A Chat with The Huneez (13.04.21)

Think Florence + The Machine with a bit of a bluesy edge and you probably have The Huneez. Following their well-received debut single ‘Morning Blue’, the Australian trio is back with the new funk meets jazz single ‘Nightfall’. We speak with Kaitlin Lawler, Chad Steele and Paul Pozzacchio about their new track, music videos, celebrity crushes and more!

OSR: A cliche question but how did The Huneez come about?

Paul: I wanted to start a band, so I put an ad out for a keyboard player…

Chad: ..and I answered!

Paul: Yep, Chad answered. We Jammed, everything went well but we needed a singer. I worked with Kaitlin so I asked her and she said yes.

Kaitlin: They had multiple auditions, there were line-ups for days. Last minute I came through and I was the best of them!

Chad: For real though, it all just kid of happened. There were no auditions, it just felt really organic and we all ended up in the same place at the right time and we worked as a three-piece so that’s how it stayed.

OSR: What is the backstory to your single ‘Nightfall’?

Kaitlin: I first started writing this song after I stopped seeing a guy. I write a lot of my songs in the heat of the moment, so the lyrics are raw and I held onto them for a while. So, eventually, I brought them to Chad and Paul.

Chad: So, I put some chords to it. The other two don’t know this yet, but I’d been hamming on those chords for about five years before I showed them. It ended up working well to Kaitlin’s melody and I sort of matched them up and obviously changed a few things here and there, but that chord progression, I’d been trying it at home for a while and here it is in ‘Nightfall’. With Paul’s drums, everything just seemed complete.

OSR: What was the recording and writing process like?

Kaitlin: It was pretty smooth.

Paul: We’d rehearsed it for ages so we had it worked out.

Chad: Yeah, we’d already rehearsed it a lot up ’til then. But when we’d booked in the studio it was…I think someone had dropped out, hadn’t they?

Paul: Oh yeah! It was very spur of the moment.

Chad: So when we got offered the slot we knew we had to do it, so we jumped in there and luckily we’d rehearsed it a lot. There were one or two string parts that I didn’t add until the day. I had them floating around in my head but once Kaitlin put the harmonies down…

Kaitlin: Yeah, definitely playing around with the harmonies on the day took the song to a new level.

OSR: What can you tell us about the music video for ‘Nightfall’?

Chad: Ah, I directed this one. We knew for this we had to do something different to our last video, ‘Morning Blue’. So, I think I pitched a few ideas before we settled on this idea of a detective scenario. I wrote a quick treatment, Paul and Kaitlin approved and we went from there. I was careful to put a lot of clues and detail in the story because even though it’s a fun music video I’m hoping people can re-watch it and find something new. Hopefully, the story catches people off-guard and is entertaining. It’s my first time writing a mystery and, obviously, being a music video I’m restricted by a lack of dialogue and time, so hopefully, people are receptive to it.

OSR: Did you face any challenges when filming the video?

Chad: This was my first time properly working with actors and it gave me a lot of anxiety because I knew I had to make it decent and make it worth their while and not, you know, screw up. Our last single, ‘Morning Blue’, ended up with a lot of traction in the end. A lot of people saw the video and I knew that for this one I had to somehow one-up that, but also last time the post-production work took SO long. There was a lot of rotoscoping, a lot of work that had to be done.

So for this one, I decided to go in a completely different direction: instead of bright vibrant colours, I wanted to desaturate it a bit and give it more of a noir style. I guess I went too far in the other direction and pre-production took months. We spent months scouting for props, just making sure it was all there to really build this scenario I’d written. But in the end, we found some great props, some great locations and, most importantly, a talented cast and crew. We really pulled it together to make something that we’re all really proud of.

OSR: What do you hope people take from ‘Nightfall’ and your music in general?

Paul: I just want them to enjoy it!

Kaitlin: Yeah, we just want them to listen to the song and feel like they’re in a good mood or a nice place. I feel like when you listen to this one it kinda takes you to a place where you can reminisce on something in your life.

Chad: We play music because we want people to enjoy it. We like what we put out and hope other people do too. ‘Nightfall’ generally gets good reception at our live gigs so, hopefully, having such a richer version of it means that people like it even more.

Photo credit to Adam McKnight

OSR: What is your favourite smell?

Paul: Freshly cooked pizza. It’s gotta be a proper woodfire pizza though.

Chad: I guess, the ocean at sunset? That’s a nice smell.

Kaitlin: I like the smell of, like, just after it rains. When it’s in the air and it’s “ahhh”. I was gonna say freshly baked goods but you can have that Pauly.

OSR: Did you/do you have any celebrity crushes and if so, who?

Kaitlin: Zac Efron. No! Liam Hemsworth.

Paul: Um, my high school celebrity crush was Reece Witherspoon.

Chad: Mine’s probably Sara Bareilles? Or Birdy. I dunno.

Kaitlin: So random!

Chad: I’ve got a type! I like piano singer-songwriters.

Kaitlin: Chad’s crush would be whoever looks most like Chad.

OSR: How would you describe your music to a new listener?

Paul: Jazz pop. Jazz pop with a bit of rock.

Kaitlin: Funky…pop…groovy. Groovy is a good word.

Chad: It’s so hard. Everyone describes us as something different and every song is a bit different, so it’s really hard to…

OSR: Do you have future plans?

Chad: Of course we do! Most are under wraps for now, but we’re only going to get bigger and better. So, follow us on our social media pages and you’ll be the first to see some exciting things.

OSR: Do you have a message for our readers?

Paul: Come to a show, we have to eat.

Kaitlin: Listen to our songs and if you like what you hear share it around.

Chad: We really do appreciate everyone that supports us by listening or coming to our gigs or, you know, following us. So, go out and have a look at what we’ve been working on ’cause we’ve all put a lot of effort into it.

Thanks to The Huneez for speaking with us. For more from The Huneez check out their Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Spotify.

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