Gee BRE, why going so strong with the title? For two reasons. The man has shiny golden locks that make even the stars in the sky pale by comparison. And secondly, because we wholeheartedly believe he deserves the world and the world deserves him. Hunter Root is that sort of artist who induces an inherent promise of delivering good music when you see him. He IS Acoustic Rock. From the guitar he always carries around, the beach waves he proudly sports, and the chilled back vibes he seems to have tapped into more so than the average person, Hunter Root is one worthy artist of investing your time and money into. Read below the interview to discover the genius qualities of the Rock musician from Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
“Your real name is so cool that we thought this was your stage moniker for a long time until we realized it is your actual name. Is there a story behind it and why your parents picked Hunter for your name?” we most curiously open the interview because when you thought the guy couldn’t be more Rock than he already is, even his name seems custom-tailored for the ultimate branding experience. And yet, the singer professes otherwise.
“There isn’t any particular reason I was named Hunter other than my parents thinking the name was cool! Interesting fact though, because of where I’m from, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, my last name is technically pronounced like the word “foot”. But almost everyone pronounces it like “boot” so I’ve stopped correcting people because frankly, it’s a bit tiresome. I also think the name sounds better with the “boot” pronunciation because it makes the sound of it more organic. Associating my last name to something like a tree “root”, paired with the first name Hunter gives it a natural/raw/organic feel that coincidentally ends up reflecting my music,” answers Hunter. Is it just us or you too got the no sh*t Sherlock reaction at the last sentence? 😀 We’re off to a great start!
For those who’ve already been following us in the past two years, you likely have already been introduced to the suave tunes of the musician or the really cool Chronicle he wrote a while back. And because we at BRE always stay on the lookout for the indie acts we review and how they move, we’ve observed in great amazement how Hunter Root is one of the few having a genuine connection with his supporters. And by genuine we mean hundreds of people constantly and consistently tuning into his music, posts, announcements, and whatever else he uploads on social media.
“It’s hard to say exactly what manifests genuine supporters nowadays but my hunch is that they’re attained by playing music out in the real world. It probably has a better success rate than strictly pushing your music online. There is an energy and connection between artist and audience at a live show that can’t be matched online. Not only that but actually meeting, talking, and engaging with your fans with a positive attitude after the show can turn a supporter into a lifelong fan. These are the types of fans you want to cultivate. I’ve been releasing music and playing out as a solo artist for 4 years. I had already put 6 years of touring into my band Medusa’s Disco prior to my solo career so when I started my solo project I did have some fans carry over,” earnestly shares Hunter Root.
“How did Hunter Root change from when he first started as a professional musician 10 years ago?” we have to inquire as ALL artists change dramatically in one year but even more so in a decade.
“When I started playing out I was incredibly timid and didn’t have a ton of confidence in my abilities. I also didn’t know a lick about showbusiness, how to book a show, how to promote myself, where to play, etc. Despite the feeling of naivete and the intimidation that comes along with choosing music as a career path, it was important not to let these hurdles stop me from pursuing my dream. Most “kids” like myself who wanted to be in a band don’t realize that you aren’t just signing up to do music. Essentially you turn into some hybrid form of an artist, businessman, a manager-type persona that is absolutely intrinsic to doing music full-time. If you work hard and are lucky your team can grow and relieve some of these efforts for you,” preaches the golden-haired guitar player. We went for preaching as the word excellently conveys the value of what Hunter Root is sharing now. Lessons from an artist with over a decade of experience in the DIY field.
If you dig a second into Hunter’s socials, you immediately encounter Medusa’s Disco mentioned around quite a lot. “How do you balance being in a band vs being a solo artist at the same time?” To which Hunter responds, “It can be tough but I am self-managed and so is the band. This gives me flexibility for scheduling to plan the year accordingly so that the two projects don’t compete with each other. I usually lay out the band’s tour dates first since it’s harder to get multiple people on the same schedule and then I generally just fill in the empty spaces with solo gigs. As far as creating music in two projects, when I write a song I can usually tell/feel if it has a “Medusa” vibe versus a “Hunter” vibe. There are exceptions to that, sometimes the band will hear a song of mine and absolutely want to do it.” Notes taken. Your songs are not yours anymore if the band wants them 😀 Hey! as long as Hunter is happy, we are happy :star:
On to an uncomfortable question, “Covid and music. How did these last 2 years go for you? We’ve noted there are mainly 2 categories for this sh*tshow we’ve been forced to live in: those who’ve had a sort of revelation and did bigger things than ever for their careers and those who’ve felt hindered by the pandemic and are promising to come back with a vengeance.”
“The last two years have been absolutely wild for me. Easily the most changes and challenges I’ve experienced in my life. I went through various degrees of incredibly painful loss and revitalizing growth on a very personal level. That being said I believe it has all been for the better. As far as the pandemic specifically, having the time off gave me a chance to release what I would consider one of my “breakthrough” solo albums so I am thankful for that. Aside from the off-time to record, write, and practice music I didn’t get much else out of the pandemic. The band has suffered more than my solo project because we were touring regularly and really felt like we had momentum going. You could say we are in the category of “coming back with vengeance” as well,” answers Hunter Root in his usual, detailed-filled manner. And we like that. Life’s too short to hold back.
