The Hunna are a Hertfordshire rock band, formed at age sixteen by singer and guitarist Ryan Potter, lead guitarist Dan Dorney, bassist Jermaine Angin and drummer Jack Metcalfe. They wrote a total of 200 songs before releasing their debut album, 100, in August. We spoke at the last show of their sold-out 100 Tour, before they support Jimmy Eat World in America.
Hey guys! How is the tour going so far? Have you sold out all of your shows?
Ryan: Tour’s been amazing so far. We played The Forum the other night which was incredible. All of them sold out. It’s really cool.
Dan: Today’s actually the anniversary of us being released, a year today.
What’s the inspiration behind your band name?
Ryan: We’ve got a big hip-hop influence, and ‘1Hunna’ means one hundred. It means give a hundred percent of what you do and be true to yourself, which is how we live and what we do with our music. We always used to say ‘1Hunna’ to each other and then one day we put ‘The’ in front of it and…
Ryan and Jermaine (in unison):
The Hunna was born!
What does this band mean to you?
Jack: Our lives.
Ryan: If I wasn’t doing this I honestly don’t know what I’d be doing. There was a time where I was like, “What if it never happens?” before we got signed. We were doing gigs to no-one, recording our own music. We were always confident in our music.
Dan: We did all we could to get out and get signed.
Ryan: We thought at some point someone will get it, and eventually they did. The fans get it; the fans have been amazing. It’s a blessing to have fans that connect with our music.
Who inspires you?
Ryan: Marvin Gaye, Ray Charles, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Kings Of Leon, Kanye West.
Jack: Decades of artists; you’re brought up on childhood artists, your teenage years and now there’s so much new music. Hip-hop’s pretty lit at the moment. We take a bit from everything.
Do you have a least favourite song to play live?
Jack: Funnily enough, we used to play Be Young a lot… but weirdly, recently we started playing it again and we love it. So you might have a phase where it’s not your favourite, but we definitely wouldn’t play something we don’t like.
What’s the main difference between playing live shows and recording?
Dan: A big one, live you don’t want to shoot yourself in the face. (Laughs.) Honestly, recording’s awesome but it took many hours, we hardly slept. Our producer was very strict, which is great, but he was such a perfectionist it takes a lot out of you.
Ryan: The first day or two started off really nice… I went for a run the first day!
Jack: And then it went downhill! With the guitars they never slept.
Ryan: We were recording from 10am till 7 in the morning, then going to bed for a few hours and getting up and doing it again.
Dan: The live shows are a different ballgame, the energy you get off everyone is mad, you walk on and you feel that buzz.
Is there anything you do before you go on stage to get pumped up for the show?
Jermaine: I give them all a blessing.
Ryan: We have our own little handshake.
Jack: We have a Three Musketeers type thing, it’s almost like an American football team.
What’s the best and worst thing about touring?
Dan: Trying to sleep sucks.
Jack: Meeting loads of new people and seeing loads of new cities, that’s good.
Ryan: Not eating well is the main thing. Until we have a chef…but we’re not there yet, no chef for us! It would be nice to have someone who could give us food that’s good for us so we can actually function.
Dan: I’m looking forward to having a day where you can get someone to roll for you… He’s gonna be called BDR, Bandana Dan’s roller!
How are you feeling about your reception in America?
Ryan: We’re going there on Monday for two months, we’re really excited. We’re supporting Jimmy Eat World over there…
Jack: It’s a lot of ground to cover, it’s huge. We’ve been there once and we can tell the Americans love their English rock as well… We’re English and we rock. (Laughs.)
Ryan: They’re very enthusiastic in America which is dope, the energy is really nice. We’re looking forward to spreading the word over there, we’re going to Texas for the first time.
What’s the worst hangover you’ve ever had on tour?
Ryan: And slightly today…because the second day is always worse than the day after. I’m pretty tired right now, but when we go on stage it’ll be fine because the adrenalin takes over. But yesterday…holy shit! We were sad boys. We partied hard.
If you could be any animal, which one would you be and why?
Jermaine: I’d be a bear.
Dan: I’d be an eagle.
Ryan: I would be a lion.
Jack: I’d be a shark. I love sharks, man. And also swimming in the ocean would be dope. Or I’d be a duck. (Everyone starts laughing). I would own that park. Boss duck!
Do you have any running jokes or nicknames?
Ryan: We have our main ones [Valentino, Bandana Dan, Prince Jamma and IK] but some of them just get made up daily.
Dan: We had MC Jamma yesterday.
Jermaine: I had my baggy samurai trousers on, like Hammer trousers.
Dan: Soccer Dan. I don’t play football, so they call me Soccer Dan like I should have one of those mum cars, to pick up the boys after football and go for a Happy Meal.
The Hunna will be back in the UK in January for the second part of The 100 Tour.