Let the Hunna-mania begin! 2020 is looking to be big year for The Hunna, who have emerged from one of the most difficult periods of their young career following a tenuous label situation and have rebounded with new backing and a buzz-generating new record that should kick down a few doors for the group. The journey starts today with the release of the band's new single, "Cover You," which features an assist from Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker, just one of several name guests lining up to add further cred to the upcoming disc I'd Rather Die Than Let You In.

"It's fucking chaos out there right now, the world is a gruesome place," state the band. "Ultimately it’s a song about young people falling in love in the mosh pit, having the time of their lives together like nothing else exists and nothing can hurt them and saying to one another ‘if we go in this pit, there’s no going back’ and ‘if we do this, I’ve got your back’ also relating to a relationship forming and the sentiment ‘I got you.'" Check out the video below, then read our interview and see photos from our recent chat with the band at an L.A. cafe after the clip.

The Hunna featuring Travis Barker, "Cover You"

I know you guys went through quite a bit between records. As we head into the new record, where was your mindset and what did you want to accomplish? 

Ryan "Tino" Potter: I think this record, it's kind of been like a catharsis for us of letting out a lot of different emotions and the anger we had. There was maybe like five or six months where we had found out some really bad news about our label back home in England that we had to deal with. It was a lot to take in and deal with. We didn't really know what was going to happen or how long before we were going to be able to release music, which is always a lot to take on because you never think about that when you start in a band or want to get into this. We just love to perform and write music. So a lot of it is about overcoming that situation and the people that we are working with.

Another side of our new music is about things that are going on in the world today and our mindsets on them and how they've changed. We think that this third album is kind of like a coming of age album for us and almost like a kind of rebirth really.We feel more confident. We've got the fire back and we know what we want to do or how to get there. We're just really focused on nailing it and putting that all in the past. The new Hunna chapter is creating Hunna-mania worldwide.

Photo by Beth Saravo
Photo by Beth Saravo

You worked here in California with John Feldmann. Does environment and being surrounded by American culture affect anything in terms of the creative side of it?

Ryan: I think 100 percent. I think it's been the most refreshing thing for all of us was to make music out here and especially to do it with someone like Feldy. He's so well known in the industry and so talented himself, but at the same time, you know, like a real musician, so he really understands us and gets us as people as well. And yeah, the sun helps too, you know, the palm trees.

I think L.A.'s a place, because it's so historic for music, that there's always a buzz whenever we come out here and you meet so many amazing people everywhere you go. It's kind of opened up our horizons I think. We're in better hands now and the plan is you know, take the U.K., take Europe, take America, take the world.

Does anybody have a quintessential Hollywood experience? 

Daniel "BD" Dorney: We've had so many experiences already. We've met a lot of people we wouldn't think we would have met.

Ryan: I mean just right now at that table behind us is Merry (Dominic Monaghan) from Lord of the Rings.

BD:  You never know who you're going to run into. I think the Hunna is compatible with L.A. I feel like we're very together. We matched.

Ryan: It's been a dream of ours for the ages that we used to make up funny songs about coming over here and live in L.A. when we were just in a cold freezing cold garage in Watford.

Jack "IK" Metcalfe: I think also as well, like as kids growing up, I mean obviously you've got to think of America in general with the movie scene in there and the music scene, but I think L.A. especially likes the fashion, the music, the food, the culture, the art, the people. It's kind of what we're about.

Junate "Prince" Angin: I think everyone should explore new experiences. There's just so much to do.

Ryan: Yesterday we did a photo shoot with a guy called Travis Shinn that we'd never met before. Obviously we've seen this work and it's awesome, but we never worked with him before. We'd never done anything like a photo shoot for like album artwork or anything in L.A. So it was our first taste of that and it was mind blowing really about how creative he is and how his energy again [was so amazing]. There's just so many special people out there I think.

What was your introduction to John Feldmann?

BD: The introduction was set up through our new record label who are based in New York called 300 Entertainment. They put us into a session with him and me and Ryan went round not knowing, we didn't actually know who he was, which was quite funny cause when we turned up at his house, it was just like a palace. We were like, "Who is this guy? Like what does he do? How does he get here?" Then we looked him up and we realized he's worked with Blink 182, The Used, Twenty One Pilots and so on, Good Charlotte and everybody really. He's also famous himself from Goldfinger and including his production, it's really incredible.

We were right with him, writing some songs with him. Then we had an agreement that it'd be really good if he recorded our album and he was up for it. We flew over here and did like a whole month worth recording with him. It's great, like Ryan said earlier, he's a musician so he's incredible to work with and he understands everything.

