The Hunna dropped by HollywoodLife’s office to tease details about the upcoming album the band has recorded with Goldfinger’s John Feldmann, its first album in nearly two years!
The Hunna is ready to rock ‘n’ roll — and not just rock. The English band, made up of frontman Ryan Potter, 28, lead guitarist Daniel Dorney, 27, bassist Junate Angin, 27, and drummer Jack Metcalfe, 32, is refusing to be pigeonholed into the traditional rock genre as it moves on to new music. The Hunna stopped by HollywoodLife’s Los Angeles office ahead of the May 15 release of its first album in nearly two years, I’d Rather Die Than Let You In, to chat about the new sounds the group is experimenting with, new projects and a new creative mentor in an EXCLUSIVE interview!
“I Get High To Forget” kick-started this chain of “news.” Released in Aug. 2019, it’s The Hunna’s first single since the band announced its split from its former record label in Oct. 2018, after releasing its debut album 100 through the label in 2016. The track’s raw grittiness, powerful guitar chords and infusion of hip hop demonstrates the band’s expanding versatility. “‘I Get High To Forget’ was kind of the first chance to kind of show that we’re not just a rock band, that we can add other elements and it just kind of naturally moved into the album that was the first teaser of what we wanted to bring,” Jack told us. Listing grunge, metal, reggae, pop and house as just a sample of the genres the band listens to, he explained, “We’re interested in exploring just as many alleys as we can and work with as many artists as we can…Why put yourself in a box? It’s ridiculous.”
John Feldmann is helping the band adventure outside this box. Daniel described the band’s experience of recording their third album with Goldfinger’s frontman for the past month, which is the group’s first time making music outside the United Kingdom, as “love at first John.” The punk rock genius has had such an influence on The Hunna, Ryan confidently declared, “I can’t imagine not knowing John Feldmann now.”
Daniel credited John for bringing Blink 182’s Travis Barker and Twenty One Pilot’s Josh Dunn onto the project, who will both be featured on the upcoming album, as well as Fall Out Boy’s Pete Wentz to write with the band. “He doesn’t waste a minute, he gets s–t done and he’s an absolute legend and God bless John Feldmann,” Daniel gushed.
Just like how Goldfinger combined two seemingly opposite genres — ska and punk — The Hunna was interested in breaking down barriers while recording with John. “It’s the first time we’ve been able to explore down different avenues and kind of merge a few different styles together and it’s worked,” Daniel said. The guitarist found it refreshing that his band could finally “experiment more”’ with features, and use “trap beats and more synths” all while staying true to the “raw rock sound” that serves as the band’s foundation.
“We try to do something a bit different to what a normal rock band did,” Ryan told us. He even admitted he’d “happily” make a song like Justin Bieber’s “Yummy.” Given that it’s a sugary pop bop, Ryan could see other people finding this “really weird.” But not Ryan — or his bandmates. “That’s just not the case for us, we have so many different influences from everywhere.” This certainly was the case, as The Hunna named sources of inspiration that ranged from Taylor Swift to Ray Charles.
The Hunna’s new music not only tackles a wider range of genres, but social issues as well. One of the band’s upcoming tracks, “Young and Faded,” is “the view of an older generation” on young people, Ryan explained, which he believes can be narrow-minded. “There’s lots of things in this generation that young people are to full front deal with…that hasn’t happened in the past generations, but the past generation[s] kind of look down or have views of this generation. Everyone’s like blown up and fake or obsessed with killing people on video games and all that kind of s–t,” Ryan said. “We’re lost and wasted, but really there is, I would say, more people of the younger generation now standing up and actually being successful and doing things that really matter to the world.” He pointed to 17-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg as an example, and also brought up homophobia as another issue that Gen Z and millennials continue to fight.
No matter how far the band ventures into different themes and sounds, The Hunna’s new music is still rooted in the rock sound that attracted the band’s cult following in the first place. If anything, it has been given a grittier vibe, a bonus for those nostalgic for the punk rock scene of the ‘90s. This is evident in the band’s latest single, “Cover You,” and the track’s new video that dropped on Feb. 28.
Ryan explained that the music video for “Cover You” was based on the idea of “being at a show and being young and being involved in the chaos of a rock show.” The “mosh pits,” “sweat,” and “singing” — all key elements of these types of concerts — are all there in the music video that was shot with real fans in Los Angeles, but Ryan revealed there’s a a deeper meaning behind the colorful visuals. The video “kind of represents a bit of chaos and havoc, but also it’s about being in that and potentially finding a friend or finding more than that within that chaos and it’s kind of metaphorical for life itself,” Ryan explained, who added that “it’s a bit crazy out there right now, and a bit of a war zone itself, but there’s many beautiful people and special things to find within that chaos.”
Now, The Hunna will be introducing its more diversified music to venues across the United States and Europe as the band goes on tour between April and August of 2020. To say the four members are excited is an understatement; when asked what was the highlight of the band’s career, Junate didn’t hesitate to say, “Making this record.”