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We had the amusement of interviewing Ryan Potter of The Hunna over Zoom video with appropriate bedfellow co-host Sean Ulbs of The Eiffels!
“Was it Epicetus who said “it’s not what happens to you but how you acknowledge to it that matters”? It was, because we’ve looked it up. And while we don’t apperceive absolutely who Epicetus was, he absolutely had a point – and that point says aggregate about UK bedrock bandage The Hunna. Hailing from Watford, Herts, The Hunna – singer/guitarist Ryan Potter, advance guitarist Dan Dorney, bassist Junate Angin and bagman Jack Metcalfe – are four guys active the archetypal rock ‘n’ roll dream – one of touring, tattoos and disturbing up the world’s best iconic venues, and they’ve already got to astounding levels of fandom as, largely, a articulate success story.
But aloof as The Hunna’s dreams adjust with those of bands aback time immemorial, they additionally managed to footfall into the oldest allurement in the music industry – falling abhorrent of a administrator who bound them into a deal, with a aggregation he endemic but which now no best exists. There are a continued account of creditors – of which The Hunna has to be one of the largest. Boxy times.
But afore the nitty abrasive of that, the blessed conclusion: The Hunna are aback with a blood-tingling third anthology and a stonking abundant attitude that’s alluded to in the title: I’d Rather Die Than Let You In. It was recorded in that best archetypal of bandage boltholes, Los Angeles, with able ambassador John Feldmann, who accomplished abundant success as the accompanist of ska jailbait heroes Goldfinger and went on to aftermath Blink-182, Fever 333, Twenty One Pilots, Refused, Panic! At The Disco, Black Veil Brides, All Time Low and abounding more, notching up sales in the tens of millions in the process.
A banal with Feldmann involves surfing trips, morning battle sessions and afternoon drop-ins from bisected of LA’s music arena – a far cry from the algid North London flat in which they recorded 2018’s Dare. The accomplished experience, says Ryan, “was a bit of a mindfuck, in the best way possible.” The ambassador encouraged the bandage to assignment in new ways, freestyling vocals in the berth and recording with abundant acceleration – they wrote three songs on their actual aboriginal day together. The last, accounting in 20 minutes, became I Wanna Know, which debuted in their 2019 anniversary sets and opens the anthology afterwards the introductory One Hell Of A Gory Story… “John Feldmann is one hell of a character,” says Ryan I’ve never met anyone like John, and I couldn’t brainstorm not alive him now. He’s such a big allotment of what we’re doing.”
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Feldmann’s methods bore aphotic fruit, absolution the accumulation to bewitch their demons into music that reveals an acuteness of blaze and acerbity that could alone appear from demography adamantine knocks and acrimonious themselves aback up again. It’s self-assured, assured and – best of all – collaborative, with assorted co-writes and features. Among the guests are some who accustomed via Feldmann’s billowing acquaintance book – Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy chock-full by to address a tune and Blink-182’s Travis Barker appears on Cover You.
Some guests came via the band’s connections, like co-writers Carl Barat of The Libertines and Mike Duce of Lower Than Atlantis and up-coming LA accompanist Phem, the changeable diva on If This Is Love. Phem was addition Ryan had admired from distant who the bandage met, by chance, at Halsey’s Halloween party (Ryan dressed as Garth from Wayne’s World, Dan went as Marilyn Manson – as did Halsey. Awks). “I heard her music about a year ago and I knew I capital her for this one clue I had,” says Ryan. “Dan was alfresco for a smoke at the party, he asked a babe for a lighter, they got to talking and it angry out to be Phem. Dan said, ‘I’m pretty abiding our advance accompanist is cool into your music…’, he messaged me and I came active out. The clue came out bigger than I’d alike imagined.”
While the collaborations are absolutely noteworthy, they’re possibly not the best attention-grabbing affair about the anthology for fans. That would apparently be the complete of the almanac – at already heavy-as-f*** and their best future-forward assignment yet, accumulation Megazord-sized riffs alongside the sonics of avant-garde R&B and hip hop, alike addition to advanced use of autotune and leash breeze vocals. Are they the aboriginal bedrock bandage to apply leash flow? “Potentially…” says Ryan. “As a singer, I’ve consistently been added afflicted by R&B singers – Ray Charles, Sade, The Weeknd, Drake, Swae Lee – than bedrock singers. And this time, I was able to use my articulation afterwards actuality told it bare to complete more ‘indie rock’. The accomplished point of this anthology is to appearance that there’s a lot added to us than that.”