Jack: He moved super quick as well. We were smashing out songs, so we did most of the drums and bass within like three days, which was like 16 tracks. Just the way he works I think really suits us. We'd only had one other system before with another person. We loved that experience cause we learnt a lot from that but it was a lot slower. We're talking like half a day to a day gap between recording tunes whereas this we were smashing right back to back songs and that was like a really big thing for us cause we're ready to go.

Ryan: We've got so many songs and so many ideas and it was just kind of after the first writing session we'd had with him. We wrote three songs in one day and one of them was "Young and Faded." We were just like, "This is amazing. Like this sounds like exactly what we want, where we want to go." He just got it immediately and then he said he wanted to do the record and we wanted him to do it. We've been best buds ever since.

You mentioned "Young and Faded." Let's talk about that one a bit ...

Ryan: It was one of the first songs that we did with Feldy in the writing session. It's also one that everyone's kind of picked out of the album as kind of a potential lead single. It's about a few different things really. It's kind of about young people in this day and age with things like Instagram and how a lot of the older generation kind of, in my experience anyway, a lot of people kind of look down on younger people now. Kind of as a generation they're not as active and their minds are warped by all these material things. Whereas actually, in fact, nowadays I think there are so many young people that are creating and succeeding massively in so many different areas, whether it's entertainment or people like Greta Thunberg and stuff like that.

I think it's just kind of a play on young people being like, "Oh, we're young and faded and we're this and that." When really, the older generation does loads of bad things that were viewed that way in that generation by the generation before them. It's generations keep passing down all this shit.

Really is it as bad? I think especially this generation now, I'd say there's probably more young people that are really actively going out and changing things and creating things. It's incredible. But I feel like, a lot of the older generation just don't get it. They just kind of see things like Kylie Jenner on Instagram and stuff and are quick to judge basically. So it's kind of a play on young people being like, "Yeah, we're young and faded on this and that." But actually it's more of a positive outlook on the young.

With The Hunna, you mentioned being more active. Do you see this band maybe using your platform more as you get more well known to put forth a message or be more vocal about things that you believe in?

Ryan: I think, yeah, I can see that. I think on this record, there are certain songs that kind of touch on things that we haven't done before. That's not necessarily really political. We're not going to charge into the House of Commons and stuff. We're not THAT band yet. (laughs)

I don't know where we're going to go, who knows? We just want to keep growing naturally and just see what happens. So far, on this record, we've got to a point where we are talking about things that we've haven't spoken about before, because our mindset's different and we've grown up a lot and seen things more for what they are. I think the more we go on, the more we learn and the more we want to say. Sometimes you can't say it, and the only time that you can say it is in a song.

We make music. So, luckily for us I guess, we can kind of put out whatever we want to a certain degree without being told that that's too far. So, yeah, it is definitely important for that for sure.

Photo by Beth Saravo
Photo by Beth Saravo

"Cover You" is going to be the first song out there and you've got this quote about finding love in the pit. Who has the best "pit" story?

Ryan: So the pit, finding love in the pit is more of an imaginative thing, more like the pit being just this in the midst of absolute chaos, and it finding something beautiful within that, which is kind of another reference to the world. There's so much shit going on in the world and it is chaos. But there are also again, lots of beautiful people out there that create stuff and do things for one another. So, it's kind of more to do with that.

Jack: Me and Ryan fell out of our own pit in the last music video. We stumbled over a fan and hit it pretty hard on the concrete floor. Well, it wasn't the biggest post-hardcore pit, but that was quite embarrassing actually.

Ryan: There was one when we were really young and we were... It was a kind of pub called The Railway Club in Watford, where we always used to play. We used to go to hardcore gigs there and we were in a post-hardcore band. We'd play and then there was a pit and obviously loads of friends there and from different schools and stuff. And there was this dude called Jack Sole, he was a big dude. I'm properly gothed out. I remember I was a goth kid at that point. I was kind of into MCR, so kind of a scene kiddy guy, I guess. But this guy's properly gothed out, and we were cool. We had no beef. I was just in the pit, was going on and then it kind of dispersed. And I was just kind of in there on my own looking around. And then all of a sudden he just came out of nowhere and slammed me in the face.

Jack: Oh, he punched you?:

Ryan: Yeah, to the point where he hit me so hard that I looked at him. He was on the floor and my whole [eyesight], it was just blurry and I was down and some other people had to literally take me out of the gig. I couldn't even see. And then the next day Dan had a house party and everyone turned up and I had a black eye and my nose was huge.

Jack and BD: But he kind of just went for you there. Everyone kind of went for it, that's a low blow. He had it bad after that, everyone kind of went for him. Everyone was not happy about it. That's not the rules, man.

