Tulsa | 6.6.17 | The Vanguard
words by liz watts | photos by Emma Watts
joey, kevin, jake, jason, + greg.
HUNNY. So cool we contemplated changing our name to HUNNY PUNCH.
These guys are incredible, folks. On top of an amazing discography, (one of our favorites to date!) HUNNY released their new Windows I EP which we’ve been playing non-stop. What I really love about this SoCal-five-piece, though, is how seamlessly their personalities transfer from off-stage to on-stage. For those poor souls that didn't catch this sold out show, they played "All-Star" by Smash Mouth- and I think that sums them up pretty well. While chattin’ with the guys in a little alley behind the venue, I immediately noticed how they fed off each other, and had a genuine feel-good energy- because, ya know, I pay attention to that stuff. By the end of our interview- which got to the point where I just asked whatever popped into my head- I had a lil description for each of them:
Jason Yarger (guitar/lead vocals): The love child of Josh Peck and Billy Joe Armstrong; a fashion icon.
Kevin Grimmett (keys/vocals): The ~cool guy~ in an 80's movie.
Jake Goldstein (guitar): A kind boy! With sweet pins!!
Joey Anderson (drums) : Kurt Cobain. LOOK AT HIM!!! He has RISEN.
Greg Horne (bass): He just looks like a trombone player. Also, he could totally record audio books as a side gig. Nice talking voice.
Now, go switch on some Green Day (or HUNNY) and read the interview below!
We have been LOVIN’ the new Windows I EP! We're obsessed with “Shy” and “Televised.” What has the feedback been like been so far?
Jake: I feel like definitely “Televised” is a fan favorite for sure! We are just excited to finally have new stuff out and we’re not gonna keep everyone waiting.
Emma: We’ve seen a lot of people who say that it would sound good on like an indie movie!
Jake: That’s…really awesome.
Greg: The moment we came up with those riffs and stuff, that’s what we thought, too.
Have you guys ever had your songs in a movie?
Jason: We’ve been in a couple like indie movies actually. We are in a horror movie!
Jake: We got hit up about it and we were so down.
Kevin: And we are in a surf video somewhere.
That’s so cool! I know you guys have been supporting Bad Suns, but also have had a couple one-off headlining shows while you’ve been on this tour. What’s that like?
Jake: Well it’s just on principal that when you’re playing your own show, people come and they know your songs so it’s gonna be like they’re super hyped to see you whereas you kinda have to win over a crowd when you’re a supporting act. Luckily, especially on this tour, Bad Suns fans are super open and warm to hearing new stuff. But generally speaking, it’s still a fun time but there’s nothing like playing a show where everyone knows your words.
Do you feel like you have to play harder or try harder?
Jake: It’s just a different vibe.
Joey: Sometimes you kinda have to try more, and sometimes you try less. Sometimes it works towards your benefit trying harder. You have to gauge the crowd.
Jake: It’s symbiotic!
Greg: It’s always feeding off of what they give. If they’re goin’ all crazy and we’re like “Woah! Cool!” then they give a lil more.
What were your past projects like before starting HUNNY?
Greg: Jason and I were in like three bands before this.
Jason: Pretty Emo…like Brand New worship.
Jake: We’ve all played in a million bands. I was in a Shoegaze kinda band for a long time.
Greg: We three played in a garage band.
Shoegaze? Is that..a genre?
Jake: Yeah it is!
Jason: Guys, GOOOGLE IT.
Note* I did, and I totally know it! Just never heard the term before. It’s a subgenre of indie rock, alternative rock, and neo-psychedelia that emerged in the UK in the late 1980s. The style is characterized by the blurring of component musical parts-usually significant guitar distortion, feedback and obscured vocals-into indistinguishable mixtures of sound. I dig it.
Jake: Do you guys like My Bloody Valentine? They’re more dream pop oriented, but we are going into sub genres here.
With so many of you in the band, it is hard to take into account everyone’s ideas when writing new music, or are just a few the designated writers? I know even having two people with different ideas is hard to work out sometimes. How do you handle creative differences?
Jason: We all respect each other so it’s a cool thing that we can all bring in whatever and we can to fix each other’s parts and all intertwine with each other.
Joey: It’s cool and it’s fun because there’s no ego.
Jake: If you keep it from being a self-serving thing then it’s easy to work together.
Jason: Everyone pulls their own weight.
What are some influences, musical or not, that help get you into a creative mindset?
Jake: Visually and sonically, the Lost Boys movie and soundtrack. All sorts of stuff.
Kevin: J, where do you get your style inspiration?
Yeah, who’s your style icon? Yourself?
Greg: At this moment in time, exactly!
Undistinguished mumble: Woody from Toy Story.
Jake: Right now I’m a huge fan of Nick Cage in Raising Arizona and Christian Slater in True Romance- like really good movies from the early nineties. Those guys are style icons.
Yes! If you could bring back a style or trend from the nineties/early 2000’s, what would you pick?
Jake: Remember Trolls?! Like Troll pencil toppers.
Joey: JNCO jeans.
Jason: Light up LED Belt buckles that spell stuff. Me and Greg were just talking about those the other day!
Honestly, you could probably find one of those at a kiosk at the mall here...
Jake: That’s so tight, I’m down with that for sure.
What about Heelys? Yay or Nay?
Jake: Yay. Very yay. Jay is trying to get a pair for the next time we go to Disneyland.
Jason: I grew up in this small town in NorCal called Gilroy, and there’s like a local amusement park there that used to be called Bonfonte Gardens- I don’t know what it’s called now- but I used to cruise around on my Heelys all day over there because I had a season pass, obviously. But a bunch of my friends ended up working there and I probably would’ve if I didn’t move, but they started kicking kids out and taking their wheels away and stuff.
