The Hunna have been on quite the rollercoaster since the release of their second full-length last summer, so ahead of their huge headline tour next month we sat down with vocalist, Ryan Potter, to talk about an exciting new chapter for the band, fighting the good fight and causing chaos in Australia.
It’s not long now until you make a valiant return to O2 Academy Brixton, how are you feeling about coming back?
We are so excited, beyond excited! It feels like it’s been so long since we’ve toured and a lot has happened in that time. We did two shows at O2 Academy Brixton last January, which were huge highlights of our career and really emotional, so we’ve got very fond memories of Brixton and we’re excited to get back there.
Have you started planning and rehearsing what you’re going to be doing on the tour?
We haven’t started rehearsing yet, we’ve got a few weeks just before the tour starts to do that. We’re currently writing and doing stuff for a new album and the next campaign, but we’re starting to look at setlists and what we want to do, what kind of new things we want to throw in there.
Have you got any extravagant ideas that you’re throwing around?
There’s always big ideas, it’s just how much we can do at this point. Later on in the year there’s going to be a bigger tour, with hopefully what’s looking like a brand new album, so that one’s going to be really full on and probably the biggest we’ve ever done, and it’ll be very extravagant. This one is going to be a classic Hunna show, with lots of energy and lots of exciting stuff going on, but we just might have to hold a few things back to not give too much away.
You’ve mentioned that you’re writing and there’s a new album in the works, are you going to drop any new music at these shows?
We are actually going to be playing a new song, which was probably one of the first songs we wrote for the new chapter and it’s looking like it’ll be our first single from the new album. At the moment a lot’s been going on with transitioning between label and management, because there’s been a lot of bad stuff come out that we couldn’t put up with going forward, so we’ve had to make a big change and it’s been hard, and we’re still going through it. This song embodies that and the new atmosphere for the new chapter, so that’s one of the things we’re super excited to do on tour, play a new song and show people what we’ve got coming.
Where do you think you’re going to be taking The Hunna sound on album number three? Are you going to change things up at all, or are you going to take what you’ve done in the first two and just make it bigger and better?
I think naturally we’ve experimented a lot more on this album, with a lot of different sounds and vibes. We listen to so many different types of music and as much as we are a rock band, we don’t want to just be a boring rock band who do the same thing that we’ve done over and over again. It gets boring for us and it gets boring for the fans. We want to progress as people and where we’re at right now, with everything that’s going on, I think it’s naturally developing into a slightly darker, more mature vibe – not too dark – but just a bit more mature. We’re growing as people as well as musicians, so it’s very honest, it’s probably our most honest work to date and we’re just super excited to get it out there.
You’ve toured a lot over the past year, how do you keep yourselves sane on the road? How do you keep each other happy?
I’m not sure that there’s an actual way to keep sane on tour, ever. I feel like with us, since even before we got signed, it was just madness all the time anyway, it’s never really a normal day. Last year when we started doing world touring and we went to Australia for the first time and America again for long stints, things just kept getting bigger and bigger and it’s always crazy.
Tour is where we are happiest I’d say, that’s what we love doing the most, to be on stage and playing the songs for people and seeing the reaction, we love tour the most and getting into all sorts of trouble. Australia is definitely a dangerous place for us, I’m surprised we actually made it back, but I’m looking forward to going again!
So what’s the worst, or most embarrassing thing that’s happened to you on tour?
That’s tough, there’s quite a few. Australia, I guess. At the time it was pretty bad but also pretty funny, just because of who we are.
Basically, we’d done the Australian tour and the last show was in Perth. We played the show and then ended up going out for drinks, then went to the casino and basically got back to our hotel at 8am. We then went to the pool with the people we’d met and we were all just hanging out there at 8am. We were all pretty messed up and were supposed to move to another hotel. Dan, our guitarist, said he was going back to our room to get his stuff and I went back a little later on expecting him to be there, I walked in and all his stuff was just everywhere but he wasn’t anywhere to be seen.
