The Hunna four-piece indie-rock band from Hertfordshire, UK – established themselves on the scene when their debut single ‘Bonfire’ was released back in October 2015. Now, their debut album, ‘100’, has hit the charts running, with incredible support from BBC Radio 1. With sold-out London shows, Festival appearances, and their biggest tour so far in the UK hitting off to an astounding start – we managed to grab some time with the lead guitarist Dan Dorney.
Insanity Radio: Is it OK if I call you Dan?
Dan Dorney: Absolutely, or BD100, whatsup?
Insanity Radio: I have an interesting fact for you!
Dan Dorney: OK.
Insanity Radio: ‘Huna’ is an actual word in punjabi!
Dan Dorney: Is it really?
Insanity Radio: Yeah! And it’s a tag question, meaning ‘isn’t it?’
Dan Dorney: Ah cool!
Insanity Radio: Because when I first heard it, when I was doing my research about you guys, I thought, are they an Indian rock band? I was so confused. Where does the name come from? It’s quite original, very unique and I’m sure it’s so memorable.
Dan Dorney: Yeah, well funnily enough it actually came from what you just said. We have like a hip-hop background, we’re very diverse in our music, we all like different types of genres in music, and within hip-hop music, there weren’t ‘Hunnas’ used a lot, it means, you know, give 100% into something. Before we released, we spent two years writing and recording a few hundred songs and given it everything we got, and it just kinda sits with The Hunna, like we’ve given 100% in what we’re doing. Then we put ‘The’ in front of it, and we came up with it. But funnily enough, we actually come up with it in Tesco, somewhere in Bath, we were all hungover walking around, and we were like, ‘we should be called The Hunna man!’ – and we were like, ‘yeah, lets do that, lets do that’. And, we did.
Insanity Radio: It’s a really nice message, that you all have given 100%, like that’s a nice message to send to the fans.
Dan Dorney: Yeah definitely!
Insanity Radio: How close are you to the other band members, are you like brothers, best friends, what are your relationships?
Dan Dorney: Honestly, we are literally brothers from other mothers. I’ve known Jermaine since Year 2 at school, I remember finding him on the playground and saying ‘Can I play with you?’, and he let me play with him, and I’ve known him since then. Ryan, I’ve known since college, the age of 16 – that’s when we decided to start this band. I’ve known Jack since I was 18, I’m 24 now – we’re all 24. So yeah, we’ve known each other for a really long time, like, we would always hang out with each other, got to do band stuff together, like recording, doing whatever really.
Insanity Radio: So you’ve almost grown up together?
Dan Dorney: Yeah, we have, honestly we have, it’s cool because we’re experiencing everything for the first time together. It’s really cool, and we all come from the same town and we all know each other in and out – it’s really good, because, whenever it gets tough, we have each other to rely on, and it’s really really good, it’s amazing.
Insanity Radio: So speaking about likes and interest, do you all like the same things, are you into the same kind of music, because when you’re writing and making music, are you into the same things, or do you have different tastes?
Dan Dorney: We’re all different, but we’re all the same, it’s really hard to explain – we’re all very diverse, like I said, we all have – like, Jack is the hip-hop King, I love my rock’n’roll, but we all do, we all like different genres, but it’s cool because we all bring new music to each other, we always check it out.
Insanity Radio: It’s good that you’ve all got individual tastes, and you all bring it together. So what has been the most memorable moment, as a band, together?
Dan Dorney: It’s going to have to be the Electric Ball-room. The Electric Ballroom was our first sold-out show in London. With the capacity of like 1200 I believe, and our next big show in London will be Kentish Town Forum – we’ve sold three-quarters of the tickets, so we only have a quarter left! That’s definitely the best memory for us.
Insanity Radio: I bet you’re excited for that London show then?
Dan Dorney: Oh, so excited – it’s like a dream come true honestly – I’ve worked so hard, so finally for it to happen in reality is amazing.
Insanity Radio: So speaking about sold-out shows, where do you see yourself in 10 years time? – Do you want to sell out the O2, is that the big dream?
