Tonight The Hunna are continuing their sell-out tour in Leeds at the Wardrobe. The Hertfordshire quartet are a band who have had rapid success over the past year and are continuing their ascent. I had the privilege to chat with the band; lead singer Ryan Potter (Valentino), lead guitarist Dan Dorney (Beady 100), bassist Jermain Angin (Prince) and drummer Jack Metcalfe (IK).
We began the conversation with the age old question of how the four of them met and started the band:
Dan: I met Ryan at college when we were 16 and we decided to start a band. I’ve known Jermaine since year 2 and we knew Jack locally, he’s the best drummer around. We all formed a band, played for years, got signed, spent two years writing, released an album and now we’re here!
And how are you feeling after releasing the album and sell-out tour?
Ryan: Every night has been really good.
Something I’ve always wanted to know about bands playing shows every night whilst drinking copious amounts of beer is how they cope. Are the hangovers manageable?
Dan: We have our tactics.
Jack: We’ve learned to tone it down.
Ryan: We usually get pretty blazed then as you soon as you go on stage the adrenaline kicks in, it just completely takes over.
Do you have any tips for hangovers then?
Dan: Smoke a massive joint, honestly it’s good I’m telling you.
Jermain: Green tea. Try to drink as much water as you can, when you’re out as well.
Ryan: Orrr, just keep on drinking.
Thanks for the tip. Now back to the music, how would you describe your sound. (Looking at previous interviews I knew that the answer would be three simple words…)
Ryan: Turn up rock.
Can you elaborate on that?
Ryan: Just really lit. rock. Old school rock. Guys like Nirvana and stuff like that. It’s not even just musically, it’s the vibe of the shows, the energy from the fans. The other night people were jumping on stage and taking over the mic and singing with me. Just raw rock, just f***ing people letting loose for one night.
Jack: It’s like a show and party in one.
And how important are the fans to all this?
Jack: They’re like the main part.
Ryan: Our fans are super devoted; they have been from the very beginning really. We meet them after shows, we smoke with them, just chilling. It’s just nice, we’ve wanted to make music and have people listen to our music and connect to it. For us, meeting them and hearing them say ‘aw I love this song’ is really cool for us.
And now onto the sell-out tour. Is there a particular night you’re looking forward to?
Ryan: The Forum in London is obviously the biggest
Dan: It’s 2200.
Prince: That’s going to be our biggest of the tour.
Jack: It’s our biggest headline ever, like double since we played in June.
So you released your first single ‘Bonfire’ at the back end of 2015 and now have reached the charts with your debut album ‘100’ which you’re currently touring. How does this rapid success in less than a year feel?
Ryan: Yeah I think we’re the only band ever to play the Forum this quick, like we’ve literally broken records.
What would put the success down to?
Dan: Good music, good team, good label.
Jermain: Good marketing.
Ryan: Positive attitude, hard working.
Jack: Giving back to the fans.
Jermain: Being original.
Dan: Putting on a good rock show.
And you yourselves, what kind of rock bands are you into?
Ryan: we love Thin Lizzy, Led Zeppelin, The Who, The Beatles.
Dan: ACDC, Old Rock.
Jack: The Clash, Sex Pistols.
If you could have dinner with one person, dead or alive, who would it be? (I was expecting quick fire answers but The Hunna seem to like their celebrities).
Ryan: Kendell Jenner, I love Kendell.
Dan: Barack Obama, get high with him after.
Jermain: (Who struggled with this question and spent a long time pondering). Kendrick Lamar, have a cool chat with him. He’d spit some serious bars.
Jack: Wayne from ‘Waynes World.’
Ryan: It depends with me, if we’re talking dinner then Kendell but if we’re talking spliff then probably the Wiz.
Dan: Or Leonardo.
Jack: If I was trapped in a room I’d pick Leo just because he’s a done a lot of stuff.
Ryan: I’d also pick Michael Cera.
Jack: Seth Rogan. Will Farrell for dinner would be amazing. Also Gordon Ramsey at dinner.
*Insert a unison cry of “Ramsey!”
Dan: We are serious Gordon Ramsey fans. He’d cook it and then he’d slate it.