I took his stuff downstairs and everyone was like, “Where’s Dan?!” I didn’t know, but thought he’d come back later on, but he didn’t. We had to go to the new hotel, almost a day later and nobody knew where he was and everyone started getting worried, we called the police and the ambulances and stuff. It turned out, he was so f***ed that he thought he was at his door, but he was a floor above and the maid had managed to let him in because she thought it was his room. He went in there and just passed out in some random person’s bed. The hotel management found him, opened the door and kicked him out. He was so wasted and was just walking around Perth in the scorching heat, he didn’t have any shoes either because I took all his clothes, he had shorts on and that was it. But he found us.
Wow. Yep, that’s a pretty wild story.
This is what I mean, stuff like that always happens, weird stuff always finds us. I thought he’d be fine, it happens a lot, but when he didn’t come back after a while I started getting really worried, but he’s here with us now and he’s alive.
Now, you’ve touched upon it a little already, but you’ve been quite honest about the fact that you’ve got legal battles going on and you’re changing a lot of things with the band. Has the experience helped you grow as a band, in a way? Has it helped you with moving forward and making new decisions?
Yeah, for a long time we were in a position where it was almost like being held hostage. I don’t want to say too much in case I get in trouble, but it was quite a dark time for us. Whilst we were doing all the world touring and everything was going really great, there was also a lot of bad things behind the scenes that we were trying to deal with and sort out.
For a long time we were trying to get out of this and we finally took the step to, which was a big step and it still is, every day we’re still fighting stuff, it’s very complicated and can at times be disheartening.
All we want to do is just write music, play music and do our thing, but now there’s lawyers involved and it’s all very serious, but we’re getting through it. It’s definitely a test of our character, but we’re all very strong people together, we’re like a band of brothers and our career’s amazing as well. We’ve all stayed together through it and the proof is in the new music that we’ve got coming. We’re really confident about it and that’s all that matters to us, nothing else can touch us really, we’ll get through it.
What advice would you give to any bands that find themselves in a similar situation, or who aren’t happy?
That’s a good question. It’s hard because, for us and for a lot of people, your dream is to be in a band or to be a recording artist and do the things that we do. When you’re in it and everything’s going really well and there’s these little things that aren’t so good, they start to build up and it’s very easy to get yourself in a situation where you feel like you can’t get out, because it’s your dream and what if this is it? What if you lose it all? But you’ve just got to have good people around you and don’t be scared, be confident in yourself and if you feel something in your gut isn’t right and you’re not sure, do something about it as quick as possible really, but in a smart and sensible way. Don’t start going crazy at your label and management, be sensible in your actions.
That’s very wise advice!
There’s a lot of games in the music industry, sometimes you’ve got to pick your battles and play your own games. For us, it took so long because we love our fans and we had so many tours going on, there were loads of times when we were told by legal teams to cancel the tours in order to get out of this, but if we did that then the fans would have been really let down and we didn’t want to do that. Once we got a bit of a break, we sat down and figured it out.
Well we’re glad you’re moving forward now.
In a year then – obviously you’re working on the new album – but where do you want The Hunna to be? What are your goals for 2019?
Our goals are to basically make honest, real music that we’re really proud of. Put it out to our fans and to the world. Make new fans. Show people that we’re here, we’re back and we’re better and stronger than ever. Start a Hunna world domination again, really. Get out there, get all over the place, Japan, America, Australia, wherever anyone wants us we’ll be. We just want it all basically haha.
You’ve got to dream big! If I believe in it, then hopefully it’ll happen and other people will believe in it too.
Want to be the first to experience The Hunna's new music live? Catch them at one of the following dates:
O2 Academy Newcastle: Thursday 4 April Buy Tickets
O2 Academy Brixton: Sunday 7 April Buy Tickets
O2 Institute Birmingham: Monday 8 April Buy Tickets
O2 Institute Birmingham: Tuesday 9 April - SOLD OUT
Want to keep up to date with all our interviews, competitions and more? Why not sign up to our newsletter?
You can now purchase Academy Music Group gift cards! They can be used on thousands of shows across the UK in our venues. For more information, click here.