Beyond Windows I: Interview with Hunny on Collaborations and Music Videos

All photos by Cina Nguyen

Welcomed by the bitter cold and gloomy skies of the East Coast, HUNNY stopped in Washington, DC while on the Love Like Revenge Tour, headlined by fellow California natives, Bad Suns. After soundcheck, Jason Yarger (lead vocals/guitar), Jake Goldstein (guitar), Kevin Grimmett (keyboard), Greg Horne (bass) and Joey Anderson (drums) all piled into their green room at the 9:30 Cub to tell us about their latest release Windows I. 

Teal Magazine: Did you guys get to do anything in DC?

Jake: We literally drove straight here. We’ve been to DC before though and made a point of doing all of the monuments stuff.

Jason: Yeah, we were here two days the first time we played here. We hit all of the monuments and everything and like— 

Greg: All of the touristy shit.

Teal Magazine: Not much has changed. It’s stayed the same. I mean we opened The Wharf, so there’s a new venue there that the 9:30 Club opened.

Jake: What’s it called?

Teal Magazine: It’s called The Anthem 

Jake: Oh, that’s what all those posters are, okay!

Teal Magazine: Yeah, so one day when you have an audience of 6,000, that’ll be your place.

Jake: That will be on the reunion tour 45 years from now or something, yeah.

Teal Magazine: So in May you released your new EP, Windows I. How has it been being able to play the songs live?

Jake: We’re excited about playing those songs live mostly cause we wrote them with the intention of like playing more musically and a little bit more difficult so it’s really fun now that we have those under our belt and feel really comfortable with everything and people know them.

Jason: Plus, I think they sound better live than they do on record. That’s usually how we always are. We’ve always sounded better live. It’s always been a challenge capturing how we sound live onto you know what we’ve done so far.

Greg: Unfortunately.

Teal Magazine: When you record do you [have] each person playing at once or do you do it by piece?

Jake: We haven’t actually done it in a room yet just because we haven’t had like the space or the capability to do that. So, I think that would be a really fun thing for us to try. We’ve talked about doing that before but we we haven’t done that yet. 

Teal Magazine: So far, what have been the crowd favorites to hear live?

Jake: I think Shy and Televised, for sure. 

[Everyone agrees]

Teal Magazine: Yeah I really like Televised, it’s my favorite.

Jake: Thank you.

Greg: I think that’s our favorite too.

Kevin: Hard to Burr—, I mean Hard to Believe.

Jake: We have different names for everything.

Jason: We have all different code names from when we first wrote [the songs] and they didn’t have any lyrics or anything. Everything has silly names, so we always try not to let them slip. They’re not like bad or anything, they’re just stupid gibberish words usually.

Teal Magazine: And people are like, ‘What are you talking about?’

Jake: Yeah, exactly. ‘Oh, the real song title is this’

Teal Magazine: ‘Sorry, Televised’

Teal Magazine: Since starting your band, have there been any accomplishments that have surprised you?

Jake: The fact that people come to shows at all.

Greg: People like fly around. They’ll come to multiple shows on the tour, miles and miles apart. It’s crazy.

Teal Magazine: People are very dedicated.

Jake: Yeah, it’s really awesome to see. That’s the most surprising thing to me because I feel that’s what separates kids now from a lot of previous generations. They are willing to be so invested in your band and there’s more of a rapport and a unique closeness because it’s so transparent, you know what I mean? It’s really cool that people are willing to do that. 

Teal Magazine: So, I saw on your EP that Jake Hays produced it.

Jake: Yeah.

Teal Magazine: I love Maudlin Strangers, so I thought that was cool to see that.

Kevin: Yeah, it’s cool. He’s a good friend of ours.

Jason: Great dude.

Teal Magazine: Is that connection why you decided to work with him? 

Jake: Speaking of tattoos, he actually did Joey’s only tattoo.

Teal Magazine: [Jake Hays] has a lot of talents.

Joey: He’s a very talented man. Both his parents are super talented.

Jake: Yeah, he’s just cultivated all these crazy weird things, you know. He’s just a really creative guy.

Teal Magazine: He’s also an actor, which I didn’t expect.

Jason: He’s just one of those guys that is good at everything

Jake: But an answer to your question in short, yes, we’ve been friends with him for a long time and wanted to do something with him for a long time so it was cool to get that done with him for sure.

Teal Magazine: When choosing a producer to collaborate with on your [music] is there something that bands look for specifically when choosing them?

Jason: Vibe.

