Photo and Interview by Carly May
Indie band The Hunna are, for lack of a better word, ambitious. They’re good, they know they’re good, and they’re ready to take the world by storm with their special brand of “turn up rock.” Lucky for me, this ambition did not come with arrogance as I sat down with them for a casual and fun interview in Dallas to discuss touring, missing home, and what their hypothetical Super Bowl halftime show would look like.
Us For Once Magazine: I did a little research and social media stalking before I got here and I keep seeing you refer to your sound as “turn up rock.” I’m really curious as to what that means.
Ryan “Tino” Potter, vocals/guitar: It comes from kind of a hip hop influence. It’s just high energy, high octane. Just a crazy, party kind of rock, which you’ll see tonight [at the Dallas show supporting Barns Courtney]. You’ll see why we’re turn up rock tonight. Most people are a bit like “What the hell’s going on,” but in a good way.
UFO: So how has “turn up rock” been evolving with the new music you’re releasing?
Tino: It’s kind of developing really nicely, just where we’re going with the next record. I think it’s just kind of a natural progression for us where it’s just getting more and more “turnt.” I think we’re really think we’re honing in on what we are and the band that we want to be. And we’re going for a lot of different moments where you’re figuring out stuff still. It’s different from the first album compared to the third. It’s just developed naturally. It’s lit.
UFO: How is touring in the US verses the UK and what is your favorite city in the States you’ve played?
Jack “IK” Metcalfe, drums: In the UK we have a much bigger fanbase and have done a lot more work there. At this current moment, it’s definitely more lively and energetic. They know our songs and they sing along. But the tours we have done have become more of a mirror image of that
Tino: Just a smaller scale.
IK: But being on a support tour’s kind of a different thing. You have to work harder to impress people because they don’t know who you are. They’re window shopping.
Daniel “BD” Dorney, guitar: We have to turn up even more.
Tino: Turn up rock 2.0. But it’s fun for us as well because we haven’t supported in years. We know that there’s a few people there for us but the majority of the people are there for Barns so it’s up to us to warn them up for Barns and to also get them to become Hunna fans.
UFO: From my understanding, you and Barns Courtney have basically swapped headlining tours back and forth a bit so I kind of feel there’s some mutual support there.
Tino: Absolutely. He came on tour in the UK with us earlier this year and we switched it up for America.
BD: We go out there like Scott Pilgrim. Have you seen that film?
UFO: That’s one of my favorite movies.
BD: I fucking love that movie. But the fans are like that scene with the dragon DJs. We’re just turning it up more and more.
IK: You also asked us our favorite places to play and ironically, it is Texas. We’ve had great shows in Austin and Houston and great shows here in Dallas. Obviously, you have the west coast and New York….but Texas has always been fucking sick.
Tino: It’s always a great vibe.
UFO: What’s one thing you miss from the UK when you’re in America?
Tino: I’d say one of the things for us is just a normal English breakfast. Just a scrambled eggs, hash browns, baked beans. Do you guys have baked beans over here?
UFO: We actually do. We don’t eat them for breakfast, though.
BD: That’s wild.
Tino: When do you eat them?
UFO: Like, for dinner with a burger or something.
Junate Angin, bass: Do you have baked potatoes?
UFO: We do!
IK: You know what I miss? Live Premier League Super Sunday.
Tino: To be fair, we’re not missing it at all. We’ve managed to watch every game so far.
UFO: One good thing about America is that there are so many ESPN stations, your game is bound to be on one of them.
IK: We’re pretty well looked after in that regard. I actually miss driving my car.
Tino: Yes, and I miss riding my bike.
UFO: What’s the biggest milestone you guys have had as a band so far?
In unison: Reading and Leeds.
Tino: We just did that….was it last month? It was last month. And Brixton Academy three times now. That was really big for us. I feel like the milestones just keep coming.
UFO: Reading and Leeds would be a career high for most bands and y’all are still moving forward.
Tino: It’s pretty mental. We were also main stage for the first time
IK: We want to headline that show.
Tino: Yeah, and we will. Nothing’s stopping us.