“How do you come up with the concepts for these surreally creative music videos you put out?” In case you misbehaved and didn’t look at the first link we embedded in this article, there are flamingos amongst dried-out trees, beach balls on snow, and a barely dressed Hunter with a visible fire far away, of a puppet with drawn-on abs.
“Pondering music video ideas is one of my favorite things of all time! I listen to the song and try to let images come to mind without interference. If I can latch onto even one image in my mind, I can usually build an entire concept out of just that one thought. It’s a lot like writing lyrics to a song. Start with one word/concept and build from there. The music video process usually involves me doing exactly that and then running the basic idea by my video guy, Rory Mcallister. He has a knack for thinking outside the box to create visually interesting/weird/eye-catching segments to the videos. Adding these “weird” elements helps break up the monotony of my basic concept and it ends up being something truly unique. I think Rory and I balance each other out creatively and we make a fine pair.”
See? We TOLD you that Hunter Root is basically synonymous with a musical genius. So who inspired this multi-talented artist?
“My father got me into classic Rock growing up so my starting point was Led Zeppelin, The Doors, The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, etc. After that phase I was heavily into ’90s Grunge bands like Nirvana, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, etc. The last phase I had growing up was more modern Rock bands like The Strokes, The Black Keys, The White Stripes, Arctic Monkeys, etc,” passionately recounts the singer.
For those who are passionate about the technical side of doing music, we got you covered! We asked how long has Hunter been playing his famous guitar for and he responded. “I’ve been playing guitar since I was 11 so that is 16 years total as of now. I picked it up because my older brother played and all of my cousins. I was actually a drummer at first and was the last of the kids in the family to pick up the guitar.”
And because the man has self-confidence and didn’t shy away from revealing his real age, we all know by now he’s 27. “You’re a millennial. Did this impact your approach in your career? Did you ever feel stuck or confused due to being right in the middle of old-school CDs and new streaming platforms?”
“I can’t say I consciously went into it thinking I had to do something different because of my age. Luckily I was/am the youngest member of Medusa’s Disco so when we started the band when I was 17/18 years old the other guys had already been in other projects before so they were able to show me the ropes. I can definitely recall slowly realizing that being a musician nowadays is incredibly different from how it used to be and how I imagined it would be. Mostly the fact that record labels and industry folks aren’t regularly looking to sign bands like back in the day. That might not even be the best solution for a band in 2022. Being independent really isn’t so bad,” drops the mic Hunter Root.
When you’re evidently this gifted and dispose of a grand arsenal of musical knowledge and songwriting, do things ever get hard? Apparently they do when it’s not only you.
“I’ve had long songwriting sessions with Medusa’s Disco. Not only do we have a tendency to write longer songs but they are fairly intricate and we all care deeply about the arrangement and the details that go into it. Some records have taken us at least six months to write. As far as solo music, I’ve had songs take longer to write than others because of the emotion that’s attached to it. I’ve been trying to finish this song about the loss of someone close to me for almost a year now and I’m having trouble finishing it because of the emotional response I get from playing it,” explains Hunter Root while we’re getting a song slithering in the back of our minds.
“3 things you can’t live without on a daily basis?” Without hesitation comes the answer: “Coffee, friends, and smokeables.”
When asked about the plans for the rest of the year, Hunter shares: “Medusa’s Disco is releasing a full length album May 14th and we plan to tour in the summer to support it. As far as my solo project I’ll be releasing singles throughout the year paired with animated art videos or another full blown music video. I may or may not have another solo album out by the end of the year. I’ve released one album a year since 2018 so I might take a break from releasing a record this year and focus on playing out, getting better gigs, and writing my best material yet. I also have plans to get a group together to bring my solo albums to life with some “full band” shows for my solo project.” Now THAT is something we can’t wait to get our ears, eyes, and hands on. Hunter Root as the leading act with a live band on stage :star:
As we’re nearing the end of this incredibly valuable interview with a highly charismatic artist, for the younger minds following our platform, we’ve asked Hunter what advice would he give his 17-year old self, “Be true and honest with yourself. Don’t be afraid to speak your mind.”
For special shout outs, the Rock singer says: “I want to give the biggest thanks in the world to everyone who has ever believed in me as an artist. I truly wouldn’t be where I am without the support I’ve gotten from countless amazing human beings along the way.”
A spirit of imagination untouched by the cruelty of the world. A musical genius unbothered by the trends. A hair so shiny to make you cry with jealousy. A personality so light that you want to be BFFs yesterday. Ladies and gents, we did the stalking for you. Hunter’s Tik Tok HERE, Instagram HERE, and Facebook HERE.
Interview conducted by Mariana Berdianu
Blue Rhymez Entertainment ©2022