IN CONVERSATION WITH: HUNCKJune 15, 2016
Celebrating emerging artists, Green Man Rising is an annual competition that gives bands a platform to showcase their music by opening Green Man Festival on the Mountain Stage.
We caught up with last year’s winners, the London-based five piece, HUNCK on playing Green Man, their musical influences and supporting the Mystery Jets.
UO: What inspired you to enter Green Man Rising and how do you feel about winning?
Thomas: A friend suggested we enter as it would be neat to see us play while he was there that year. Of course one doesn’t expect to win this sort of thing… it was unreal. The support we received from Green Man really pushed us forward as a band.
Frederik: We were over the moon to win it, I don’t think anybody expected it. I ran from working up in Primrose Hill on a film shoot to get to the show, just in time to perform. I remember it was the hottest day of the year. It was such a great evening, all three of my little brothers were there and that doesn’t happen very often. Recalling that night fills me with great happiness.
Mike: Green Man is one of the best festivals, and it’s always nice to spend a weekend in the Brecon Beacons. It beats a wet weekend in Tottenham. We’re so grateful to have been involved last year and to win it was very special for us.
When did you know you wanted to be musicians?
Frederik: I think it’s always been in us. We’re all music lovers and always have been. I think you just get drawn to it without even thinking. It’s not a conscious decision. I would say personally for me it’s always been a mystical feeling of it being my main purpose on earth.
UO: What kind of bands did you listen to growing up and how has that influenced your sound now?
Mike: We all have a wide range of influences throughout the band. ELO, Kraftwerk, Brian Jonestown Massacre and The Beatles all spring to mind. We just try to make music that we would actually like to listen to if we heard it on the radio or television.
Frederik: Too many to list fully! Each member has different inspirations. I think collectively though XTC are a big one. I grew up listening to all sorts, from classical to Kraftwerk, from Prog to Punk. As a kid my parents used to take me to see this wonderful folk band called Blowzabella. They have always influenced me greatly in my approach to songwriting and melody.
Thomas: For me: The Organ, Frank Sinatra, The Smiths, Grandaddy, Magnetic Fields, Erik Satie and Black Sabbath. I disregarded anything in a major key! These days I try and make a point of not lingering on old influences too much though.
UO: Who or what inspires your music?
Frederik: The world around us. I guess growing up in the 90′s we all saw this wonderful colourful and prosperous time, then having to go through adolescence during the cynical Blair and Bush era and seeing the sheen of our childhoods rub off and now we find ourselves in this over-commercialised and largely expensive and boring time where no-one seems to give themselves the time to truly enjoy their short existence. I guess Hunck is a way for us to be doing exactly what we want to do and hopefully for people to enjoy it along the way with us.
Thomas: It’s a tough time to survive as an artist, but I think both popular and unknown artists have a duty to persevere and keep creating… that’s what inspires me. Art is important; it’s a way we can break down barriers and find common ground in a world where not much exists! That’s why things like Green Man Rising and PRS foundation do matter.
UO: Best HUNCK experience to date?
Frederik: Playing Green Man Festival. It was a massive bonding experience for us. We all hung out, enjoyed each other’s company and had a truly magical time. We always have a good time though. It’s the jokes and the laughs that get us through.
Mike: Green Man is definitely up there, it’s not every week you play in a lovely environment and then get to see Television. That, as well as our appearance at Reading Festival. Playing the Arden Road Social Club in Halifax was also a top experience.
Thomas: Meeting Matt Tong.
UO: What is your songwriting process? What’s the journey from initial idea to finished track?
Mike: We all write songs for Hunck, and it’s usually the case of someone writing a delicious hook and we just have to shout about it.
Frederik: There are lots of different processes. Everyone in the band writes. Usually someone will write a song or part of a song or just a musical phrase, it gets stuck in to the Hunck cauldron and everyone adds their favourite ingredient. They say too many cooks spoil the broth, which is fine as we have always thought our music was more like a slow cooked chilli con-carne.
UO: Are there any themes you find yourself drawn to when songwriting?
Mike: Love, the regrets of love, the destruction of love, and the discovery of love! That, and socialism.
Thomas: I feel like optimism is slowly creeping in to our songs… Urgh
UO: What are you looking forward to this summer?
Mike: We’re looking forward to getting around the country as much as we can!
Kieron: Playing with the Mystery Jets, always loved them.
Thomas: We’ve got a few special shows to announce very soon!
UO: Where do you want to take your music next?
Kieron: I’d like to see us touring other countries. I’d especially like to go to New York or California
Mike: Green Man Festival 2017!
Thomas: More shows and more songs…. creating as much art under the Hunck umbrella as we can. We don’t want to be just another Album/tour cycle part-time band. That’s our goal! And Green Man Festival 2018!
Find out more about Green Man Rising here