Tag Archive: womeninmusic


Don’t know Tunabunny? The band hails from Athens, Georgia as in the home of the famed 40 Watt Club, The B52’s and R.E.M. Tunabunny founders are Scott Creney and Brigette Herron. Along with Mary Jane Hassell and Jesse Stinnard the band has released their fifth album, “PCP Presents Alice in Wonderland Jr”. The album captured us. Taken as a whole (twenty-eight tracks) or on a track-by-track basis, the journey is well worthwhile. Fortunately, Tunabunny found time to talk with us. This is a great band having seemingly unbounded creativity accompanied by a welcome sense of humor!

HVUM: Thanks so much for taking time to talk to us! We’ve read a bit about the background of the band and it sounds like a good story, so tell us how Tunabunny happened and how you came up with the band’s name!

TB: Just some friends getting together to make some noise. None of us were proficient on our instruments, or had ever played in a band before. Scott and Brigette had moved in together and their house, in addition to kind of falling apart, had a lot of space. Her dad played music and brought over a bunch of stuff for them to play around with.

After a couple of months of this, songs started to emerge out of the ether and we began to dream of maybe one day playing a show. The original idea was to have a different name every time we played, but Scott saw a sign on a rural highway that said BUNNYTUNA. We flipped it around because it sounded better and all our friends just kept calling us Tunabunny. Some people hate it, but we think it sounds kind of cute and kind of disturbing, which makes it perfect. Anyway, it’s a better band name than Def Leppard. Or Ed Sheeran.

HVUM: Many of our followers are D.Y.I. musicians, so they are always interested in knowing if band members have formal musical backgrounds or if they are self-taught.

TB: Entirely self-taught. We were totally inspired by all that Raincoats, Kleenex, early Slits stuff. Plus Velvet Undeground, and The Shaggs, and Pere Ubu, and The Clean. All those bands showed what you could do with a couple of chords and a lot of imagination. More locally, bands like Pylon and The B-52’s made us thing you could be weirdo art kids with more inspiration than chops and have fun playing music.

HVUM: Fantastic! We’re absolutely into The Slits (Cut), The Raincoats, Kleenex/Liliput…Knocking on to the last question, we’d like to know how you found your HHBTM or was it that HHBTM found Tunabunny?

TB: After a couple of shows, word got around town that there was this band called Tunabunny that was a cool fucking mess and someone told Mike (owner/ceo/whatever of HHBTM) that he needed to check it out. It took him a couple of tries because he kept showing up after we’d already finished playing (we pride ourselves on punctuality—plus the sooner the show’s over the sooner you can relax and party). Anyway, he signed us right there on the spot. Said he’d never make us stars but he’d let us record whatever we wanted, which is all we could’ve asked for. And we kind of got to become stars anyway—distant stars that you can only see when the planets and atmosphere are properly aligned, but still stars nonetheless. We’ve certainly gone further than we ever expected or dreamed when we started playing together.

HVUM: Your music covers a very large bandwidth of genres from pop to blazing rock and it seems just to say that much of what you do is experimental. Do you have any influences that motivate you or is it more about an independent convergence of creative minds?

TB: The music usually emerges from us playing in a room. Because we listen to and love all kinds of music—from Abba to Sun Ra, from Swell Maps to The Beatles, we don’t put up boundaries around what we can or can’t play. Someone in the band shouts That’s great! Play that again! And a song comes out of it. Given that we live in an age when we have practically the entire history of recorded music at our fingertips, it seems dishonest for a band in 2017 to sound like they’ve only ever heard one record in their entire collective lives. Maybe that’s a good marketing strategy, but it makes for really boring records. And as a band, the only goal we’ve ever had is to not being boring — to ourselves or to our audience.

HVUM: Your new release “PCP Alice in Wonderland Jr” is our pick out of new releases for 23 June. We had a hard time describing the album in the sense of “pinning it down”. We’d really like to know your thoughts on the twenty-eight track album as far as its being topical or thematic?

TB: It’s a concept album about how great we are (I’m half channeling Noel Gallagher and half serious when I say that). There seems to be a lot of politics on this one, personal and otherwise, and a lot of struggling to keep one’s emotional head above water. I hear a lot of ostracism, a sense of loneliness and loss and isolation in the lyrics, with the music kind of pushing back against that. Like the best music, it’s about dancing on the graves of your problems and fears.

HVUM: Let’s take time out for a look and listen to “Incinerate”, the second track on “PCP Alice in Wonderland”.

HVUM: We first learned about the band with the release of “Genius Fatigue” and we like that album…”Duchess For Nothing” gets put on repeat! Has there been any change in direction between “Genius Fatigue” and the new release?

TB: We recorded Genius Fatigue back when we were touring all the time, so it has that kind of attack you get from standing in front of an audience. Being at home more, you tend to pick up different instruments, play around with drum machines, electronics, recording techniques, etc. Plus, the first two albums were us learning to play. Genius Fatigue (third album) was us kind of mastering the form. The only thing to do at that point was unlearn—switching instruments, switching approaches, etc.

HVUM: If Tunabunny was a book, what would it be and why?

TB: That is such a great question…It’s probably going to take longer to answer than all the others combined. Maybe Guy Debord’s autobiography Panegyric. We’ll defer to the publisher’s description of it as a “tongue-in-cheek autobiography [that] mixes precision and pastiche in a whirlwind account of philosophy, exploit, and inebriation. Plus it was original bound in sandpaper so it would erode the covers of the books next to it and most people haven’t heard of it—just like Tunabunny.

HVUM: Finally, what is on the horizon for Tunabunny? Any tours ahead?

TB: We’ve toured a lot over the years—low-budget shoestring DIY touring, but there’s more obstacles now than there used to be. Brigette’s about a year away from finishing her PhD (if all goes according to plan), and there’s a 3-year-old baby bouncing around, and Mary Jane has a real grown-up job and mortgage. That’s not to say we’ll never tour again, but we’d probably need more money than we did in the past, which would mean we’d need to be more popular, something we have no control over. Most likely we’ll be a cult band that gets criminally ignored during our lifetime only to be besieged with offers 20 years from now when we’re cited as incredibly influential, etc. etc. assuming human life exists 20 years from now in any recognizable form of course.

HVUM: Hey! Thanks a lot for spending time to share your experience and thoughts about Tunabunny. We really hope that you can find the time (and the money) to keep going. Don’t hesitate to call on us if we can lend a hand going forward!


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