Interviews: HUNTED

We have had the opportunity to interview the Progressive Heavy Metal band HUNTED from the UK. Check out the interview and follow the band on their FACEBOOK PAGE.

1. Where did you get the idea for the band name, you planned it or came out just like that? 

Jon: A drunken chat around a sticky table in a pub now lost to the world…

2.Why did you want to play this genre?

Jon: I’d never been into music when I was a kid, partly because my main experience of making it had been grudgingly pretending to play the recorder at the back of the stage in school assemblies! Suddenly, though, when we were about 15/16, my mate Dave and I started listening to Queen (who I love to this day), which led to Iron Maiden (who are still my favourite band), which brought us as far as Metallica and Megadeth. Somewhere along the way, Dave – a former Hunted member and a quarter of the first band line-up – picked up a guitar, I picked up a bass and we somehow persuaded another mate, Adam, to stick himself behind a drum kit. Next thing I knew, my head was spinning in the realm of Nevermore, Dream Theater, Children of Bodom, Edguy, My Dying Bride and the whole wide world of metal, and I loved it! That’s how it’s stayed and, 20-odd years later, it doesn’t look like changing any time soon

Chris: I still vividly remember myself being a 13–14-year-old kid listening on the radio to a compilation of Queenryche’s Road to Madness, Twisted Sisters’ Burn in Hell & Helloween's Walls of Jericho etc... I was so taken away by the power of the music, the extremity of their vocal ranges, the guitar work that was going on, all driven by a solid bass & a punch-in-the-stomach drum work...I was totally blown away by it! Never came across anything like it before! And then I looked into their lyrics and kept on digging more & more into other Metal bands, eventually realising that this genre represented 100% the way I felt & the way I wanted to express myself, both lyrically & vocally! That’s what really did it for me back then & almost 40 years later now...thankfully, all remains the same!

Steve: I struggle to remember exactly. As a young child, my father and uncle introduced me to myriad musicians/bands like Chuck Berry, Boney M, AC DC, Clapton, Jonh Lee Hooker, Guns N Roses, Bon Jovi, and others. I always remember being drawn to the ‘heavier’ and ‘faster’ elements of these bands, and I always wanted to listen to those heavier tracks. I think this invariably put me on an early path towards Metal. I was clearly seeking heavy music without really knowing it at the time. At around 13 years of age, I picked up a guitar and started to learn tracks from the musicians listed above. I believe Grunge starting to permeate the charts at that point so I was listening to and learning to play those tracks too. Then somebody, now one of my best mates, brought an Iron Maiden CD to school – I remember being so drawn to the artwork. Certainly piqued my interest, and not long after I bought my first Maiden album. In parallel, I recall other ‘guitarists’ around me at the time ‘showing off’ their skills – and although most of them were playing Nirvana licks, I was most impressed by those playing old-school Metallica. My head/heart/soul/gut knew then that that was what I wanted to play. I then fell in love with the genre and have been on a journey of discovery since – and it isn’t over yet!

3. Did you know each other before the band was formed? 

Chris: No, we just bumped into each other one day...

Jon: Steve and I met at university; I think it was at a random Metal Society gig. We got on straight away, but had to wait a bit before we started playing music together since I had to head off to France and Japan for a year as part of my degree. Thankfully, Steve ended up joining up with the band towards the end of our time at uni. Chris came to us though the dark and dangerous world of bookselling a year or two after that, and Matt came on board a couple of years after him. 4. Each band member favourite band?

Chris: Oh man, way too many to be honest, but somehow i still have a sweet tooth for the good-old Uriah Heep. They might not be considered Metal as we know it by the many, but to me they were a huge part of the solid, original British Heavy Metal foundation, standing gloriously next to Deep Purple/Led Zeppelin etc. 

Jon: There are many bands I love, but that’s easy: Iron Maiden 

Matt: I have many favourites. Most recently, I am really enjoying Judas Priest and Kreator.

Steve: yeah….. if you stuck me on an island for eternity and I could only bring one band’s discography with me, it would have to be Iron Maiden. Helloween, Judas Priest and Fates Warning would be a very close awkwardly-joint second.

5. Who or what inspires you to write songs? 

Chris: Life does one way or another. It always finds a way to keep you on your toes, happy or sad, angry or calm, there’s always an inspiration for a new lyric or song, that’s how I see it.

Jon: Musically, too many bands/musicians to name, but major inspirations for me would be Megadeth, Iron Maiden and Nevermore. And –more specifically - my brother, who’s an excellent musician and helped me figure out that knowing a bit of theory could actually help me write the kind of thing I’d want to hear! Lyrically, I’d say the gradual disintegration of much of what we’ve known, and how’s it’s connected to and reflected in human society.

