Johnny Hunter

by the partae

This single shows us continued versatility in sound and songwriting: was it important for you to push yourselves creatively when it came to this new music, or did it come pretty organically?

What started as an alcoholics hymn in the vein of Springsteen developed very quickly and organically to a new wave inspired heart stirrer. co written with Al Wright in his garage on the cliffs of Scarborough. I hammered the basic melody on a Juno and he banged on the drums. Jack (producer) chopped it in pre production and we experimented with tuning, nothing was forced, everything came naturally because this is the music we’re inevitably drawn to creating. 

You’ve said that the genesis of ‘LIFE’ came from a pretty personal space (ref. Working in a bar, observations of customers etc): is it hard sometimes to work through your own personal attachments when writing music that can have broader themes or interpretations for others?

As a writer, the more specific you are, the more universal your idea becomes. The more detail, the more humanity as the emotion becomes more heightened so too does the relatability because it comes from a very personal and very genuine place. 

Thinking about ‘LIFE’ in its context of a wider Johnny Hunter collection of material, what stands out to you about this track in terms of emotional impact and/or significance, now you’re this far moved on from the initial writing session?

The track itself is an appreciation for the little things that make life worth living, it’s finding light in utter darkness and I believe that attitude and mantra is vital to the situation we face in the modern world. Everything seems to be exhaustingly mundane, we have inherited this intergenerational depression that we’ve allowed to define us. Life is worth a shot no matter the circumstance. We should embrace not wallow! We should hope and not despair! We should live and breathe.

If you listen to ‘LIFE’ and ‘THE FLOOR’ back to back, they feel like they could be two chapters in the same book. Do you feel like your songwriting takes on a broader narrative feel these days?

Absolutely, I write lyrics about different stages of my own emotional state and thought. Life was always the next chapter to The Floor. We’ve started to really think about concepts and purpose, what it is we want to tell people and why they should listen to us. 

Have you found yourself particularly inspired by any sounds / books or any experiences when it comes to the new music?

Every morning we would get to the studio and play Regret by New Order. We wanted to live in that world and become one with its production. When I wrote Life I was reading Leonard Cohen’s Book of Longing, TS Elliots The Wasteland and Dante’s Inferno. The combination of these three very different pieces of literature inspired the contrast of what it was to live and die within the song.

What’s exciting you the most about the next chapter for the band?

This is just the tip of the iceberg.


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