A pair of twin sisters and five brothers, all with names beginning with J—Jenni, Jessi, Josh, Jonathan, Jordan, Justin, and Jamison—and all between the ages of 17 and 25, comprise Chesapeake, Virginia based band The Hunts. With their sugary take on modern folk pop music, the band has rapidly ascended to claim festival slots across the country. Between trying to keep up school work while traveling in crowded tour bus quarters and playing the next show to an energetic, packed house on their current national tour, the group was kind enough to correspond with us in advance of their appearance at Landmark Festival. Built on family values, the band frequently plays community centers and small markets, tendencies perhaps unexpected for a rising indie act. Unsurprisingly, we found their responses in our Q&A to be utterly heartfelt and unflinchingly sincere. Catch them Saturday at 1:30pm on the Roosevelt Stage, and check out our interview with the band below.
LMF: What are some of the best and worst parts about traveling the world and playing music with so many members of your family?
The Hunts: We grew up touring. It’s something that can definitely get tiresome coming at you sometimes months at a time. We’re all a part of this group because we love what we do. Playing our music across the country is well worth any nostalgia of home. A huge encouragement for us has been performing in front of energetic crowds that know our lyrics. My favorite aspect of playing live is experiencing the emotions captured in each song with my family.
LMF: Do you think all the little idiosyncrasies and quirks are easier to deal with or more bothersome since you’re working with family members?
TH: We are each other’s best friends. Being a group of opinionated musicians, writing together always has its ups and downs, but we have a system that stresses voting, care, and respect for each other. Each individual sibling has specific tastes and preferences that slightly vary from the next. This seems to give us a broader range and more intricacies that I consider valuable when concerning the writings and influences behind our own sound.
LMF: Harmony among siblings is a beautiful idea, both metaphorically and literally. I’ve heard that siblings often have tight vocal harmony. Is that something you thought about before forming a band? Do you think about it as you write now?
TH: I honestly don’t have many memories about what I thought about forming a band considering I was under 8 years old at the time. My experience with sibling harmonies grew like a seed into the tree that we have now. As we look to future songs, we now make a point to consider involving harmonies. It’s a unique aspect of our band and something we love to do together.
LMF: Who are your favorite family bands of all time? (Would love to hear from as many band members who are willing to answer this one.)
TH: Some of our favorite family bands include; First Aid Kit, Kings of Leon, X Ambassadors, The Avett Brothers, The Last Bison, etc. These are a few names I heard while asking around the band, but our list goes on.
LMF: Which band member other than yourself has the best hair?
TH: A few of us are actually notorious for letting our hair run wild… Thankfully I get to leave myself out of this one! I’ll go with Jamison, the youngest. When I get my haircut from Jenni the family barber, I often say “make me look like Jamison.”
LMF: You’ve just released your first LP this summer, and it seems like it has been a whirlwind for young artists like you to go from a debut to festival stages pretty quickly. What has that felt like?
TH: We are brand new to the larger festival stages, but our experience so far has been nothing short of great! It is one of our favorite venues and crowds to play for and we are excited to play Landmark and many more in the future.
LMF: If you each put an item in a Hunts time capsule to open in 20 years, what would you put in?
TH: Along with many random objects we would put into a time capsule to open in 20 years, we all agreed we would write letters to our children. Now that we’ve discussed it as a family, there is a high probability we’ll do one.