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The Hunna – I’d Rather Die Than Let You In – Track-by-Track

What does a band do when you’re fighting against those who are supposed to be lifting you and your music up?

For British rock band The Hunna, you write a cutthroat redemption album about it. Although this is the band’s third studio album, The Hunna feels like I’d Rather Die Than Let You In is a reintroduction of who they are and what they stand for. After spending months dealing with lawyers and navigating the court system due to a less-than-ideal situation at their previous label and management company, the members of The Hunna knew that, despite everything, they couldn’t imagine a life not being in a band together. It’s that thought that pushed them to keep going and this album is proof of that.

I’d Rather Die Than Let You In is an enthralling and angsty exploration of disillusionment, deception, finding your voice after it was silenced, taking aim at the aforementioned ex-management and label while also targeting social and political issues ravaging the world.

With help from friends in high places of the rock scene —Twenty One Pilots’ Josh Dun, Fall Out Boy’s Pete Wentz and Blink-182’s Travis Barker — The Hunna has created a true coming-of-age album; one where the three men have not only grown up through the mess but have found a solid, unique sound because of it.

Singer/guitarist Ryan Potter from the band walks 1883 through each track of their unapologetic third album I’d Rather Die Than Let You In in an exclusive track-by-track including the story behind each song and the importance it has on the band’s discography as a whole.

 

I’d Rather Die Than Let You In Track-by-Track

‘One Hell Of A Gory Story…’

We made this piece of music back in early 2019 whilst we were on tour. We actually used part of it for a tour video; we loved it so much and immediately felt like it would be the perfect opening for the new album. We like to call this album our own ‘Hunna Horror Story’ & this opening track is almost like the introduction to a theatre production. It sets up what the album is essentially about & sets up the story. It speaks about how ‘despair filled the air and a thick black shadow haunts the sky’ in relation to our situation of finding out our management and label had been taking us for a ride and the beginning of the fallout, ‘the get it boys’ are ourselves & the ‘damn dirty villain’ being our ex label head and manager. As it goes on, it starts to refer to the world & acts that were happening and have grown since making the album. ‘Secretly operating in a lawless state / The people start to wonder has it always been this way? / Has our home always been so full of hate?’ It touches on the lies & ignorance from our ‘leaders’ if we can call them that & the damage & heartache they & ourselves have caused to the world we live in. ‘I don’t think y’all are ready for this, this is gonna be gory / Will the get it boys survive this Hunna horror story.’ It was written with a comic book style imagination & is something we’ve always wanted to delve into.

 

‘I Wanna Know’

This song is one of our favourite all-time Hunna songs. We wrote it in the last 20 mins of the first session we had with Feldy [producer John Feldmann]. We had already written ‘Young & Faded’ and ‘Cover You’ that day… 20 mins left… let’s go for it & what came out blew us away. It was exactly the road we wanted to take for this album & we played summer 2019 to test it with fans & everyone lost their shit… By the second chorus, they were singing along and every time we were asked when it was coming out! It was so great to know people were loving where we wanted to go!

 

‘Young & Faded’

We wanted to write a song to celebrate the young people of today, send a message that it’s okay to be misunderstood and be in that part of your life which is so exciting but at the same time can be frightening; figuring who you really are, what you wanna do, who you wanna be, what you believe in etc. All of these things take time, and experiences in life help shape them. There’s so much pressure & when I was writing the lyrics, I felt strongly that the older generations are so quick to judge and post news painting the young people of today in a bad light, that they’re lazy, obsessed with money, fame and drugs, sit around and just game all day and have no ambition. I think on the contrary more and more we see so many young people standing up, educating themselves and making movements to better the way we all live our lives and treat our world, shedding light on issues that have been kept in the dark by older generations or masked by lies. I think there’s a lot the older generations should take responsibility for and now the young people are trying to make a difference, to save us. It’s also got a playful sarcasm to it with the lyric ‘we are the young and faded / Lost and wasted’ — you can say we are lost and faded, but we are strong and powerful and we’ll show you.

 

‘Dark Times’

This album feels like it’s a coming of age for us. We’ve learnt a lot about ourselves since the second album; we’ve had to face the hardest decisions and moments in our careers, and on top of that just as people we’ve overcome and experienced so much. Life is all about growing and we’ve done a lot of that on this album. ‘Dark Times’ is a song about being frustrated and in despair at evil acts we encounter around the world. It’s almost a song of helplessness; why can’t we break out of these things, how do we stop the awful acts happening around the world and then the chorus hits this explosive moment where it’s trying to shed some light & hold out hope that one day through all the ‘dark times’ we will find light. This was the first song on the album that we had another artist come by and hang at the studio, and this person was Josh Dun from Twenty One Pilots! Feldy didn’t tell us he was coming so was a huge surprise and so exciting that he wanted to be a part of the record. Huge fans of Twenty One Pilots and he’s such a genuine dude; it was the start of a crazy journey!

 

‘One Second Left’

This track is about us being on tour. I find it hard to sleep most of the time and let my mind relax, but I find it almost impossible on tour with the travelling on the bus as well. It literally feels like at any moment sometimes, you’re going to drive right off a cliff. I also think about my family and just everything that we’ve got coming up each day; it can send you into a really tough place of exhaustion and your mind plays tricks on you. This song is about me being in my bunk and trying to escape those moments. This one is one of our favourites cause its atmosphere is very different from our previous albums, but also because Pete fucking Wentz came in and worked on it with us which again was such a trip! I had his bass when I was a teen and seen Fall Out Boy so many times, again another incredible punch yourself moment for me.

