What is your name and role within the Hot Donnas?
Jacob – Frontman syndrome
George – Animal/drummer
Gene – Unemployed/bass player
Mitchel – Lead Guitar
Where are you currently based?
Out of the Dirty D (Dunedin NZ).
How did you first start playing music?
We all picked up an instrument at an early age. Primary school years spent taking lessons and gradually improving, developing a deep passion for music in our own ways. George and Mitchell played together in high school and Jake was also in a band. Hot Donnas seemed like such a natural fit for four dudes who needed a more social way to keep the practice up.
What’s been happening recently and how has your Covid experience been so far?
We’ve all been pretty lucky being based in New Zealand during covid. Though there was a pretty big stoppage in the music/gig scene here we’ve been out of lockdown for a while now and been able to pick up the odd gig here and there. Stoked as to be able to release a long awaited EP about a week ago that we’re all really happy with! Keen as to rip into some summer gigs over the next couple of months and get loud on stage.
Your new EP ‘The Adventures of E-WAN’ is out now, what influenced the sound and songwriting?
This EP was a long time coming. We are always writing songs and have always got something that we’ve jammed sitting in the wings just waiting to be finished off. “Adventures of E-WAN” was a collection of the best songs we had written over the course of 2019, inspired by our continued progression into a more Rock’n’Roll sound and determination to make sure we got the overall sound right. Over the past few years our sound has changed a lot and it has been a massive learning experience for us to redefine it in the studio. Drawing influences from punk and metal, while also still trying to maintain melody and keep our tunes approachable for all humans, we did a lot of listening back to our old stuff and basically tried to fill all the gaps that we thought were made evident through our previous releases.
How did you go about writing The Adventures of E-WAN?
We’d had these songs locked in the chamber for well over a year before the release. George and Jacob lived in a flat together in 2019 and were able set up a spacious jamming area for us to practice, and after the release of our second album ‘Dirty Paradise’ we were all very keen to take our time and really knuckle down some solid tracks over the course of that year. We were jamming 3-4 times a week at peak and playing gigs every other week on top of that, which allowed us to develop our sound nicely.
Where and when did you record/produce?
We recorded the EP down at Radio One Studios in the University Campus just down the road with sound engineer Steven Marr – really stoked to be able to work with such a talented guy! This was around August/November of last year. Once we got the tracks laid down we took the stems to our mate Dan Harris who then mixed em up. This process all took roughly 3/4 months.
How’s the reaction from fans been so far?
We’ve had a pretty good reception so far! Along with the EP we were lucky enough to make up a couple of music videos which people have seemed to enjoy. Had some sick as write ups from some Aus and New Zealand horns which compare us to the sounds of Arctic Monkeys and Queens of the Stone Age – how good is that one!
You toured Australia once before, how was the tour and what were are your thoughts on playing the Aussie shows?
Our Australian tour was a lot of fun and definitely something we want to do again real soon. We learned a lot while we were over the ditch and grew a lot as a band also. We love how hard the Australian crowds mosh and get into the music, makes playing live a lot of fun. Can’t wait to get back over the ditch.
What did you most enjoy about being in Australia?
Easily our best memories were with The Darrans, who we met and toured with while in the country in 2019. We learnt a lot from that trip, and made some of the best memories. Having some top tier blokes like that dumped into our laps like that was the best luck we could have asked for, because having some locals on the ground who have been around the place once or twice before really helped our confidence and ability to soldier through to the end.
Do you have plans to head back to Australia any time soon?
It’s all covid dependent really. We would have been super keen to head back over this year but that all turned to custard. As soon as the opportunity arises and it’s all safe and sound we’ll most definitely be taking it!
Who are you listening to at the moment?
Loads of hip hop, like NAS, Big L, Mobb Deep and revisiting Kendrick for the 1000th time…
Parkway Drive, Meshuggah, Gallows, Pearl Jam etc.
What do you like to do away from music?
We enjoy playing and watching sport. A couple of us play basketball and follow the NBA. Most of us follow Rugby union as well, like all good New Zealanders do. Jake likes trying to skateboard but he sucks.. Only one way to get better though. We also watch a bit of t.v as well.
What’s planned for the remainder of 2020 going into 2021?
We have a gig on crate day (If you don’t know what crate day is then definitely google it) and we are also lucky enough to play at Rhythm & Vines Festival in Gisborne. Next year we are gonna pull our fingers out and start gigging and practicing like there’s no tomorrow. We wanna release another album and play as many shows as possible, hopefully jump the ditch if Covid allows us.
Favourite food and place to hangout?
We eat a lot of rice balls, they’re nutritious and cost effective. There’s a shop in Dunedin called Cafe Tokyo that make the best rice balls, perfect ratio of rice and chicken. Nachos are also a favourite in the Hot Donnas camp. It’s the only meal George knows how to cook so hes perfected the recipe.
Official Website: www.juicyhotdonnas.com
Instagram: @juicyhotdonnas – https://www.instagram.com/