Jake: I think the trend has died down enough that you could get away with it now.
Greg: Yeah, I don’t think there’s a specific rule about Heelys at Disneyland. I think we’ve had this conversation before, I think it started a few years ago!
It’s a great conversation to have right now.
Greg: Yeah, but I don’t think they make them in my size! *looks down at feet*
Joey: We’ll have to build you some for your Docs.
So what would you be doing if you weren’t here right now- with a career in music?
Jake: I’d be on a farm somewhere
As like a farmer or..
Jake: I don’t know, but that’s where I’d be! Either that or the bottom of the ocean.
Jason: Kevin would still be in the Valley, playin’ quarter pool.
Can you guys pin point any memories or events that were like a defining moment in your realization that you wanted to do music?
Kevin: Mine was at the Troubadour.
Jason: That was like a year ago.
You just found out you wanted to do music?
Kevin: Oh, you mean just starting music?
Jake: You were probably too young dude, you probablu don’t even remember because you started so young.
Kevin: I was like eleven. I don’t know. My dad just gave me a bass and was like “Test this out.”
Emma: Were any of you in band at school?
Greg: I was.
Did you play the trombone?
Greg: I did play the trombone!
NO WAY! You look like you would.
Greg: Jay played trombone.
Would you guys ever bring a horn section in your music? That’d be freakin’ cool.
Jake: We want a sax. Or this one! *whipped out a tiny plastic whistle trumpet?*
Jason: That’s a really good first horn section.
Greg: There’s our horn section right there! Well back to the original question, I was in band playing trombone and I remember seeing the Green Day Live DVD-
Jake: Dude! I was just gonna say Bullet in a Bible!
Jason: Green Day was a fuckin’ big one.
Greg: American Idiot was like the first record I really, really got into I feel like. I wasn’t really interested in music before that.
Jake: Especially rock music. Being in a band was like… I saw that band and I was like “That’s the coolest thing I’ve ever seen.”
Greg: So I switched to guitar like right after that.
Jason: It was pretty much American Idiot for me, or Enema of the State.
I went through a Green Day phase in third grade, I like cut tube socks and wore them as wristbands. I thought I was punk rock.
Jake: That’s haaaard. You look pretty punk, you’ve got Vans Old Schools on!
Emma: She’s not punk.
Jake: Oo, she punk checked you.
*Side note: I’M NOT PUNK ROCK LOL*
OK! NEXT! We are gonna do some quick questions!
Jake: We’ll try to make them quick.
Would you rather listen to one song on repeat on the entirety of the tour, like when driving from city-to-city, or not be able to listen to anything at all?
Greg: No music.
Jason: Depends on the song.
What song would you pick?
Jake: Dude, I’d just put “On the Road Again” on repeat, we’ve done it before!
Jason: That’d be really sad by the end of tour.
If you could delete one song from existence, which would it be?
Jake: Dude, what would it be?
Greg: Oh, that new Fall Out Boy song.
Jake: We love Fall Out Boy, but that song… Menace? Maniac?
Joey: Legitimately the worst shit I’ve ever heard in my life. Really bad.
We haven’t listened to it…I’m scared.
Jason: Give it a try.
Jake: That song is really rough. It makes me long for From Under the Cork Tree for sure.
Jason: What makes me the most mad about it, is we loved that fuckin’ band. It’s rough. So bad.
What’s the best meme of 2017?
Jake: We got asked this earlier today!
Greg: My pick was the mocking Sponge Bob meme.
Jake: I’m really into the brain expanding one, and the different lives it taken on.
Joey: I like the ones that say the word “COOL” then have random things that don’t even correlate with it. It’ll be like “COOL, I’m totally freaking out right now.”
Jake: Sorry, not quick. You can’t bring up memes and expect it to be quick.
If you had to change your band name, what would you change it to?
Greg: Stupid Idiots.
Jake: No…give me somthin’ good.
Jason: Santa’s Clause.
Jake: But with c-l-a-w-s.
Joey: Is that what we are going with?
Kevin: What else are we gonna come up with?
If you guys were a cover band, who would you tribute?
Jake: The Cure.
Greg: I would probably get a gig in Led Zep Again.
Jason: Wait, but Black Parade.
Jake: Oh! My Chem..
Greg: My opinions out in the air.
What concert would you want to relive?
Jake: The Strokes headlining Coachella was probably the coolest thing I’ll ever see.
Kevin: Also Phoenix at Coachella was really cool.
Jason: Im gonna go with the one and only time, for some reason, that I’ve seen my favorite band, Brand New, at the Pallidum in Hollywood.
Wait, recently or in their prime?
Jason: this was like a week after…they’re still in their prime by the way, they never went out of their prime. They have no prime, their prime is their entire existence.
I saw them once but it was just like one song before Modest Mouse…Modest played for so long I just wanted it to end already. That’s awful.
Jason: That is awful, you’re right. So I’d relive that night without my chameleon dying when I got home.
NOOO I could never listen to them again!
Jason: I was like “Wow, greatest band ever, best night of my life!” Then it died.
Jake: What was its name?
Jake: Change our band name answer to “Leopold the Chameleon” from a couple questions ago.
Jason: It sounds like we are a reptile themed...Behold the Arctopus band. We could mix all these questions together and get one answer.
If you guys had to change your aesthetic what would you change it to? Do you think you have an aesthetic?
Greg: I would say it’s this. Is it that defined?
Jake: We would all wear matching suits. Professional.
Kevin: Matching tuxedos like The Hives.
Greg: Top hats and long coat tails.