Dan Dorney: That’s exactly what we want to do, in all honesty we want to be one of the biggest bands in the world if we can be. We always like, we want to inspire like we’ve been inspired. We want to inspire generations, inspire people to pick up the guitar, go on the drums, play the bass, sing. And just inspire generations ahead of us, and keep playing music, and keep writing, and keep having a good time, and enjoy it.
Insanity Radio: When you were younger, who was your inspiration? Who was your favourite musician/band?
Dan Dorney: Personally, my dad kind of educated me on the Rock N’ Roll. He presented to me like ACDC, Guns N’ Roses, all the massive, commercial, amazing rock bands. I used to really want to be in a massive rock band like ACDC or something like that. But we’re all inspired in different ways, I know Ryan has been educated when he was young by lots of soul music, like soul singing – his dad loves soul and blues. And Jack, like Queen, and Jermaine is the same as me, but Jermaine went to the same school as me like I said, we grew up listening to music together; like he would bring Nirvana, and I’d bring Radiohead or something like that, we were always bouncing off each other – that’s what we’re still kind of doing now, keep bringing new music along – it’s amazing, really cool.
Insanity Radio: If you weren’t in a band, what would you be doing?
Dan Dorney: Trying to make it in a band! We’ve always, me and Ryan especially, and especially the other guys as well individually but, we always wanted to be doing exactly what we’re doing. I left college at the age of 18 with Ryan, and we commited to doing something like this, and we tried everything we could possibly think of, like bar work, construction, sales. We were those guys you call up and ask ‘do you need a reclaim or PPI’ – you know, we’ve been there done that. We’d probably work in like, any job really.
Insanity Radio: What would you say was the nicest job you’ve had and what’s the worse job you’ve had?
Dan Dorney: Ohh- There’s definitely been two of them…like, we worked in construction, it wasn’t a nice job, it wasn’t easy, but the people we worked with were incredible people, and they taught us a lot of values and other good things. Also the sales job. It’s really cool cause — you take elements of how people are running their business and how people treat other people and you know you take it onboard, you know, sort of things we’re doing in music and they’ve really influenced us, and taught us a lot. But it has to be either the construction or sales to be honest.
Insanity Radio: I’ve never worked in construction so I haven’t got an opinion there. What would be the last thing you would do going on stage?
Dan Dorney: Ah, well I’m sure, we always put our hands in the middle and then we all like, syc ourselves up, and we all go like, ‘We’re The Hunna’, and we get ready, try get pumped up, do our stretches. Jack’s like our yoga teacher as well, — and he’ll be doing his stretches, and we’ll make fun of him — we’ll get ready, get hyped up — and then get on the stage and kill it. Haha –
Insanity Radio: You are all pretty close, what would you say was the most interesting thing that you’ve done together, apart from the band, like have you been on holiday together…?
Dan Dorney: Oh, we’ve done a lot together besides the band, I mean, we’ve had many holidays, I remember we all went to Ibiza, that was mad, that was really fun, that was good times, a bit of Pacha hotel, bit of Spades. What else have we done?…played football together, you know. There have been countless times, where we’ve done other stuff, and it has been absolutely mad. Just can’t put your finger on one.
Insanity Radio: Ok, so chatting a bit more about your up coming music, your album, things like that. So you’ve released your debut single ‘Bonfire’ last year in October 2016. So what’s next?
Dan Dorney: What’s next? Our albums out on the 26th of August, its called ‘100’. It contains 16 tracks, and 5 of the tracks are bonus tracks, but we’ve decided to call them ‘Plus One Hunna Tracks’ – just to be different, have a bit of fun with it. And there’s a lot of bangers on that album. Funnily enough, we all went yesterday to have an album signing, where the CD’s are made, and the Vinyls are made, and we took some with us, and on the drive back, through Stevenage, to Hertfordshire, Watford, we got on the album and it absolutely blew us away, we were really happy and impressed with how it sounds. So big singles coming out, it’s gonna be new tracks that you haven’t heard, like ‘Alive’, ‘Never Enough’, ‘Bad For You’ – we got a lot of big bangers on that album.
