Hot Donna’s

by the partae

Where are you currently based?

We are currently based in Dunedin, close to the bottom of New Zealand

 
How did you first start playing music?
 
As a four piece we first started playing together in our second year at Otago University but George and Mitch were mates in highschool and have been jamming since. Gene and Mitch did the same music papers at uni and met through that while Jake had mutual friends with George and Mitch. We all met at George’s shitter of a flat and packed out his bedroom for our first jam. We managed to write two songs in that first jam period so that gave us some confidence to keep moving forward. (Mitch)
 
Please tell us how Hot Donna’s came to be:
 
Hot Donnas started as just four mates getting together and having a go really. Our first release was heavily influenced by the Dunedin surf rock and indie scene. As we developed our sound we naturally leant towards a heavier sound (that is the sort of music we like to listen to) whilst keeping that indie surf rock influence. This latest release we decided to stick to what we know and ditch the indie influence, creating the current form of Hot Donnas. We have touched on a lot of different genres throughout our journey but this current Hot Donnas is our favourite Hot Donnas. (Mitch)
 
You’ve just released your self titled EP, what influenced the sound and songwriting?
 
We all listen to a lot of 90’s grunge and feel like there’s influence from the likes of Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Foo Fighters first album. We also listen to a lot of Australian rock like Psychedelic Porn Crumpets, King Gizz and Hockey Dad etc. It’s always hard talking about influences as you try and develop your own sound but we are all big fans of the bands listed, so no doubt there’s influence from them. (Mitch)
 
What’s the story behind the lead single ‘Fear Me’?
 
Fear Me was born out of a period where I was having these super intense dreams where I was plunged into the middle of some kinda weird sci-fi movie scripts, so when I started to write the lyrics it was all too easy. Some of the memories from these dreams were so vivid that writing about them was mostly just describing what I could remember, in a slightly generalised manner. One of these memories that lasted throughout different dreams was the fact that even when fighting for my life, never once have I ever been able to punch someone and actually connect. It still pisses me off when I think about it. “I’m starting to wonder, If my punch has the range, to make it bleed, I wonder”, was the first thing that came out of my mouth when I eventually sat down to write it. The rest of the song wrote itself as I explored the story that was being depicted in some of these dreams. (Jacob)
 
How did you go about writing the tracks?
 
After the summer of 20/21, we moved in together and had decided we were going to try sneak an opportunity to work with Steve Marr again after recording Adentures of E-Wan with him previously. Once we made the call we started to jam and as usual, within a short amount of time (maybe a month or two) we had a couple new songs that we thought were absolute rippers, so naturally started to play them live. Same process as usual, (riff + jam = vibe, vibe + lyrics + editing = banger) got us to the final result but I think individually we had been getting better and better over the years and probably felt the need to try and prove it a bit more. I think this led to each of us putting our best foot forward when we stepped into the studio, having done it all before and having a deeper understanding of our sound and where things needed to go made it all very light work in the end. (Jacob)
 
Where and when did you record/produce/master and who with?
 
We recorded our tunes at Roundhead studios which is in Auckland during June. Our good mate Steven was the whole brains behind the music who took us through the recording and mixing process. Then once they were all polished we then sent them to kog studios and got Chris to master them for the final product. (Gene)
 
What programs/equipment did you use?
 
Roundhead studios have incredible gear so we were pretty overwhelmed with the gear that we got to use. Their mixing desk was one of the original vintage neve desks which has had a lot of recording history, there is even a cigarette burn which Keith Moon had imprinted on the desk. We used an Ashdown bass rig, Two Vox AC30 guitar amps and a the loudest drum kit they had. (Gene)
 
What do you have planned to support the EP?
 
We created a music video on our single track Fear Me to support our EP. The shooting of video was done by Wade McClelland and Bradon McCaughey. The raw footage was then sent off to Connor Prichard who work his magic with his editing (Gene)
 
What do you like to do away from music?
 
Hanging out and partying with our mates always provides us with some good times away from the music. (George)
 
You have built a solid reputation as a standout live act, how do you prepare for shows?
 
There’s nothing quite like a few cans before we jump on stage – if we’re able to listen to the other bands playing, we’ll be there. (George)
 
What’s planned for the remainder of 2021 going into 2022?
 
No plans over summer as of yet! Will see what opportunities arise – keen to play some of our new shit live! (George)
 
Favourite food and place to hangout?
 
 We honestly hang out at our house the most! It’s become somewhat of a party flat so most of the action comes straight to our doorstep. (George)

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