Moving back to the music. Despite all the travelling and long days, would you say you’re still ‘buzzing’ for a show?
Jermain: When you hear the crowd inside especially.
Ryan: And we know how close we are to our fans, we know that they’re wanting just to come and see/sing the songs.
Do you have a particular favourite song you like performing for your fans?
Ryan: It’s kind of like every song we play they sing along to and it’s new to us as well.
Jermain: ‘She’s Casual’ always gets a good reaction.
Ryan: ‘She’s Casual’ is special.
Dan: Probably our dark horse is ‘Rock My Way’ because it sounds like a traditional old song and then when you play it live everyone just gets going.
Do you ever do the odd stage dive?
Dan: We end up everywhere.
Ryan: There’s been a few of those this tour.
And stage invasions?
Jack: We love it. We had it in Bristol when we played on this boat and like a couple of people came on stage. One guy started singing with Ryan, and people are obviously really wanting to push him back in, but we kept him on …it was a moment.
Jermain: As long as it’s not everyone on stage.
Jack: We had it in Saint Albans on our last tour which is close to our home town… that was a really nice moment.
If you guys didn’t have your music, what would you be doing?
Jack: Literally it was this for us.
Dan: Yeah just working to pump money into this.
Ryan: I would probably be dead or …
Jack: Smoking weed 9-5.
Ryan: There was a period where I was like s**t, if I don’t make it in a band I don’t know what I’m going to be happy doing. But I think if you have that mentality compared to if you don’t have that mentality then you just won’t do it, especially in this industry as well. It’s so hard it literally has to be that or nothing.
So you’re clearly loving touring the UK, how about America and Europe?
Ryan: We went to Germany not long ago, Germany was mental. That ruined us.
Dan: Every time we go to Germany it messes us up.
Jermain: I don’t what it is but we end up drinking a lot.
Ryan: We went to America for just over two weeks for the first time earlier this year which was amazing.
Dan: We’re going again for Jimmy Eat World and then we’re going to play with The Struts for a couple of shows and then come back Early December
Will you have a break?
Jermain: No probably not.
Jack: They’ll be the odd day.
Ryan: We’ve got all of this tour, then the last gig of this is Norwich then we go straight to America and start that.
Dan: Think it’s about 50 shows.
Ryan: We’ll be back early December and then we have a few weeks off. Next year is already booked up for us like the whole year. We’ve got a UK tour, European tour, America, festivals, Australia and Japan.
That’s a lot of work. How is it spending so much time together?
Dan: We’re blood brothers anyway, if we weren’t doing this then we’d be hanging out playing Fifa and smoking a joint.
Ryan: Before we got released we hung out every day anyway and just smoked weed. We recorded music and just thought we can’t wait till we get released and produced, this is going to happen.
Jermain: Get smashed.
So to finish off, what can we expect from tonight’s gig?
Jack: Crazy ass show.
Ryan: High energy, lots of singing, very sweaty.
Dan: Yeah very sweaty. We always think it’s not but it always ends up sweaty, like every show.
Ryan: We played in Portsmouth a few days ago and people were like passing out, going outside to get air. The floor is just left soaking wet, I don’t get it.
Jermain: Working hard.
Dan: We go for it, they go for it, everyone goes for it.
Ryan: We make the venue wet.
Can we make that a quote?
Ryan: That’s it. The Hunna band, will make you wet.
On that note, the interview ended.
And The Hunna did well and truly make the venue wet. By the end of the gig, everyone was sweaty, even the walls were wet…it was quite disgusting but a sign of a positive reaction from the crowd.
Immediately upon playing the first song of the set, ‘We Could Be’, the crowd went crazy, singing along to all the lyrics. When speaking to lead singer Ryan he was rather quiet due to having a cold but watching him on stage you would not have thought I was speaking to the same guy. His vocals were strong and piercing, he embraced the crowd even ending the night with a crowd surf.
The Hunna squad truly are devoted fans, they filled the Wardrobe and climbed the frames around the stage to get closer to the band. Everyone was loving it.
The Hunna are a lit. bunch of lads and will undoubtedly take the world by storm.