No one ever said international rock stardom was easy, but The Hunna have often made it look that way.
Their rise to global success has been meteoric: formed in 2015, their 2016 debut album, ‘100’, went gold and shot into the UK Top 20. The 2018 follow-up, ‘Dare’, climbed even higher, as The Hunna built a golden reputation for crafting instant rock anthems.
Live, they’ve always been one of the most exciting bands on the circuit, with an insanely devoted fanbase guaranteed to turn every gig and festival appearance into an unmissable event.
But, while things might have looked simple from the outside, behind the scenes they were often anything but. Having dealt with some well-documented issues with the management and record label behind their first two records, the Covid-19 lockdown tested them like nothing else – until a back-to-basics approach helped The Hunna deliver their greatest and most ambitious album yet. An album that bristles with the pent-up emotions that lingered through that long lockdown. Starting by giving the music industry both barrels on lead single, ‘Trash’.
“We’re not calling anyone specific out, it’s just overall industry suckiness. It highlights things we’ve experienced in the industry over the years and things we see going on and hear about now. There’s a lot of bad shit that still goes on in the industry and a lot of it gets swept under the rug. But we’re in the position where we’re on our fourth album, we feel refreshed and confident and this is what we’re going to say. You either like it or you don’t, it’s cool either way. We are who we are.”
And who they are, ‘The Hunna’ confirms, is one of the UK’s great modern rock bands. Produced by the legendary Gil Norton, it’s an album to sit comfortably alongside some of the classic records he’s worked on, from Pixies’ ‘Doolittle’ to the Foo Fighters’ ‘The Colour And The Shape’ and Jimmy Eat World’s ‘Futures’.
“We wanted to make a record of that calibre that would stand the test of time,” enthuses Dan. “Nowadays in the music industry, a lot of people put out songs just to jump on a trend for a quick minute. We wanted to do the opposite of that; really take our time to craft an album. Gil understood that vision and it’s come out beyond even what we envisioned.”
For a while, The Hunna were a rare UK rock band capable of competing with the mainstream on its own terms. They welcome the genre’s return to more fashionable status, but warn that not everyone involved in the current revival is in it for the long haul.
“We’re a real band, we always have been,” he stresses. “We write our own songs, from the heart. We’re three best friends who’ve always lived 10 minutes away from each other. We just want to make music, say the things we want to say, have fun and be unapologetically us. If that’s not cool to some people, fair enough, but it’s cool to us.”
Indeed, it’s now surely time for The Hunna to get the respect they’ve always deserved. After all, the commitment to their band is such that all three members have the band’s logo tattooed on their skin. And, having been through so much, there’s no way they’re going to quit now. Even if, this time around, the band that’s always made it look easy have had to do things the hard way.