Insanity Radio: So everyone listening to this, watch out for The Hunna and their new album coming out on the 26th of August. They’ve got a lot of new tracks, something for everyone on their album. So are you all from Hertfordshire?
Dan Dorney: Yep, we are all from Hertfordshire, in a little town called Watford.
Insanity Radio: Watford?
Dan Dorney: Yeah! Watford, yeah!
Insanity Radio: That’s not very little, I mean, I’m from Birmingham –
Dan Dorney: Birmingham’s a lot bigger than Watford, no? Haha-
Insanity Radio: Well when I say I’m from Birmingham, I’m from a place called Warsall, and it’s like a village outside. What’s Watford like growing up?
Dan Dorney: Watford, you know, it’s actually pretty cool, you’re only like, a 20 minute train away from London, you know, and that, it’s so great to get in and out, like without have the hustle and bustle all the time. It’s really cool, like, you know, it’s up and coming as well, there’s been a lot of money being put into Watford right now, it’s on its way up. But, you know, we always spent our time in the Harlequinn, always shopping, and everyones really cool there, it’s a really cool place to be. And it’s near London! – Haha
Insanity Radio: So would you say London is like your favourite place in the UK?
Dan Dorney: Yeah, I have to say, we do like a bit of London, especially now we’re older, we try and go in there as much as we can. Like we said, it’s only like a 20 minute train journey.
Insanity Radio: What would you say is your favourite part of London? Oxford Street, Covent Garden, Camden?…
Dan Dorney: We like to spend a lot of time in Camden, Camden is really fun. Like all the stalls, you know, you’ve got big bars, good places to eat. But we go everywhere. There are still so many places in London we need to explore and know, better than we do now.
Insanity Radio: Have you met Lana Del Ray?
Dan Dorney:Unfortunately not no, we’ve heard some stories, from people in the studios writing with Lana Del Ray, and obviously, Tim’s an amazing guy, we’ve given him a squad name, we call him Uncle Tim. He is like an uncle to us, literally, he is incredible. We wrote loads of songs and then we put them to Tim, and then he taught us loads of different techniques and how to write in different ways and loads of stuff we didn’t know, then he went through our music with us, and we worked on some other tracks and made them, improved them, make them a bit better. And like, he’s really good, and he has become a really close friend to us, just incredible.
Insanity Radio: Is he like a mentor then?
Dan Dorney: Yeah, he is honestly like, he is the man, he knows. He is honestly the nicest guy you’ll ever meet, he is so down to earth. And funnily enough, he’s got a little baby on the way at the moment and we can’t wait! A little Hunna baby! Haha-
Insanity Radio: Who would you say was the one person, who set of people, who you can say, ‘yes, they assisted us from the start, they’ve helped us, we are where we are today because of them’ – who would they be?
Dan Dorney: Yeah well, we are where we are today, like from the work we put in. You know, it didn’t happen over night, like I said, we spent so many years preparing and writing, and getting ready for what we’re trying to accomplish now, and what we are accomplishing actually. And, you know, people who are surrounding us, we surround ourselves with good people, and our record label, an independent label, they’re not a major label, they’ve brought so much to the table and like, it’s like a family, honestly, the label, the people we’re working with, what we’re doing, its still really strong, and we couldn’t be happier with the people we are surrounded by.
Insanity Radio: So do you have anything you want to say to your fans or to anyone listening to Insanity Radio – a little message?
Dan Dorney: OK, One Hunna, thank you for listening, appreciate it, and go check out our album, it’s going to be out on the 26th of August, which is days away, it’s going to be an awesome album, hopefully album of the year, go check it out and spread the word – OneHunna.
Interview conducted by Halina Hayre
Written up by Isobel Sheeran
Please do check out the audio of the interview here: https://www.mixcloud.com/IsobelSheeran/18082016-insanity-radio-1032fm-an-interview-with-daniel-dorney-bd-100/