So, let’s caster aback to the beginning. England’s home counties are calmly accounting off as a cultural vacuum, adversity from actuality too abutting to London to advance article on their own terms. But Watford, area The Hunna grew up, was home to a advancing jailbait and hardcore scene. “We grew up watching Enter Shikari, Lower Than Atlantis, Deaf Havana, Don Broco and Gallows, who are all local,” says Dan. “There was a massive arena – and that’s how we met. We were all built-in in the aforementioned hospital, all grew up calm – alike afore the bandage was The Hunna, we were accompany into the aforementioned music.”
Debut album 100 (their name, itself, is an abstraction of the word “hundred”) came out in 2016, and hit Number 13 on the UK anthology chart. Things were accident fast, and the bandage was on the up: the area capacities were increasing, the fanbase was growing exponentially. By the time they appear additional album Dare, they were able to ample Brixton Academy alert – which is never to be sniffed at.
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But amidst this, the bandage were actuality absent from problems abaft the scenes – problems that became credible best badly aback a tourbus disciplinarian alone them off on a artery in rural France because he hadn’t been paid for his work. “We were like, what the fuck, what do we do?!” remembers Ryan. Best troublingly for the band, their manager’s company’s behaviour began to appulse on their fans. “There was overcharging for tickets, and it was accepting to the point area admirers were acclimation commodity and they still weren’t accepting it eight months later,” says Dan. “Without being cheesy, the mentality for all of us was consistently to accomplish it in a band. We went to academy to be musicians. Aback we larboard college, we didn’t go to uni, we got jobs and put the money into actuality a band. Aback there’s bodies depending on the band, and who adulation your band, and it’s all you anytime wanted, that’s a bandage crossed.” Aback an blighted bout was appointed afterwards the band’s knowledge, they absitively it was “doomsday – time to accelerate in the lawyers,” says Ryan. “It was terrifying!”
With I’d Rather Be Dead Than Let You In, The Hunna haven’t absent a exhausted in axis their adventures into songs that accurate activity acquaintance above the apple of apperception girls and accord troubles that coloured their aboriginal two releases. “We’re just in a altered place,” says Ryan. “The first anthology especially, we were adolescent lads: fresh, abounding of life, abounding of optimism. It went darker on the additional album, and now this anthology is a absorption of aggregate we’ve accomplished as individuals and as a band.”
The anthology shows two abandon to the afflicted bandage – one which is added woke to the added world, and one which is accessible to affair afterwards the boxy times they’ve been through. Opener One Hell Of A Gory Story… sets the apocalyptic tone, award The Hunna “fighting demons of the present, the approaching and the past” in a ablaze wasteland; penultimate song The Horror picks up on the story, anecdotic them witnessing the wildfires that addled the LA hills in 2019.”
“It looked like the end of the world, but bodies still were active bottomward the freeways, and the aboriginal anticipation is to get an Insta Adventure because it’s so fucking gnarly, but absolutely it is a alarming affair accident in advanced of you,” says Ryan.
On the added hand, “I Wanna Apperceive is adamantine and fun and it’s aloof talking about what best bodies appetite to do: accept fun and get fucked,” says Dan. “It’s kind of a fun, punky, in-your-face brainy breakdown song.”
“We were in a place, afterwards aggregate that had happened, area we could go agrarian and agreement on this album, and for the aboriginal time abduction that heavy, crazy activity we accept on stage,” says Ryan. “I think we’re activity to shock a few people.”
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So while activity has pelted bits at The Hunna for some time, they don’t see it like that: they see themselves as assuredly free, advantageous not alone to be area they are – with the adherent admirers and the sold-out tours – but to be on a advance for bigger and bigger things on their own terms.
“There’s no plan B for us,” says Ryan. “We won’t stop until we get to area we accept we can get to. We appetite to be one of the better bands in the world, up there with our favourites: Kings Of Leon, Foo Fighters, Nirvana, The 1975. Headlining arenas, stadiums one day. We appetite to acquaintance everything.” “It feels like aback aback we aboriginal started – that akin of excitement,” says guitarist Dan. “The Hunna accept been reborn.”
See: it’s not what happens to you but how you acknowledge to it that matters.”
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