row at one point aren’t you?

Yeah it’s quite busy, I think we have two days off on this tour, so we have done more. As soon as it ends we’re off to America for two months, so…

Are you getting a good press in America?

Yeah, we’re doing well. ‘You and Me’ is 14th in the American charts. In America it’s kind of behind because ‘Bonfire’ is out here in the UK,, and when our next single comes out here, ‘Bonfire’ will go out over in the US.

The last time you played here was Dot to Dot, how was that for you?

Rock City was slamming, and definitely the best venue we played on Dot to Dot. I think we’re playing Rock City in January actually.

Manchester was also cool because it was in a cathedral, they set up a bar but people were still going in there to pray and things, and we were just playing. It was cool, but Rock City was the best.

How are you feeling about the tour then? Biggest one you’ve done so far, right?

Yeah, we’re really pumped for it, biggest one we’ve done as you said. It’s been 11 months almost to the day since we were supporting a band at Rescue Rooms, which was our second big gig. I think we had the same room backstage actually, which is weird.

That’s a huge feat for 11 months!

Yeah! It’s mad, back then we were driving ourselves around and sleeping in hostels. Got a van now with a driver… the squad is growing! We actually got kicked out the last time we came here, and the person who did it came up to us earlier like ‘oh try not to get kicked out this time’.

We’re headlining now though, so that shouldn’t be the case this time.

As it’s been 11 months, where do you hope to be in 11 months time?

Well, the next London venue is going to be Brixton Academy, and that’s potentially early next year as well so it isn’t even 11 months. And then, by September next year we’re looking at Alexandra palace, which is like, 10,000 people. And that’s in the pipeline, it isn’t just an ambition. You have to have those goals though, like you can’t reach [for] something that isn’t there.

Do you find time to do things on tours then, other than playing and getting kicked out of venues?

That’s actually too true, we don’t do much else. One thing we always have time for on tour is table football though. It gets lit dude. Like, if there’s a table, then there’s a serious doubles match. Other than that when we have time we rest, sleep and try and go to shops but it’s tight. Next time we go to America we get six or seven days in LA, so that’ll be nice.

Do you have a proudest moment so far?

Reading [Festival] was special in particular, to the point where it got quite emotional. It was our first time playing it, first time being there, the crowd was overwhelmingly big and singing along.

Dan smashed a guitar; it just felt like something more happened that day.

One of your fans mailed me on twitter asking where the inspiration for ‘We Could Be’ is from, because it’s kind of an explicitly angry song isn’t it?

It’s definitely an angry track, ‘We Could Be’ is about the industry, labels and managements that we dealt with before the label we have now. Basically, people chatting shit at us and giving false promises, so it’s just a massive ‘fuck you’ to those now that it’s happened for us, and it’s not even a fake fuck you. It feels good. All our songs are like that though, they’re always taken from real experiences, like if we hadn’t been screwed over, we wouldn’t have that song.

Who are your influences?

The library is huge! Drake, Kings Of Leon, loads of classic rock. And contemporary artists too, like we even respect Bieber, we hate his old shit but he’s found his feet, and you have to respect it. Like Drake in the hip hop game, he’s really doing things so differently to everyone else.

“Like we always say, “raw is more”.”

So in that sense, what’s your opinion on Kanye West?

Kanye is a fucking G, he does what he wants, and he’s honest about it, he is like the modern day rock star. People chat shit about him but as soon as a song of his comes on everyone is singing and dancing to it and that’s what fucking matters.

My [Beautiful] Dark Twisted Fantasy is one of the best albums I’ve ever heard.

We get raged about it because some people will go on twitter and chat that we’re manufactured and commercial or whatever, but we’re literally just four lads from Watford, met and loved music and that’s all we do, there’s no gimmicks.

In the studio we worked so hard, spent nights and nights on it and barely had any sleep over it. There’s no glitter; like we always say, “raw is more”. We’re with an independent label and everything is done on budget. And we want to get exposed so we have to pour ourselves, and our pockets into that.

“Hunna is a nod to our love for hip-hop, ‘hunna’ is like, one hundred. Hence the album name also!”

Look at how much fun Jermaine is having. Photograph: Rhys Thomas

Look at how much fun Jermaine is having. Photograph: Rhys Thomas

Finally, Taylor from South-Wales was asking if the Hunna tree is real, and where it is?

Yeah man, it’s a real tree, and we call it the Hunna tree. So in the video for ‘You and Me’, the tree we’re under is the Hunna tree. It’s near The Grove, in North London. We just saw it one day and thought it was amazing, it’s huge, like when you’re under it, it’s like being in a dome man.

Did your name stem from this also?

No, Hunna is a nod to our love for hip-hop, ‘hunna’ is like, one hundred. Hence the album name also! And we chose ‘100’ because we like to think we give one hundred percent. We added ‘the’ to our name when we were hungover from a party because we thought it sounded better at the time.


Rhys Thomas

Images courtesy of Rhys Thomas

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