Friends since childhood, Daniel Rumpel, Johannes Herbst and Lucas Fendrich first formed HUNGER in 2014. The intention was to create a truly dark and cinematic sound, with standard song structures and melodies disregarded in favor of the tone and evocation of the music. Once they’d developed a batch of demos, the three musicians headed to the outskirts of Vienna, built up a studio in a borrowed apartment, and brought their new songs to life.
Borrowing textures from genres like alt-rock to synth-pop, the band could be comparable to artists such as Imagine Dragons, Coldplay, The 1975, The Neighbourhood, and 30 Seconds To Mars – but HUNGER embody their own unique sound, with powerful beats, elegant melody, and Fendrich’s impassioned vocal work.
We spoke with HUNGER on DIY-band ethics and where to find inspiration:
(Be sure to check out Hunger’s latest songs ‘Bubbles’ and ‘Amused’ below)
Set the tone for us. Why the arts?
We love to create.
Which comes first when you’re producing – the sound or the idea?
What’s on your current playlist?
The recent releases from PVRIS, Paramore, Arcade Fire and Sohn.
Tell us about the chemistry you have with your fans on stage.
In the beginning we didn’t mean to be a live band project. After playing in bands and touring for years we kinda lost our passion for performing live. We just wanted to focus on songwriting. When we finished the first tracks in the studio, it changed and we immediately knew, these songs need to be performed live. In the end, we love it more than ever. Sharing our passion for music in front of a crowd, the direct interaction and feedback is what drives the band.
What techniques do you experiment with to get your original sound?
We usually turn on movies while writing music. The visual aspect really helps us to create new sounds and melodies. We try to create a certain mood/emotion first and then keep going from there.
Take us through a day in the recording studio.
To work on our debut release we set up our ‘home studio’ in an old house in the hills outside Vienna. The house is located directly in the woods and just feels like the right place to write music. We call it the ‘castle-sessions’. During the day we usually focus on sounds and instrumentals. At night we record vocals as Luc tends to be more the ‘night-guy’. Might sound silly but in between we do some archery and make bonfires and barbecues.
Was there a specific moment in your life where you thought, “this is what I want to do”?
We all grew up in a small town in the suburbs of Vienna. At that time we had a big rock, pop/punk scene in town and everyone started to play in bands during high school. After experiencing playing your own music on stage while feeling the interaction and chemistry with the crowd we just knew this is it.
What do you keep close by while you’re playing a set?
A good sound engineer and a bottle of red wine.
Any emerging artists on your radar?
There are currently several Austrian artists making their way internationally. Leyya, Nihils or HVOB for instance. Check them out.
What gets your creative juices flowing?
Take us through your collection of gear, tech or software that accompanies your creative expression.
We do most of our writing and producing in protools and ableton with our apogee converters. We have a nifty collection of softsynths which combined with the power of soundtoys and other creative sound shaping plugins give us a broad spectrum of sounds and allow us to experiment. When recording guitars we mostly use strymon pedals, a Kemper and an old (Japanese) Fender Telecaster.
Any side projects you’re working on?
Currently no, we used to play in other bands but we broke up before we started ‘Hunger’. We do work a lot in the studio and write and produce for other artists. Johannes is a genius producer and we all love to write songs. We might be working on a side project together with some fellow artists though.
How have you refined your craft since you entered the industry?
Playing in a band nowadays feels more like working in entrepreneurship sometimes. The industry expects artists to be a fully functional or even profitable business before working a band. The risk has been shifted away from labels, right to the artist. With no initial fundings you have to learn to record and produce your own tracks while planning your distribution and promotion. At the same technology and the internet provides a totally new way of possibilities. The DIY attitude takes over.
Breakdown the news for us: what can we expect from you this year?
After playing an extended European tour with ‘Against The Current’ this spring, we are currently working in the studio to finish our album. We hope to be able to release later this year/early next year and we can´t wait to hit the road again. In between we will play selected regional shows.
For more information follow HUNGER on Facebook