Junate: I lost a shoe in a pit. I went to see a show with the boys. It was it at Alexander Palace, I think. The pit was huge for every song. And yeah, just went crazy and then the pit opened up. I looked up ... I didn't have a shoe on there. Didn't realize and the pit opened up and there was a massive gap and this spotlight just came on right into the middle and my shoe was just right there. I eventually just grabbed it, put it back on there and started moshing again.

So, you guys just shot a video as well for "Cover You" ...

Ryan: Yeah, it was pretty fun. It was our first video that we've ever done out here. We put an announcement out to fans to see if they wanted to come down. It was a really good turnout. It was just kind of an all-day thing hanging out with them and asking them questions. It was the first time that they had heard anything from the new album at that video shoot, and the feedback was really good, which is always nice.

We had friends that we've met over our time here come down and a few other artists. There's an artist called Phem who features on the album and she came down. So, yeah, it was kind of a day of finally letting people hear something from the album and hearing what they had to say. Then also just kind of catching up with old friends and having a good time really, so.

You mentioned Phem coming down, is she on this song?

BD: Not "Cover You," but on a track called "If This Is Love." It's probably our favorite really. It's a short song. Just dynamically builds into something really big. It's awesome. Ryan and hers voices are so good together. It's like a happy accident. We met her by chance really. Ryan's been a big fan of her for a while. And we went to the Halsey Halloween party this year and asked for a light and we didn't know who she was. And she said Phem. And I was like, I know that name. And then yeah, I told Ryan and Ryan rushed out to find her. And so it's really good.

Ryan: So she came in and yes, she's on the album. It's one of our favorite songs. It's fucking awesome. It's very dark and very raw. I think it's cool. I don't think there's a rock band right now, especially an English one, that's kind of created this kind of sound. And having someone like Phem come on the record, it's exciting.

We always wanted a female vocalist on it. We both kind of layer each other and it's the same lyric, but kind of from both perspectives and then it builds up into this dark beat. It's like The Weeknd vibe

BD: But with a heart that will probably be a bit of trap by her.

Jack: It just unravels. That last hour [of recording] we really got there. When it came out it was like this is exactly what we wanted to come out. It was a really nice feeling to listen back to it and be like, "That's it. That's the money right there."

BD and Ryan: Bunch of cool reverse guitars, loads of layers. It's really trippy. Very moody, psychedelic. Yeah, we played it to Apple and Amazon and stuff the other day and they love it. And yeah, our voices, it just worked. It sounds like actually she could have been in the band. That's how good it was.

Photo by Beth Saravo
Photo by Beth Saravo

You worked with Travis Barker, who obviously has the association with Feldy. What all did he do on this record?

Ryan: Well, Jack played his kit for the whole record.

Jack: So, yeah, I walked into the studio first day and there was a vintage Orange County just set up. And then I was like, "Feldy, this kit's beautiful." And he was like, "Yeah, it's Travis's old kit." I was like, "Amazing. Didn't think I'd be drumming on his kit." Did that whole album on it, it sounded great. And then, Travis also came in. We were kind of up and down, just from the drum perspective. But when we heard from Feldy that Travis was up for doing a song, it just felt like "Cover You" was the right song at the right time to be like, "I'm cool with him to do that one."

I was obviously playing it at the video shoot, but my style is definitely influenced from him 100 percent. He's in the top three or four guys that I listen to growing up and down to college. So, the style fits perfectly for us as well, because it's very similar to kind of what I go for as well. He just killed it, obviously, he's Travis Barker (laughs). So, that's what he does. And yeah, just super stoked that he's on it for sure.

Speaking of drummers, you also had Josh Dun from Twenty One Pilots come in. Was that as a co-writer or is he actually on a track?

Jack and BD: He jumped in. I suppose he co-wrote though. But then he ended up saying I'm down for it. And then everyone was like, yeah, cool. Why not?

Ryan: The whole time we were here, Pete Wentz came in for one of the songs. Who else came in? We were going to do a session with the guys from My Chemical Romance. I think that's still in the cards at some point. Obviously we met Phem naturally and that happened, but a lot of it like Travis and Josh's stuff, Feldy was just bringing in people. Even people like, not even just necessarily to write, just to hang out.

Just to be around those kind of people that you grew up listening to and have them dig what you're about to do and have an input on it and then feel that strongly about it, that they're cool to jump on and do something on it, is really a good look for us. It feels good that they're willing to have their name associated with what we're doing because they don't have to. And a lot of people wouldn't if they don't generally want to. It's just been a dream come true, a crazy, trippy time.