BD: We’ve had a really good festival season this year. Like, we’ve played with The 1975 and Lana Del Rey. It’s quite surreal because we’re massive fans of both of them. And we did two shows with Greta Van Fleet in…Italy?
Tino: And Vienna.
BD: And they were fucking awesome, too.
IK: We headlined a lot of second stages as well.
Tino: It’s always amazing to do festival season and just kill every show. It’s been a pretty good year so far.
UFO: Do y’all have any dream venues you want to play?
Tino: The Super Bowl.
IK: That would be wicked. You know what we could do? You know in the third Batman where Bane blows up the whole thing? We could have it blow up around us and we ‘re just in the middle. Or at least get some graphics to make it look like that.
Tino: And then at the of the set, the stage that we’re on disappears. And at the beginning we should fly in on jetpacks. I’d also like to do what the Chili Peppers did recently and play at the pyramids in Egypt.
Junate: What about the place where they do the gladiator stuff as well?
UFO: The Coliseum?
Tino: Yes! I mean, these are really random places…
Junate: Grand Canyon!
IK: I don’t know if its still a venue, but I’d love to do CBGB. Like, a proper punk rock venue. It’s in New York, right? All the great punk bands played there.
Tino: Glastonbury, as well. And there’s so many other festivals. Like Coachella.
Junate: We’re trying to tick them all off.
UFO: That’s a good bucket list, and as for the random places, why not the Grand Canyon? Why not the Coliseum?
Tino: If you don’t say it, it’s never gonna happen.
UFO: There are acts who can pull that off. Why not The Hunna someday?
IK: Imagine this whole tour of these amazing places. How cool would that be?
Junate: Like, if we could play on the moon.
IK: That’s be dope.
UFO: I know y’all have been spending a lot time on the road. What’s on your road trip playlist at the moment?
Junate: Post Malone gets busted a lot because we saw him at Reading so we get that reminiscent feeling.
UFO: He’s actually from Dallas. You’re on his turf right now.
BD: I never knew he was from Dallas.
Tino: Travis Scott’s Texas, too.
Junate: He’s from Houston, right?
UFO: I’m not sure. I know Beyonce’s from Houston.
BD: Fuckin’ hell, I didn’t know about any of these people.
UFO: Whenever you hear Beyonce talk about H-Town in her songs, that’s Houston.
Tino: But yeah, Posty’s getting repped quite a bit at the moment for me. Have you heard of a song called “Baby You’re a Haunted House” by Gerard Way?
UFO: I love that song.
Tino: I’m a massive My Chemical Romance fan and I didn’t know about this song for ages until Matt [Willford, tour manager] showed it to us. I also listen to a lot of Phoebe Bridgers because she’s very peaceful. It’s nice to have that little voice in your ear telling you it’s going to be okay.
UFO: I think you need that on tour sometimes.
Tino: You definitely do.
IK: I depends on what the mood is, though, because we had a party the other night in DC and all of our hip hop bangers came out.
UFO: I think it’s so interesting the way y’all talk about how hip hop influences your music. So many people will say that rock is dying when really it’s evolving and bringing in other genres.
IK: There we go! I don’t think anything’s dying. We’ve always said that good music’s good music.
RP: We can listen to anything that we love and connect with. And I think the younger generation are more like that which is probably why music is evolving. There’s so many different genres coming together where as before, when we were younger, it was like you couldn’t like Kanye West if you liked MCR. But now it’s not like that, which I think is a good thing.
UFO: Well, that’s it for my questions. Any words for the fans who may be reading this? IK: We fucking love you! Come to a show!
Tino: Big up to all of Texas. We’re sorry to Austin and Houston that the flash floods got us and we couldn’t make it. But we will be back on our own headline tour next year. It’s gonna be sick. We can’t wait. New album in March. Yeah. Let’s get it. Hunna Squad. While The Hunna are hard at work on their third album, you can check them out on Instagram, and Twitter, bump the tunes on their Spotify. Also, definitely be on the lookout for more of these guys in our next magazine issue!