An interview with Daniel Dorney of The Hunna

Photo by Amelia Jones

The Hunna is an English rock band from Hertfordshire that was formed in 2015. The band consists of Ryan Potter (vocals/guitar), Daniel Dorney (lead guitar), Junate Angin (bass), and Jack Metcalfe (drums). The band has released two full length studio albums and released their first single from their third album in August. Ky Kasselman had a chance to speak with Daniel over the phone during The Hunna’s support run with Barns Courtney.

Ky: First of all, congrats on your new single, “IGHTF”! 

Daniel: Thank you!

Ky: So the single sounds pretty new and different from what you guys have done in the past, how did you arrive at this sound?

Daniel: To be honest, we’ve always kind of had that sound. We’ve always come across heavier live than what’s been recorded. But from our separation from our previous record label and management, which the song is about, which you probably can gather, we’re trying to implement that more into our recordings and, you know, have that more live, grunge, trashy feel. So we’ve kind of always had that there, it’s just putting it to paper, well, to record really.

Ky: So how is this shaping the new era of The Hunna’s music?

Daniel: It’s shaping it very very well. It’s definitely going to be on the new record. We’re going to be in Calabasas working on the third record with a producer called John Feldmann, he was originally with Goldfinger, but he’s worked with Blink-182’s record, twenty one pilots, and FEVER 333, so he’s the man to be with for our new sound and new sonics that we’re going for. It’s so compatible. He’s brutally honest and we’ve written with him before. We’re probably going to be doing a ten to twelve track album with him and it’s gonna take us probably about four weeks to record. And then we’re gonna release the singles leading up to an album release early next year. But it’s definitely going to be heavier and edgier, while still commercial. And the exciting thing about it is that we’ve never really included many electronic sounds, which we’re now implementing into our music, and it’s just a really exciting time for us! We’re trying to do a hip-hop rock kind of thing. And Feldmann is the hardest working dude. And I mean this from the bottom of my heart, I’ve never been so inspired by somebody before. His way of life, the way he thinks, what he does, and how hard he works is so inspiring. It makes you want to work harder and be better. 

Ky: That’s incredible. How has tour been so far?

Daniel: Tour has been insane so far. It’s been absolutely crazy. Really good reactions. Good to see a lot of our fans again. We’ve been playing for about 40-45 minutes before Barns Courtney and we’re just doing what we do. That commercial punk rock new wave sound we’re going for and we just give it our all. It’s very organic. And we’ve been playing two new ones, “IGHTF” obviously and one that is going to be on the record called “What Are You Waiting For?” which we wrote with John Feldmann. We’ve been ending our set with that. It’s been going really really well. The reaction has been incredible and we’ve been making loads of new fans. It’s a perfect way to come back to America, really. 

Ky: Yeah! I was going to ask what has been different about this tour than your recent tours in the past, besides being support for Barns Courtney?

Daniel: I mean, we have done a support run in the states before with Jimmy Eat World, that was really cool. But this time it feels different. I don’t know how to explain it, but it feels like Barns Courtney’s fanbase is different from what our fanbase would be, but it’s kinda cool to play to a different crowd. A lot of people keep saying that we’ve been a pleasant surprise like “Oh I didn’t expect the opening band to be so fucking sick” and we like that. We like getting out there to warm up the crowd. We go out there and no one knows who we are. Which is great because in England it’s the complete opposite. The big shows are huge and everyone sings along and knows the words. It’s like going back to the old days and Scott Pilgrim-ing it, ya know?

Ky: That’s my favorite movie!

Daniel: It’s my favorite movie too, dude! It’s like we’re going out there trying to fight those DJ dragons, you know what I mean? It’s awesome, it’s really fucking awesome. 

Ky: Do you guys have any pre-show rituals?

Daniel: Yeah, definitely. We have a few actually. We have a handshake, we all have a secret handshake with one another, so it goes through the four cycles of that, then we put hands in, and we talk about the show and what we’re going to do and how we’re going to kill it. And we keep comparing the tour to Premier League football and we have like a points system, so each time we do a good show, it’s a point, but in the Premier League, a point is actually three points, so we’ll ask each other, “Oh is it a 3 pointer today?” and if we don’t have a good show, it’s a draw, and a draw is zero points. So far it’s been a clean sheet! So we have our little speeches and handshakes and get ourselves pumped.

Ky: So what is your favorite lyric in any of your songs?

Daniel: Oh wow there’s so many. I like when we play “Bad For You” and Ryan sings “I’ll be in your bed wearing red like the rose that you gave to me” I think that’s fucking awesome. I like the classic old school, it’s been a few years but it still hasn’t gotten old.

Ky: What is y’all’s strangest tour snack?

Daniel: Okay, I’m not a part of this, but I will tell you what everyone else does. I’m on protest. But everyone else is obsessed with Biscoff. It is absolutely amazing and it does taste incredible, BUT everyone’s getting a bit obsessed with it. I’ve been saying to the guys, “Dude! You’ve got to chill out on it. It’s not life.” But it feels like we’ve been sponsored by Biscoff when we’re on tour! 

Ky: Have you ever been to a coffee shop that has a Biscoff latte?

Daniel: No???? Is that a thing?

Ky: YES! They’re so good.

Daniel: No fucking way. I’ve got to tell the boys, that’s crazy. Wait no, then I’d be encouraging that! I’m encouraging the addiction. They need rehab. They need Biscoff rehab, definitely. But I will tell them. I have to tell them. I’ll feel guilty if I don’t.

Ky: So what is your favorite thing about touring in the states?

Daniel: For us, because we’re from England and it’s so small, we definitely feel like each state is its own little country. Even though America is America and it’s all one country. But just the feeling and how different states have different cultures and different laws, it’s just mad! So every time we go to a different state we feel like we’re on tour on Europe going to different countries. And it’s definitely just trying to experience different cultures and trying to fit in as much as possible that we haven’t done before and get food or drink that we haven’t tried before. But yeah it’s definitely going state to state! 

Ky: So who would be your dream touring lineup?

Daniel: It would have to be like Post Malone. Or twenty one pilots. Or it’d have to be Deftones. It has to be all the greats, man. We recently playing Reading & Leeds festival and we had the privilege of watching Post Malone from side stage and met his management and crew. It’s just fucking awesome. His set was insane. And same with twenty one pilots, we recently had a writing session with them and with John Feldmann. And then we watched them at Reading & Leeds and they were just phenomenal. They’re one of the best bands for a reason. And playing shows or a tour with people like Posty or twenty one, that’d be a fucking dream. Both of them together is the dream lineup and we can open for them.

Ky: Sounds perfect! Well that’s all I had, thank you so much for your time!

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