Jack: We had said at the outset as well that if it's not a natural sort of sound for the album, then it's not for us. But the fact that all three features slot in so perfectly, and on top of that, there's that chance of opening more doors, that's just another big side to it as well. Twenty One Pilots, huge. We really dig their stuff, Blink, huge. And then obviously Phem's up and coming in the trap world in the emo side. So, for us it's anything that can potentially open a door ... as long as it works.

We briefly touched on Pete Wentz there, but what was that meeting like for you?

Ryan: He's a very nice dude. It's weird because again, you'd turn up and you'd have no idea what really you were going to work on or who was coming in. And then Pete Wentz just walks through the door. I haven't really seen him. Probably the last time I saw him is when I went to see him at Wembley when I was 16 or something. So, yeah, it's kind of weird just coming in and I was just like taking him in. He's got some really good ideas and obviously he's a talented dude. It was just really chill. It's weird, isn't it? You build up a perception of someone that you listen to. And then you're there and then they're really nice and chill. You just kind of forget it and then you just start hanging out really.

Jack: It makes you realize everyone's human.

Junate: Even Travis Barker.

Ryan: Although he's not human on the drum though. We went to the iHeart show at the Forum the other night, and he's just mental.

Jack: That kit sounded so good as well.

Has it hit you the journey of feeling some of the lowest lows of frustration and then being almost at the other end of the spectrum where every day was a new recording adventure?

Jack and BD: It felt like it would be wild but also deserved. We're really hardworking boys. We don't go down in a bar fight legitimately. From being in a situation of being completely fucked over and having all your money stolen to then releasing a third record and working with the likes of Pete Wentz and Joshua Dun and Travis Barker and Phem and John Feldmann. It is crazy.

But also yeah, it's a pat on our own backs for getting through that and believing in ourselves and putting out a third record. Thank fuck for the fans because we've been completely honest with this whole process. And I think that honesty, they could respect it. And it goes a long way and they're coming with us on the journey. And they're supporting everything we're doing. And they're excited as ever, so it's a really good thing.

BD, I think this was from one of your interviews early in recording last year, but at the time you were talking about the new music being more electronic and also a little heavier than the past. Did it kind of stay in that vein as recording continued?

BD: This new record, we kept the same elements we've always had of that rock music. Because normally we just do or would record two electric guitars, one bass, one drums and a vocal. And then we've really kind of wanted to evolve our sound and sort of introduced the synths, we've introduced electric drum kits. It also features vocoder stuff, but there's always a line. If we have to cross that line, we never would have to take five steps back and make sure we get it exactly right. We didn't want to come across or be a band we don't want to be. We want to preserve with what we have from the fans we already have, with the sound we've made, but evolve it to keep those fans happy and introduce ourselves to new ones.

Ryan: We're humans as well. We don't just listen to the music we make, do you know what I mean? We listen to so much different music and have lots of different influences. It's a natural thing as we are constantly evolving and changing our sound. It was just the perfect time for us to do that. We've always wanted to, but been kind of held back. So, in this scenario we kind of just were like this is our moment to finally do everything that we've wanted to do and try it out. Let's just take it by the horns and sort of kill it. And Feldy got it 100 percent straight away and we feel so super comfortable with him. I think we definitely nailed it.

I love the fact that you guys rate your shows and how you perform on a Premier League Soccer scoring system.

Jack: Yeah, we do do that. We're big football fans, man. Let's just put that out there. Big ups to Manchester United. We'll give Arsenal a shout out as well. To be honest with you, I think on a serious note, we are very critical on ourselves live. But because we know how much we have to offer, and we've got to that point now where it is almost like, yeah, it is kind of a point system in the sense of how much can you bring it? That's all in yourself as a musician within a band. You know you've got to bring your part, but then obviously at the same time it's united, man. If the four of us have a sick show, we know we don't even need to discuss it. It's on our faces, you know what I mean?

What does the rest of the year look like for you and what would you like to share with your fans about what's coming?

Ryan: We've got the biggest tour and schedule that we've ever had. We're starting this year in America, in April, May time. Then to the UK, Europe, then the whole summer is filled all over the place, American festivals, European festivals. Then we've got September, we've got the start of the full kind of world tour, I guess, which again would be England, Europe, America, Australia, Asia. So, yeah, we're going to be everywhere and anywhere.

We're just ready to do our thing finally and put everything behind us and start Hunna-mania worldwide. Thank you to everyone for being very patient with us and supporting us. We're just super excited to get back out there and be around all the fans again and do what The Hunna do.

Thanks to The Hunna for the interview. Check out the "Cover You" video above and get the track here. Look for the band on tour at these dates. The band's new album, 'I'd Rather Die Than Let You In,' will be available on May 15. Pre-save it here.

Photo by Beth Saravo
Photo by Beth Saravo

The Hunna 2020 Tour Dates

300 Entertainment
300 Entertainment

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