- HUNNY, band description via social media
Translation: “Sweet sticky. Anything, everything. Something, somewhere. Save humans. Kiss. Kill. I love you, honey.” Lol.
At the average age of 22 the boys of HUNNY are already rockstars; they have a Peter Pan complex, are anime enthusiasts, and have coined the genre ‘dad-wave’ to describe their music. “It’s all the shit your dad listened to when he was cool.”
Last month we chatted with Jason Yarger (vox) and Jake Goldstein (guitar) of the band before their show at The DL (live music on Tuesdays at Dirty Laundry), rocked out with Jason’s proud mom in the crowd, and shot some photos during LA Weekly’s chaotic Chinese New Year showcase in Chinatown.
HUNNY is a six-piece rock band hailing from Newbury Park, California, home to other bands such as The Neighbourhood, Bad Suns and LYKA alum ENDS. There’s a large amount of talent coming out of that town and it’s safe to say that HUNNY is its next success story. So far, the digital world has only heard their infectious single titled “Cry For Me,” produced by Doug Boehm (Girls, Tokyo Police Club), but the promising debut has already garnered a decent fan following and positive press from outlets like Buzzbands.la to KROQ. The song is gritty and raw, with enough groove and pop sensibilities to get you dancing, all while inducing nostalgic feels from 80’s post-punk and shoegaze genres. Oh, and there are three guitarists. It’s loud, and it’s rad.
Jake: “The lack of electronic music is because we all grew up playing in punk and shoegaze bands with really raw guitars. And we do have synth in there on the tracks, but even though we like those pop sounds, we are going to be a band, first and foremost.”
Jason: “There’s a lot of that missing from music right now, everyone’s using those 80’s drum machines with really heavy synths. We just kind of wanted to be like, we’re a band and we play loud, and we wanted to put that into the recording as much as we could.”
After playing around with band names, they landed on HUNNY, a name that they mentioned wouldn’t potentially be “Google suicide” (although Winnie the Pooh related stuff tends to pop up in searches). Officially, HUNNY has only been a project since last July, but the guys have known each other for years. Having jammed and played in Valley punk bands with each other growing up, it is clear that they’re very comfortable with each other and is perhaps the reason why they have such a tight sound. Their songs are either about a) girls, or b) not wanting to grow up (i.e. Peter Pan complex... Us too). Their sound is youthful and sun-soaked, and translates into an energetic, nostalgic, killer live show. They mention that both recreating songs for their live show and their songwriting processes are highly collaborative, generally taking place in the form of a jam session in guitarist Jacob Munk’s green-carpet room at home.
Jake: “For the most part, it all starts with us jamming in a room. We flush stuff out when we record, but we also spend so much time playing together that it just comes inherently. We want to keep that element, being a good live band is also something that’s missing from a lot of modern music, everyone runs a ton of tracks live and we don’t run any tracks.”
The wave of positive reactions and support from press and fans alike has been overwhelming and humbling for the band. HUNNY has opened for acts like Bad Suns and Maudlin Strangers at venues from the Bootleg to The Observatory OC, winning their fans and audiences over with their music and charming on-stage personas. The sold-out shows have been packed with stoked crowds and HUNNY-dedicated fan accounts are starting to pop up on various social media platforms (@prlydrwnhunny on Twitter is our fav).
Jason: “The people that are fans of our band are super supportive and really cool, both at the shows, and social media has been huge for us oddly enough. It’s just been really cool seeing people that stoked on the band; you’re never going to be bummed that people like the shit that you’re making.”
While the band’s journey has merely begun, their future is promising. Being able to make and play music with your best friends, and to have people be hyped on it, is what any band dreams of. With every day and each step the band takes forward, they feel they are getting closer to their idea of success and accomplishing their goals.
Jason: “I don’t think there’s ever going to be one certain point when we’re, say, playing Coachella and be like, ‘We’ve made it!’ I feel like with each day, as more people listen to us and the more people that start paying attention is a success. So like, tomorrow will be the definition of success for me right now.”
Look out for more new releases and LA shows to come. HUNNY opens for Maudlin Strangers with Yukon Blonde at The Satellite in Silverlake tonight. Doors are 8pm, show at 9pm / tickets are $12 at the door. See you on the dancefloor.
Are you guys going to Coachella?
Jake: Our boys in Bad Suns are playing so I kind of wanna see them, and we really want to see Drake… but I’ve been going to Coachella for the 6 years and I didn’t go last year because it’s just really changed, there’s a lot of bro-ey tendencies. The first year I went there definitely weren’t any frat trips going to Coachella… and the last time I went, there were a lot of frat tank tops walking around. Not necessarily a bad thing but it’s not really my bag...
What do you guys like to do outside of music?
Jake: We like to skateboard.
Jason: We like to read.
Jake: None of us are that good at it, but…
Jason: Yeah, we are neither good at skateboarding or reading, but we like both. Netflix… I don’t know, we’re all together all the time.
Jake: It’s literally trying to be as funny as possible, and trying to make each other laugh harder than the last person…
Jason: Dumb jokes, that’s what we do outside of music.
Favorite LA venues?
Jake: We played No Vacancy last week, it was dope. We love the Bootleg as well because everyone there is super nice to us. The fact that the bouncer at the Bootleg picked me up, threw me over his shoulder and spun me around, it was the best. So rad.
Jason: We’ll see how Dirty Laundry goes, but so far it’s good.
Jake: We’re pretty new to this whole thing, so…
Where do you guys like to go?
Jake: Kung Fu Corner, baby!
Jason: Kung Fu Corner in Westlake Village, they have punk rock shows in like, a kung fu dojo, it’s crazy.
Jason: We like house shows and stuff, too.
Guilty pleasure music / favorite throwback jams?
Jake: Wow, I don’t know, what do I feel guilty listening to? Throwback jams… recently down for, what’s that Missy Elliot song?
Jason: Jake’s guilty pleasure music is Missy Elliot right now…
Jake: I have a different one every week... my mom got me an N’Sync Greatest Hits album for Valentine’s day :’) but that’s still not guilty! We’re hard to guilt.
Jason: No shame in our game.
Favorite brunch spots?
Jake: Country Harvest in Newbury Park. They let you bring champagne in and cork it, and make you mimosas.
Jason: No corking fee.
Jake: So we’ve been hitting that a lot on Sundays, their chicken fried steak is wonderful. Shout out to Country Harvest and Side Street Cafe, also in Newbury Park.
Jason: If you think your brunch spot is the best, uh, email us…
Bloody marys or mimosas?
Jake: It depends on the day, but mimosas for me I think.
Jason: That’s so hard, it depends on who’s making the bloody mary… if there’s like a slice of bacon in there, I’ll take a bloody mary over a mimosa any day.
We live right by Franklin & Co., they have bacon in their bloody marys, but also topped with a little slider…
Jason: OOHHHHHH! Super down with that. Also depends on what kind of night I had prior… if I’m feeling alright and it’s a casual morning, mimosa. But if I had a rough time and I’m not feeling too great, bloody mary. Breakfast in a cup.