Kevin: When picking a producer, it’s mostly like you want a producer that gives you your sound, not his sound. Helps you get a better your sound.

Jake: I feel like what was cool about Jake is he helped us get sonically what we were thinking about, you know, and it doesn’t sound like a Maudlin Strangers record at all I don’t think. He was really adept at helping us figure out tones and kind of things we wanted to try on that one, so that’s really cool. I think a working relationship based on creative explorations is really important in that sense too.

Teal Magazine: How long did it take for you guys to kind of bring Windows I together?

Greg: The recording wasn’t very long at all, it was only a few weeks I think. The writing was probably like three or four months.

Jason: Well, I mean cause it started as like fucking 30 or 40 songs.

Greg: We were writing for awhile and just kind of chopping— 

Jake: Narrowing everything down.

Greg: We’ve discarded several of them now.

Jake: Yeah, countless songs that will never see the light of day, maybe.

Teal Magazine: Or maybe they will come back. 

Jake: Or maybe they will, exactly.

Greg: I’d prefer to write better ones. 

(Everyone laughs)

hunny_band_HD_tealmagazine

"I don’t remember what I ate for lunch yesterday, but Timehop will tell me."

Teal Magazine: Usually in interviews bands say they’re always writing, would you say that’s the same for you?

Jake: Definitely. I feel like the goal is to just write and release a bunch of music. That’s generally what we want to do cause we get bored if we’re not changing things up. I feel like any person with that adventurous spirit of creativity is going to want to be trying new things all the time and writing all the time.

Teal Magazine: And that’s how you get better.

Jake: Yeah, 10,000 hours and some gatorade.

Teal Magazine: So, you only have one music video? 

Jake: Yeah, let’s erase that from the Internet. 

Jason: We just made it private on Youtube actually like just the other day in our hotel room.

(Everyone laughs)

Teal Magazine: Is it the one for Cry For Me?

Jake: Yeah, our friend did it. We made that for a budget of like 3 and a half dollars. For the time awesome and our friends helped us put together something really cool, but we want to do a bunch of new visual stuff. 

Jason: I don’t think it’s a very good representation of us.

Jake: Where we are right now.

Teal Magazine: Cause what was it, like two years ago?

Jake: That was one of the first things we did, I think.

Jason: Cause two years ago today, we were finishing The Flood Tour. We were playing the LA show at The Shrine. Yeah, it was two years ago today. I saw it on the Timehop so we were—

Teal Magazine: The only way your remember where you were. 

Jason: Pretty much. 

Jake: I don’t remember what I ate for lunch yesterday, but Timehop will tell me.

Jason: Pain/Ache/Loving had just come out, maybe.

Jake: And we put the video up before we put that out. Yeah, that was maybe two and a half, two years ago.

Teal Magazine: Do you think any songs off of Windows will get some music videos?

Jake: Video treatment? Yeah, for sure. That’s the plan, definitely. 

Jason: Yeah, we just wanted to start making all of our music videos ourselves, so we bought a decent camera and it—

Jake: It broke almost immediately. 

(Everyone laughs)

Jake: Yeah, it’s in the shop right now.

Jason: Cause we want to bust shit out for like everything. If we can put out a five song EP and have just a fucking random video for all of them, like fuck it.

Teal Magazine: If you were to do a music video for Televised, what do you think you’d do?

Jake: I don’t want to leak it.

Teal Magazine: So, you already have ideas.

Jake: Yeah, I think we pretty much already settled on what were doing for that one, so I don’t want to ruin it.

Teal Magazine: We’ll have to wait and see.

Teal Magazine: So, when you were a kid and you’d go trick-o-treating, what was your favorite and least favorite candy to find at someones door?

Greg: I’m not a big fan of coconut myself.

Jason: Almond Joys, get the fuck out of here!

Kevin: Almond Joys are actually my favorite.

Jason: Kevin likes Whoppers and shit. 

Jake: (to Kevin) You like old man candy.

Greg: But are you a Junior Mints guy?

Kevin: I’m not really a Junior Mints guy. The one I’d hate to get would be like a Laffy Taffy.

Jake: Oh, I love candy corn. It’s just sugar. Can I throw out just my left field favorite candy bar I think still, but it’s a rarity and I don’t want it all the time. But when I do want it, it’s like the best sweet spot... Butterfingers are so bomb.

Greg: But they get stuck in your teeth.

Jake: Chocolate anything. Can you tell that we like candy? You just started a riot in the room.