The Hunna: "It's one of our favourite times being out on the road, it makes the days better"
Alice Gee | 19/06/2020
Like the rest of us, The Hunna’s faced a pretty blunt hault to their 2020 plans, with their upcoming album and touring placed on hold. But it hasn’t all been a downer as the boys say they’ve enjoyed having the time off to kick back and enjoy the simple things “It’s just like the old days playing Playstation” says Dan “Ryan has been teaching me how to play Fifa”.
The group have all been relatively separated during lock down with only Dan and Ryan living together while Junate is down the road and Jack slightly further out of town. It’s definitely a different setup to what they’ve been used to over the past four years, all on their regular tour bus gigging around the world for the majority of the year “Since we started The Hunna it’s been non stop . Last year we had a small gap but once we got through that and we were back into touring. So it’s been non stop.” Touring for the band is just how they like it, on the road and connecting with fans. “That’s just what our lives are. We’re so used to it, so to now spend about a whole year at home is so strange especially when you’ve got new music and would be touring all around the world”
“Touring is what we love to do the most. We had a good couple of months at home before quarantine so It was an extension for us to be at home even longer”. Having previously interviewed the boys 3 years ago at The Boston Rooms in London when they were starting their journey this was a great opportunity to catch up, albeit socially distanced, and reminisce on the years in between and the venues played along the way. The boys have fond memories of the venue, being keen to get back to their roots where it all began, touring. They mention how to go back and do a small circle around venues where they first performed would be a dream. To be able to go back to these smaller venues and to be on a personal level playing intimate gigs is something they’d love to organise following the easing of lockdown. What’s great is the band have had the opportunity to play not only amazing festivals and tours around the world but expressed how much they love intimate gigs where their fans get to feel like a one family.
Although the world is moving towards opening up the band are completely aware of the difficulties the music industry faces post Covid-19. “Obviously we will have to see what unfolds with venues but the idea was that by October there would still be more potential that we could go out and perform.” But for the band it’s still about getting back to being able to connect, “whether social distanced or not. Like we mentioned The Boston music rooms or smaller venues that we can go back to and connect with our fans.”
With their 3rd studio album due to launch in the middle of Covid-19 the boys made the difficult decision hold off for a couple of months alongside their touring schedule. “We were super excited for everyone to hear it and understand it and then for this situation to happen and not being able to go out and be around people you know you want to experience it was tough, so we wanted to take some time, there’s no rush and we’ve got so many songs on the album that we love, so for us it’s kind of fun, as we can release more songs from the album. We’ve also taken on the task of producing songs and videos during quarantine. We are going to start to try release things monthly, so it’s something for fans to look forward to.” I mention to the boys that it must be hard to invest so much emotion in the album, ultimately looking forward to it with it all ready to go then all of your plans change. As individuals no matter the situation even in the grand scheme of things it must feel frustrating and disappointing to have change everything and the importance that that’s ok.
Mental health can be tricky to manage in an industry where you can find your self travelling all of a sudden for the majority of a year. It’s an industry with rigorous schedules where you can go months without seeing loved ones. Being able to hear how close the boys are, to the extent of growing up with one another, even being born in the same hospital, it’s clear of the bond they all have. They aren’t just a band but first and foremost friends, in fact their relationships could be said to be pretty much family. It’s great, as a company, that focuses on mental health to hear men so openly talk about supporting each other especially with the stigma surrounding men tackling their mental health.
Curious of the how the boys adapted to the changes that came with their new found fame in 2016 and the art of balancing their life on the road it was positive to hear the band took it in their stride. “I feel like we took it quite well. There are always moments where you go up and down but like we said before we are literally a band of friends, we know each other really well and are comfortable with each other to express how we feel.”
“We’ve always said it must be really challenging for solo artists, when you don’t have those people who you rely on to fall back on when you need them. We’ve had our own times when it’s been mentally challenging. For example a lack of sleep, where you don’t know where you are or how far you’re going. It’s definitely a big struggle mentally for sure for lots of different reasons. One good thing we have compared to some other artists is like being family and so comfortable with each other, so if someone is having a really tough day we know about it, so we can either give them space of talk to them and see what’s up.”
“As guys it is hard to break it down and feel comfortable to let your selves be free and open, for us we offload to each other all the time. It has definitely been hard and mental health should be talked about. Especially over the past 2 years with things that have happened to us as a band and personally. At some point you start realising it’s been tough and when you start to come to terms with it you want to be open and to talk about it and not have that or feel that way again.”
“Another thing is our crew. They’re just as equally having a challenging life alongside the artist and the bands they travel with. They have so much pressure on them too. We’ve had crew in the past who have found it tough doing what they do, obviously they love doing what they do but the travel and the time schedules that come with it are often difficult on them. The industry is tough.”
Growing up and over the years I’ve seen how crucial a bands crew is to the whole process whether it be touring or producing. I can’t help sitting and feeling such warmth from the boys as they think of those around them helping make their dream and their sacrifices. It’s a rare moment when interviewing that a band so boldly brings up their crew and how much their crew are at the forefront of their careers, sacrificing so much more than it just simply being their job.
“You sacrifice so much, your own families and love ones and being around them. That’s where you make your own on the road family, which we have. Our crew is so funny and have been amazing since the beginning. It’s one of our best and favourite times being out on the road, even in the hard times, it makes the days even better. The band seem to be evolving with each album moving from pop-rock into harder rock and grunge. Having sold out Brixton twice in a row, playing Reading and Leeds main stage, a huge accomplishment and memory for the boys it ‘s no surprise the band are moving onwards and upwards with post lockdown looking brighter than ever.