Steve: echoing Chris and Jon’s words, ‘real life’ – whether that be real emotions felt by ourselves or trying to describe what people around us might feel, or real events. Things that have some meaning. The goal is for the listener to connect emotionally with our music and lyrics – so the inspiration may be in part to ‘move’ the listener.

6. Where was your last gig? 

Jon: At a club called Fuel in Cardiff.

7. Where would you like to act? 

Jon: The Budokan, for sure.

Steve: South America!

Chris: North Korea would be my place of choice, it’s about time for some Metal transfusion into their worked-up, massively manipulated brains I believe!

8. Whom would you like to feature with? 

Chris: Judas Priest for sure!

Jon: Opening for Megadeth or Dream Theater would be sweet, wouldn’t it? I’d say Maiden, but I don’t want to take the dream too far!

Steven: Fan-boy big-band responses aside, I’d very much like to play with bands such as Therion and Blind Guardian.

9. Whom not? 

Steve: I don’t want to bash any bands or genres. Although I have my preferences, I will certainly share the stage with anyone.

Jon: Much as I love a bit of death metal, particularly of the Gothenburg and/or Viking variety, I think we might get our share of perplexed looks if someone stuck us on a deathy kind of bill…

Chris: Vladimir Putin

10. Any of you has ever suffered from stage fright? Any tip for beginners on how to beat that? 

Chris: Thankfully, I’ve never felt shaky or uneasy on stage to the point that it would bother me. You make sure you’re up for it & know your stuff and place, everything’s cool then. You start feeling anxious, out of place, frightened once or twice or everytime you go on stage?...bad news man, more likely you haven’t done your maths, you’re not ready yet, you’re better off staying in your bedroom, listening & practising until you’re confident enough. Believe in yourself is the key here!

Steve: I think Chris is right. Whether it’s going on stage or taking an exam or speaking in front of a crowd – you need to know your stuff. Build your confidence and acknowledge your readiness. You can’t run a marathon without training, but if you train enough you’ll know when you’re ready for the marathon. Once on stage, if still nervous, one tip is to focus on the back of the venue i.e. do not look directly at the crowd. But once you know you have the crowd on your side, connect with them, look at them – you’ll want to feed off that energy.

Jon: 1) Make sure the monitors are working properly before you go on (seriously!). 2) Make crazy faces.

11. What bands have inspired you the most? 

Chris: Judas Priest/Manowar/Dio/Queenryche

Jon: Probably Iron Maiden and Nevermore, for me.

Steve: yeah…. Helloween, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Metallica, Therion, Iced Earth.

12. What's the weirdest thing a fan has ever asked you for? 

Chris: A permission to come up on stage before the end of our set and do a louder & higher scream than mine in order to “show me how it’s done properly!”. When I called him up on our last song, he started squeaking like a mouse on the mic as he lost his voice from excitement!!! It was funny!

Jon: I once ran into a fan of ours on a night out in Cardiff. She recognised me, kindly said she’d really enjoyed our last show, then asked me to join her at the bar for a drinking contest. True story!

13. What do you think of your fans? 

Chris: The world! We’re nobody without them, huge respect to all of their support, eternally obliged!

Jon: I know this is hardly original, but we genuinely do have awesome fans who’ve always come to our shows and followed what we do through thick and thin. I wish we’d been able to give them a bit more new music over the last few years, but I’m glad that’s finally changed now with Deliver Us coming out. I hope they’re as into it (or even mores so!) as they were with our Welcome the Dead-era stuff.

14. What do you think of our site?

Chris: Looks really cool!

Jon: I like it! I’ve actually started reading quite a few of the Track By Tracks; it’s a really cool feature as it gives me a good idea about stuff that I might be into musically and/or lyrically before I give it a listen, or helps me understand where a band was coming from when they wrote some of the music I’ve been getting into. 

Steve: likewise, it’s nice to venture behind the tracks and discover the intended meaning of the lyrics. Lyrics are important to us, and can be easily overlooked. Really appreciate the fact that your website aims to explore the real meaning behind bands’ music.

15. Something to add?

Chris: As a footnote, I would like to make a plea to all Metalheads out there. When you refer to Metal (including all sub-genres) please make sure to use a capital ”M” out of respect to the guys who established this f***ing amazing global, communal society for all of us! We should all be grateful & thankful for all eternity! Stay strong – stay Metal

Jon: Thanks for keeping it Metal, and for having us on the site! Hope Deliver Us finds its way onto your playlists; maybe we’ll see you at a show sometime soon

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