Folk-rock quintet The Hunting Birds have been announced as a local support for modern Americana heroes The Lumineers, Saturday April 22 at Metro City! Cool Perth Nights writer Amber Fresh met up with guitarist Connor Minervini to chat songwriting, which dream act they'd love to support and hitting up the Nonno for olive foraging tips in Fremantle.
AF: You guys are from Fremantle, but where are you actually from?
THB: It's funny, I was born and raised in Fremantle myself. But I'm the only one - I'm super grateful to have my hometown as the band's adopted one. As for the rest - three others are from regional country WA and our guitarist Chris was born in Saudi Arabia I'm fairly sure. How exotic is that though?
AF: How do you guys write? Who's involved and how? Has Kendra ever brought you lyrics that you didn't want to sing or vice versa?
THB: Most of the time it's very dependent on the song and overall position of the band. Sometimes it's Kendra or I bringing in a finished work that the rest help polish, other times Kendra and I sit in a room and try to get the song down to bring to the guys in rehearsal. As far as not singing lyrics - we do argue from time to time when we write, but I guess that's more a passionate thing than hating the others' opinions and musical choices - we are fairly straight forward when we express how we feel about words or melodies.
AF: Have you ever been angry enough to actually burn a house down? What deeply gets your goat in this world?
THB: I have not gone down the route to becoming an arsonist unfortunately - if that's the question. How bad are cheeky speed cameras and parking fine mediators though? Answer - the worst.
AF: You guys are playing with The Lumineers in April - were/are you fans already, or is this going to be a first taste? Who'd be your dream to play with? Any guesses for how the other members would answer that question?
THB: Kendra and I are major fans of The Lumineers. I had listened to their debut album when I was in high school and one of my best friends Michael and I would talk about and play their tunes in the car religiously when he got his licence. It's one of those things that I have extremely fond memories of - it's an honour to be opening for them.
Honestly as a folk-rock band this is a dream come true in a lot of ways.
I think it would be wrong not to say that we would have loved the chance to play with Fleetwood Mac - there are so many great artists that we all individually strive to one day play with, but Fleetwood are close to the top of all our lists.
AF: What's your best memory of singing, together or alone or with someone else?
THB: I think a lot of the time playing or singing is always producing new memories and I have enjoyed so many thus far in my lifetime. I guess my favourite memories would just have to be my first memories - realising as I was introduced to music that it was something I felt connected to whole heartedly and letting it become a major part of my fabric.
AF: Favourite bird - present or prehistoric.... I realise if you're a true bird lover this one may be hard to answer....
THB: Owls - they are just the coolest little predators ever.
AF: I've been picking olives and hunting herbs around Freo - do you have any hot tips for places to go for musicians to get the best, cheapest entertainment or comestibles in the Port City?
THB: You could talk to my Nonno about getting olives. If anyone ever sees a small 75 year old Italian man walking the streets of Fremantle (like there isn't a heap already) with a bucket full of olives - feel free to ask where he picked them. He would probably lie to you though, very sneaky.
As far as musicians go, we are so spoiled for choice in Fremantle. From up and coming bands, national staples and international acts gracing us year round. Venue wise I am a fan of The Odd Fellow just under the Norfolk Hotel for a lower price local/national show, it's pretty intimate and leaves you to really listen and engage with what's happening on stage.
AF: How would you convince a family member to go to The Lumineers show?
THB: Such a good question - tricky. I'm not quite sure how I would go about convincing them to be honest! I think my family are really supportive - as are all the band's families to be fair. I think it would take very little to convince them this was a show they need to see!
AF: What are the Hunting Birds hoping for in the next 12 months >>>>>>>?
THB:We are going to really get to work with organising our debut EP and getting some more touring under our belt, just trying to get ourselves familiar with the Eastern states. Fingers crossed for a fruitful twelve months.
Find tickets to The Hunting Birds supporting The Lumineers at Metro City April 22 at the Metro City website.