After a tumultuous few months, The Hunna have returned in full force. In October 2018, the group announced that they were separating from their record label High Time. With legal complications, postponed tour dates and decisions beyond their control, the band have endured tough times but they're not planning on slowing down any time soon.
Ahead of their sold-out show in Brixton Academy in London, the group greet fans waiting in the rain - something they take pride in doing. They talk fondly about their relationship with fans and how their fans have bonded with each other too.
"It’s kind of a cult band," laughs drummer Jack Metcalfe. "Those people are really up for being at the front. Back in the day that wasn’t there so much. A lot of fans have made friends and then they start going together when they come back. Also, we’re all the same people, we haven’t changed. We’re just four lads doing what we love so when we go around the back to meet people it’s like you’re saying hello to your friends."
Before heading on tour, the lads felt slightly apprehensive about how it would go, given the dates had been rescheduled. But the overwhelming feeling felt among the group was excitement.
"It’s been everything we expected and more," says bassist Junate Angin. "We didn’t expect to have as big a reception as we’ve had every night. Crowds have been louder than we expected, it’s been fuller than we expected. For us, we’re just having a ball on stage as well. Just getting to do what we love.
"Obviously we’ve been through a lot since the last time we toured so to be back with a bang and bringing it back to the fans who have been so supportive through a lot of struggles means so much."
Singer Ryan Potter adds: "It feels like a fresh start. Just taking all of the negativity and hard situations and leaving that behind us. Just a clean state - looking at the future, we’ve done this before. We’ve played Brixton before, we’ve done big tours we have the experiences under our belts so now it’s just: here we go, us four, just conquer the world. There’s nothing holding us back.
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With the release of The Hunna's second album 'Dare' last July, the difficulties with High Time were already ongoing. That said, the group didn't find it particularly hard to write the record despite the challenges they faced throughout the process.
"We have always written what we wanted to write," explains guitarist Daniel Dorney. "And even though the old label were a bunch of bastards, they never prevented us from doing that musically in that sense. But recording the album at the time, because they were bastards, we only had two weeks to record that album, so we were doing all nighters. It was pretty nuts. It was really intense and really quite horrible. It would be nice to record our third album with time and actually enjoy the process."
They didn't find any truths in the stories of "sophomore slumps".
"I think it's a myth," Metcalfe says."I think it’s bullshit. It's just your own pressure. Every album is going to be hard but if you know what you’re doing there shouldn’t be any cloud over it."
The Hunna have recently been in the studio with legendary producer John Feldmann. Having worked with the likes of The Used, Panic! At The Disco, 5 Seconds of Summer, Good Charlotte, Feldmann is an iconic name to be collaborating with. The group explain that it came about through their American label, 300 and their new management.
"He’s a legend," Potter explains. "He was probably the biggest writer we’ve worked with and we all wanted it to happen. He’s such a lovely dude, he’s so much fun and he’s so talented too. I think we’re potentially doing more with him."
With festival season around the corner, The Hunna are set for a very busy summer.
"I think style-wise and band wise we feel like we fit a festival side," Angin explains, "Obviously this is the first time we’re Main Stage at Reading & Leeds ... it’s a dream come true."
Recently, the discourse in the lead-up to festival season places a particular focus on genre: rock music is over, while pop and hip hop reign supreme. However, The Hunna's presence across European festivals disproves this, to a point.
"When people say that [rock is dead] it angers me," Dorney says.
Metcalfe adds: "I think it’s funny because it’s never going to die out. It never has and it never will and that’s it."
"No genre of music will ever die out," Potter concludes, "it’s just a cycle, it evolves. Rock music is coming back, but it’s completely different to rock music 10 or 20 years ago. It might be quiet, but it’s not dead. If it was dead we wouldn’t be at a sold out Brixton show tonight"