09 July, 2016

[INTERVIEW] with... The Hunna

2016 is most definitely the year for The Hunna, with numerous sold out dates on their headline tour, an ever-increasing fan base and a début album due for release next month, there is no stopping this Hertfordshire four-piece. We caught up with Ryan, Dan, Jermaine and Jack at the intimate Barn On the Farm festival, to chat about the US, their LP and their incredible ride to success. Check out the interview below.

How are you guys doing?

All: Good!

Dan: Excited!

Ryan: Excited to play today back in England. We just got back from America two days ago so it's all been crazy.

What was the starting point for The Hunna as a band?

Ryan: It all started when me and Dan met at college when we were sixteen and we started a band there and we had other members. Dan's known Jermaine since Year 2 at school and Jack we'd known for a few years through people in Watford. About three years ago Jack and Jermaine joined.

Dan: We were in Bath when we came up with the name. We decided it was time for a refresh and time for a new name, it took a while. We went to a party and we were hungover and we were saying names and we were saying 'One Hunna' for quite a while, like 'that song was 'One Hunna', that night was 'One Hunna'. So that's where the influence came from. At the end of the day we just thought 'let's be called Hunna' and we put a 'the' in front and that was it!

So you've just come back from America, how did you find it?

Dan: Mad!

Jack: Dope!

Ryan: Visited places we've always wanted to go to. Got some gummy bears for the first time.

Dan: Lots of chicken wings and burgers! Also it was really cool as our shows had sold out in New York and LA. In New York we met with our label 300 and they had us round the founder's house and he's the man.

Jack: He was the CEO of Warner before.

Dan: He discovered Run DMC, Beastie Boys, Jay Z. Kanye West raps about him on one of his songs. He's the man so it was mad to be there. He even gave us our own Snapchat filter that said '300 welcomes The Hunna'.

Ryan: It was all just mental!

Dan: It was like a five storey mansion as well.

Ryan: It was the craziest thing ever.

Jack: It all went by so quickly we were just in and out.

Dan: The fans in the US were great too.

Ryan: It was incredible to meet fans over there for the first time.

How did the US crowds compare to British crowds?

Ryan: They were obviously smaller crowds compared to the last tour we did in the UK as it was our first time going out to the states. New York though was like 300 people.

Jack: I think because we are new out there it was more about having really good reactions after we had played.

Ryan: People were really appreciative that we had come over to America to play. For us it's amazing that we can go over there and do that. Everyone was really nice and it was cool to meet the label. It was like a movie, it was amazing, very hot too! We went straight from the UK tour to America so was non-stop.

Jermaine: We didn't have a day off did we?

Ryan: We finished in the UK on a Thursday and then we flew out on the Friday.

Jack: There wasn't a lot of time to prepare, it was just like BOOM and do it.

So you've just got back then?

Ryan: Yes, like two days ago.

Jack: We had one day off, rehearsed yesterday.

Dan: Also in America we had the privilege to meet Van from Catfish and the Bottlemen, and he was lovely, he was so cool! He was trying to come to one of our shows but we got our calendars out and none of them would match.

Ryan: I think in the future though we are going to hook up.

Dan: TBC!

Ryan: We put a picture up on Twitter and their fans and our fans were all going crazy. They were saying that we should tour together.

Dan: That would be a cool tour.

How does it feel to be selling out venues so regularly?

Dan: Unreal, so unreal. It's all happened so fast it's hard to look back and grasp what's happened.

Ryan: It's special.

Jack: We're really grateful for it.

Jermaine: It's all happened so quick so we are just enjoying it as it comes.

Jack: Its's good to know that people are connecting with what we do and we are just being us. The fact that they get that makes it really special.

Ryan: Our fans from the very beginning have been so supportive and so nice. Every show we play the energy is just amazing. Meeting the fans after is just so much fun, it's just really cool. We've always wanted to do this and to be finally doing it is just crazy so we are just trying to take it all in and just have fun.

Jack: And put on good shows!

Ryan: And makes sure that we play the best we can for all the fans.

Dan: It's really rewarding as well, we've worked really hard and spent a lot of time preparing. We've put a lot of energy and time into doing everything. Some people think we've come straight out of nowhere but we've worked hard to get to where we are.

