The Hunts are a Virginia-based indie-folk band. Jessi Hunt recently discussed growing up in a musical family, her approach to songwriting and what she enjoys about being in a band with her family. The Hunts play CrossroadsKC with O.A.R. September 10th.
What was your earliest musical memory? Did you come from a musical family?
We grew up in a musical family. Our parents were both musicians and instilled a love for music in our hearts from an early age. Momma Hunt taught a violin school and Papa Hunt loved to shred his electric guitar on ’80’s classics. We were always singing. We sang before meals, in the van to the grocery store and before bed. Music was a part of our everyday life!
Who are some of your favorite songwriters and why?
Some of my favorite songwriters include the Mamas and the Papas. As a teen, I was inspired by their use of harmonies and overlapping male and female vocals while telling their stories. The Beatles are another all-time favorite band. Their fun and catchy tunes are a huge inspiration to us!
How did the Hunts first come together?
The Hunts started way back in the day with Momma and Papa Hunt. They were a violin/guitar duo for local events & began to bring us kids along with them. Over the years the group evolved and developed into what it is now!
What is your creative approach when songwriting?
All seven of us are songwriters. Sometimes, one person will bring an idea to the group and then the whole band begins to elaborate on that. Other times, we’ll just start a jam session together and create something completely new.
How often do you find yourself writing songs?
As a songwriter, I always keep my eyes and ears out for new song ideas. It’s just a natural impulse. If i hear a creative word or remember a childhood story, I instantly think about how it could be used in a song.
What inspires you lyrically?
Josh and Jenni are the main lyricists in the band, but everyone contributes. Most of our lyrics are derived from childhood memories, places we’ve been, people we’ve met and seasons of life that we’ve walked through.
What inspired “Make This Leap?”
Make This Leap” is the single off our record Those Younger Days. This song is mainly inspired by our childhood memories of playful imaginations and dreams. It’s also about friendship. Someone that was with you through it all!
Your tour with O.A.R. is coming to CrossroadsKC this summer. What do you enjoy most about touring with them?
We’re stoked about the O.A.R tour this fall!! They are some of the nicest people in the business! They are such professionals and we learn a lot from them. We’re so thankful for the great opportunity to open for them again!
What are the biggest challenges about being in a band with your family?
I absolutely love being in a band with my fam. I get to do what i love the most, with the people that I love the most! One of the biggest challenges is probably the RV life! It gets pretty tight in there with 9 people, but we make it work!
Do you have a favorite quote or motto that you live by?
Our number 1 rule when working with each other is “respect.” We have it posted up in our studio to help us remember to show proper respect to each person.
What’s the best advice you’ve received about having a career in music?
Work hard and have fun!