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Interview: The Hunna


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Medieval knights drinking red wine, saving damsels in distress, defeating evil and fighting dragons.

This is what you’d see if The Hunna was a film.

"Frodo’s in it as well," says Ryan Potter (vocals/guitar). "There’s a ring here and there. We’d puff with Gandalf."

"And we can fly," he adds.

‘"t’s a mix of King Arthur, Lord of the Rings, Disney, and maybe even half-cartoon…"

"Like Mary Poppins," says Jack Metcalfe (drums).

"Mary Poppins kind of scared me when I was little, so let’s steer away from that," says Ryan.

"Alright," Jack says, "no Mary Poppins, then."

While cinematically implausible, this eclectic mix of film is a pretty good introduction to the Hertfordshire quintet, completed by guitarist Dan Dorney and bassist Jermaine Angin.

They’re eager to charge out into the world, ready to take on whatever comes their way and show everyone what they’ve got. There’s a youthful enthusiasm about them, a fresh kind of determination.

There’s a knightly brotherhood between them, too.

The four lads are like a family; they finish each other’s sentences and stories, constantly joking with one another. Each member has their role in the Hunna family – consulting their Tour Manager, the band decide that Dan is the most sensible, Ryan is "the flirty dirty uncle, carrying a bottle of red wine around", Jermaine is "the naughty one", and Jack is "the Mummy’s boy".

It seems, however, that the drummer might also be in the running for another title. A few minutes later when a ring is found left in the toilet, a sheepish Jack runs out retrieve it, leaving his bandmates falling about laughing.

"You know, before we went on tour, he actually dropped his phone in the toilet," says Ryan.

"He had no phone for the whole of Europe," says Jermaine.

As well as music, the lads also bond through sport – Jack tells me that they love to play football. There’s video evidence of this, too, in the form of a rather cracking ‘squad goal’ scored by Jack and Ryan.

"It actually went online and got about 7,000 views!" says Ryan.

"Can’t just play guitar. Can give football lessons too, if needs be," he continues. "And we are ready for that charity match – you know, when Gordon Ramsay and all those people play. The rest of the world versus The Hunna."

The band’s name comes from their hip-hop and rap influences. For anyone (like me) not as down with the slang as The Hunna, ‘1Hunna’ is essentially a rap version of ‘100’ - see 2 Chainz’s sketchy lyrical pronunciation.

Which rapper, then, would they collaborate with, if given the chance?

They’re quick to name Drake, but Kanye West (aka Yeezy) is a close second, followed by Wiz Khalfia. And what would the track sound like?

"Psychedelic," says Jermaine.

"Really chill verses, and big choruses," says Dan.

"And swag," Ryan grins.

But despite their carefree and cool attitude, things weren’t always fun, games and swag for the band.

"We went through some tough, dark times before all of this – about two years ago," says Jermaine. "There were so many obstacles."

Prior to officially emerging as The Hunna in October last year, the quintet spent a long time scraping by, writing without any money and being turned down by labels. This is the main inspiration behind the band’s single, ‘We Could Be’.

"[It’s] about a few managers and labels that took interest in us but then fucked as around," Ryan explains.

"They blew hot and cold," says Dan.

"But we learnt from it," says Jack.

Indeed they did. The Hunna turn negative energies into a blazing live show, using past knockbacks and dark personal times to fuel soaring, guitar-driven belters. They work hard and play hard – and above all, their main focus is writing music with a meaning.

"We don’t like to push inspiration that much, because if you do that, you’ll just end up writing shit music," says Ryan.

"And it doesn’t mean anything when you do that," says Dan. "It’s missing something."

"It’s got to come from a genuine place. It’s got to make you feel something. If it doesn’t make you feel a certain emotion, then we’ll scrap it," says Jermaine.

It’s been a whirlwind six months for the band since their inception. Their debut single, ‘Bonfire’, was produced by Tim Larcombe (Lana Del Rey, Halsey) and mixed by Dan Grech (Wolf Alice, Circa Waves).

Following its release, The Hunna headed out on a UK tour with Coasts, playing their debut London show at the iconic Shepherd’s Bush Empire. This year, they’ve already toured Europe, and are set to take on America, as well as playing another run of bigger UK dates across May and June. If that wasn’t enough, there’s a full-length debut album coming later this year, too.

"It’ll be Hunna Mania," Ryan says. 

With their ever-growing army of fans behind them – known collectively as The Hunna Squad – Hunna Mania certainly looks set to take over. The band have a particularly strong connection with their fans, something they always hoped to achieve.

"We wanted to spread it and keep spreading it. Without [The Hunna Squad] we wouldn’t be in this situation. We wouldn’t be able to go to Europe, we wouldn’t be selling out shows here," says Ryan.

"It’s amazing hearing people sing our songs back that we’ve worked on – and those songs mean a lot to us because they’re about real stuff that we’ve been through. So, they’re everything. Without them we wouldn’t be here.

"It’s so nice meeting them as well," he adds.

"They’re all lovely," says Jermaine.

"They all get it – that we’re just mates playing music," says Jack.

Mates playing music they may be. But these four mates are about to saddle up and ride out on a pretty big adventure.

And you’ll hear about it.

Read our review of The Hunna's show at Southampton's Joiners here

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