Ryan: Our Facebook is just off the chain because our management feel that the world we live in now is all online. So they've hit at that and done so well with it. But so many people think that we've just literally come out of nowhere.

Dan: 'Manufactured boy band'. We've spent two years independent writing without being paid with part-time jobs and stuff.

Ryan: We met with other labels and management before and they messed things up.

Dan: Best thing to say is come see us live and tell us what you think

You recently performed on the BBC Introducing stage at Radio 1's Big Weekend, how was that?

Ryan: Yes, that was amazing! That was also our first outdoor festival.

Dan: It was fun! It was pretty cool being around artists that we dig as well.

Jack: Yeah, I met Craig David!

Dan: He was so cool.

Jack: We met Olly and Matt from Bring Me The Horizon and they were dope guys.

Ryan: We saw Nick Jonas! Nick Jonas is remarkably smaller than I thought. He looks like a ken doll like literally, he looks like a perfect doll.

Jack: A bit like an action man isn't he?

Dan: I was ill and like sitting in the reception bit and Nick Jonas walked past me and I was like, 'Oh, there goes Nick' and then I turn around to the screen and see that he's on the stage and I'm like 'wait, what?' It was just weird seeing him walking to the set and then five minutes later he was on. Not a very interesting story but it tripped me out at the time.

Ryan: The reaction after our show there was really cool as well. People didn't know who we were but they heard us play and afterwards they were saying 'you've got a good sound,' which was cool. That's what we are trying to do, just spread our music.

Dan: Annie Mac introduced us on stage and that was quite cool.

Jack: I would see her on TV and Radio and it's like she's talking about us and we are from Hertfordshire and we're like WHAT. She knows who we are.

Your début album '100' is due for release next month, tell us a bit about that, how are you feeling?

Dan: Excited!

Jack: Stoked! We are excited for people to hear it as well because we know what it sounds like and what's on it. It will be nice for people to hear the extra stuff because we know a lot of people have enjoyed what we've released already but they want to hear more so it's a good chance to let them hear everything.

Dan: It will be good for people to hear it as a whole. We've got like sixteen songs and like four bonus tracks.

Jermaine: Yes to hear it as a whole is a story and it shows what we are about so we are really excited.

Is there a theme to the album?

Ryan: The whole album is mainly about real experiences.

Dan: It's a story of how we got here.

Ryan: It's a story of how we got signed, how we got released before all of this sort of happened up until this point. It's about things and experiences that have happened on our journey so far really and we are really happy with it. We've worked really hard to make sure that it represents the vision that we wanted our debut to be. So hopefully everyone likes it.

Dan: We went to a residential studio in Oxford, it was like a farm. It was really cool. We just spent nothing but pure time on making the record.

Jack: Crazy long hours.

Dan: I was playing guitar for like 12 hours all night as well.

Jack: We pulled a lot of all nighters.

Ryan: On the last day we started recording at like 10 in the morning and we finished recording midday the next day. After we had to go to London straight away and play an acoustic showcase for the BBC the next day so we hardly had any time to rehearse. It was crazy. But worth it because it sounds awesome!

How would you describe your sound in three words?

Ryan: Three words is exactly what we need!

All: Turn Up Rock.

Dan: That's what we are.

Lastly, seeing as we are at Barn On The Farm Festival, what's your festival must-have item?

Dan: I would say wellies but none of us have got wellies. I'm saying tobacco/cigarettes.

Jack: I'm going to go with vodka.

Jermaine: I'm going with a mixer just to change it up a bit.

Dan: If we could all get in one sleeping back that would be good, we will share one. We need to sleep in something right?

Jack: We are sharing and caring.

Dan: Squad assemble!

Jack: Actually..clothes, otherwise we'd be naked drinking and smoking.

Dan: Like that channel 4 programme! Actually we'd be 'Naked and Lit', that's a good name for a programme.

Ryan: My must-have would be dry shampoo, you always need a bottle of dry shampoo. I'm thinking practical! Actually, do you know what? They need to bring me!

All: Oh!

Jermaine: It's like you're a product.

The Hunna are embarking on their extensive headline tour this autumn. Make sure you get a ticket before it sells out!