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The Hunna talk getting back to their roots, new material and intimate new tour

Heading out on tour and feeling as though they have a new lease of life with their aptly titled fourth album, The Hunna, Ewan Gleadow sits down with The Hunna to talk next steps and new material. Their tour across the UK will take them to The Welly and beyond as they look to bring their new style to grassroots arenas around the country.

Ewan Gleadow: Obviously you’ve got a tour on at the moment, looking forward to it and The Welly?

The Hunna: Yeah man, always looking forward to touring. We have the most fun on stage, playing together. We love it whenever we play together and on this tour we get to go to places n the UK that we’ve either never been or haven’t been for a very long time. They’re going to be smaller venues, grassroots venues, which is great. We just did a few tunes for the Music Venue Trust last month. It’s nice to do that as well, supporting those venues that always have so much character. We’ve been to some cool backstage areas, and this tour will be a lot of fun.

Ewan: It’s nice to be in those grassroots venues absolutely, and obviously following the end of lockdown, those venues are in need. 

The Hunna: Yeah we’ve toured the UK, the main cities, this year already. We did a tour straight after Covid so we’ve done a few gigs, but never in the smaller cities or grassroots venues, the places where we started playing together as a band. It’s still a big tour but on a smaller circuit, it’s the best of both worlds.

Ewan: Is part of playing these grassroots venues a way to connect with your starting point as a band too?

The Hunna: Absolutely, I mean, the small shows we’ve done over the years, like the ones on this tour, some of them have been our absolute favourites and those are the ones where you’re so close to the fans. I think it’s a fun atmosphere for us and the fans to be so close and connect, to really connect, and catch up. Some of these fans we haven’t seen in years. 

Ewan: Those smaller stages must give you a bit more intimacy with a crowd too, is that intimacy something you revel in or is it something to fear?

The Hunna: It’s brilliant, very personal. We like playing small shows but they are terrifying compared to the big ones. They’re really fun, our fans go crazy in a confined space, it’s a wild atmosphere. But they can see your every move. When you go out on stage for the first time and you see the room is packed you’re like: “Okay, there they are.” There’s no getting away from anyone’s face. You’re really in it together, which is awesome. The funniest things can happen, you can see a lot more in the crowd, someone might say something and you can hear it much better than in a bigger venue. You can say something back, a little chat on stage, which is what we do. Our shows are by no means smooth or whatever, and these venues are great for that. We just love to play and we go crazy on stage. The band has built itself for these smaller venues. 

Ewan: It’s a matter of stage spontaneity too, it feels like bigger venues are catered to quite rigid setlists, whereas grassroots venues can change the course of a set.

The Hunna: We’re at a point that, whatever the show size, we go crazy. It’s all about energy. Whether it’s a festival and there’s 20,000 people there or 200 people in a small room, we are going to give you what The Hunna is, which is normally carnage. Usually, that reflects on whoever is watching us. I think it’s all about the vibe of bouncing off each other and we love that. The further down the tour you get, the fatigue picks up, but every night our fans pick us up, which is really special. I don’t think we set out to be this crazy, but it’s a beautiful thing because I know there are lots of bands who are just there to play the songs and then go off to have a drink. We leave everything on the stage and it’s important to us to put on a show no matter the size.

With the crowd getting involved, it changes the flow of the set. Halfway through, it can turn into a bit of a comedy show at times with people in the crowd. There’s a real connection. That’s what music is about. We’re there for music, but also there for so much more. We all love music and what it brings to us, so who cares if the set takes a two-minute break to have a little chinwag with someone, a little laugh, it’s good. 

Ewan: People go for more than the music, the atmosphere stands out, and you’re bringing your fourth album on stage with you too. Was there a reason behind this fourth release being the first self-titled one? That’s usually a debut style of release name?

The Hunna: For this one, it just felt right. We were in a transitional point in our career. We had left a management company we were with which just wasn’t the right fit. We were rebuilding, getting a new team and heading down a new chapter in our career. We got to a point where so much had happened in previous years and we’d all grown so much, coming through that was a real big kind of flag in the sand moment, a bright future ahead. We were trying to think of album names and then it, with the music we produced there, felt like it summed up The Hunna at this point. This is almost a fourth album but a first album too, we’re starting from day one again, which is great. 

Ewan: It certainly feels this way with the tracklist and music on here, a change of pace definitely. Is this something to pursue in future?

The Hunna: We’re writing at the moment and in a really good spot with it, no boxes or boundaries put on any of us. We’re just being us, hanging out in a room, talking and making music like it was when we were fourteen, fifteen and had the dream of doing this. Just back to that vibe which is really nice and organic, we’re just being left to ourselves to create, which has been really nice and natural. What comes out comes out, and then we’ll go through however many songs for the next record. We’ll see what happens.

The Hunna are on tour from October 25 to November 14, with tickets available here.

Ewan Gleadow
Ewan Gleadow
Editor in Chief at Cult Following | News and culture journalist at Clapper, Daily Star, NewcastleWorld, Daily Mirror | Podcast host of (Don't) Listen to This | Disaster magnet

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