 

‘Lost’

Again, this song shows a different side to us and one that I don’t think people will expect. We’ve had so many ideas that with our previous label and management were warned off doing them, so for this record we could finally experiment with all of those ideas. This song almost has a chase and status vibe about it which we love! We wanted to have a song that live the drop was a nod to chase and status but always maintaining what The Hunna is. We can’t wait to play this one, the song is about those moments when you’re feeling low or upset or like you just need a personal day or minute whatever it is, you need some release and time, doing what we do that’s hard to come by as it’s a very demanding place to be especially when we were in the middle of leaving our last label and management there were times I felt I just wanted to go away somewhere and not tell anyone, just to have some me time and feel present again.

 

‘One Day You’ll Thank Me’

This song is one of our favourites to play; it’s at such a nice tempo and chorus hits so hard! We also got to really experiment with 808s and electronic instrumentation which is what we wanted to do on this album… open up our horizons by going from just a vocal, 3 guitars and drums to delving into other genres. We all listen to so many styles of music; I’m heavily influenced as a singer by The Weeknd and R&B artists & ‘The Hunna’ came from our love for hip-hop. This song has also got a real kinda toxic emo feel which is where our roots are as teenagers, so combining the electronic hip-hop verses with the full band chorus worked beautifully. Super happy with how this one turned out!

 

‘If This Is Love’ feat. phem

This is the gem of the album! It went through a lot of different versions, but the finished song is way beyond what we imagined. I had the lyrics to the song for quite a few years and always wanted a female voice to tell the story with me; again previous label and management tried to get us off that idea, so now we could finally go for it! I heard an artist called phem on Spotify and was so intrigued straight away by her tone of voice; I thought what she was doing was very unique, and that was maybe a year or two before going to do the album. We got invited to the Halsey Halloween party in Hollywood whilst recording and by chance met phem at the party; we got talking and she loved our music and vice versa. I sent her some of what we’d been working on, and she was super stoked so she came by and asked her to jump on the song… very quickly it was like everything had come together, our voices blended so well together and took the atmosphere of the song to the next level. It’s such a raw, honest song and it felt like fate the way it all worked out!

 

‘Anything Is Better Than Nothing’

This song is a heavy hitter! Another one we can’t wait to play live; we worked on it with Mike Duce [Lower Than Atlantis & Headache] & Dan Lancaster along with Feldy. It’s a song about the kind of limbo period of when we were dealing with our previous label trying to stop us from releasing music or doing anything as the Hunna again and being with lawyers, etc. when we just wanna do what we love! You never think when you’re a young kid with a dream that you’d be in that situation, so it was a lot and it was scary for a time; within that period I found myself getting a bit lost and trying to preoccupy my mind with something else which was alcohol & drugs but using them a lot more frequently than perhaps before. I remember one day getting to a place where I was just exhausted and couldn’t get out of bed because of everything happening, and the effects of the drugs and alcohol and just feeling awful and almost like I couldn’t remember what had happened over the last months or so; almost like a blur. I realised I needed to get a grip back on reality & put that away otherwise it and they were gonna beat me and no good was coming from trying to escape I guess. ‘I just wanna feel something’.

 

‘Cover You’ feat. Travis Barker

This was the first release from the album & it’s a biggie anyway. But it also features rock drum icon Travis Barker! Total trip, we never thought we’d be in that position. The fact he along with everyone else involved on the record wanted to be a part of it and support us is overwhelming and after everything that had happened juiced us back up so much; he’s mesmerising to watch and be around. The whole recording process with Feldy and everyone was exactly what we needed… it made us almost fall back in love with what we were doing.

 

‘Horror’

‘Horror’ is a song written about the earth and touching on the issue of global warming. ‘My world cries but all we do is feed it lies’ representing the fires on LA and in other parts of the world along with other disasters that happen is our world crying out & all we do or are told by people in higher power are lies and no action; we let it continue to what end? It’s a subject on other albums we weren’t in the mindset, and like I said we’ve grown up a lot and the way we view the world and things that happen within it are very different. People post the horror of the fires and disasters on Instagram, etc. but nothing is actually being done to prevent it. Everyone just gets some ‘likes’ for it. ‘Filter out the horror’ was a lyric that flew around when I was writing the lyrics. We were there in LA when the fires were happening; it was like hell on Earth.

 

‘I’d Rather Die Than Let You In’

This song is the perfect song to end the album. I couldn’t pick a better song. It holds everything that the album is about and everything we feel. It’s a song about tenacity ‘I know, I know, I know / I should let you go / Leave the past behind / But I would rather die than to let you in’. This song has so much angst and anger; it’s a song about revenge and showing power back to our previous situation. They told us we wouldn’t do or be anything without them. This album and especially this song are a big middle finger. The fans filled us with support and confidence the whole time, and they were a huge part of us finding more strength to keep going and they fought with us every step of the way. This is where the new Hunna era begins, and we can’t wait for it.

 

 

intro by Kelsey Barnes
featured photo credit Mila Austin

 

Check out The Hunna’s album I’d Rather Die Than Let You In below!

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