Our Intrepid interview type dude Robert “Meddlefan” Darling sat down recently and had a word or three with none other than Chris Kang, the Singer and Guitarist from a really awesome band by the name of Huntsmen. Perhaps you have heard of them? If not, you need to give yourself an uppercut, as these dudes are seriously changing the face of the way stories are told through their approach to their music! We here at The Metal Wanderlust are huge fans, so read on!
Hi there Chris, thanks for taking the time to talk to us.
Hey Robert- thanks for interviewing us!
Where do you guys hail from?
We all live in Chicago, but come from different places. I’m from Richmond, VA; Marc is from Louisville, KY; Ray is from Owosso, MI; Kirill is from Latvia.
When did you start writing and creating music?
Most of us have been playing some instrument since early childhood, and writing/creating around high school.
What bands or artist made you want to play music?
Each of the guys would give totally different answers to this, and they’d surprise you- like Marc loved classical, funk, and jam bands. Kirill was into pop punk. Ray I think was into punk/hardcore and metal. I was into grunge. For me, hearing “Smells Like Teen Spirit” on my friend’s Walkman in 8th grade woke me up in terms of wanting to express myself musically. Bands like Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, and Garbage really got me through the awkward years…
How many releases do you have?
2 EPs (Post War & The Colonel) and 1 LP (American Scrap).
What other projects or bands do you play in?
We’re mostly just doing Huntsmen at this point, but there are some other projects. Marc plays in a couple of other projects like The Band Royale, and Ray will occasionally tour with 88 Fingers Louie or his band Dethbeds.
What are your favourite hobbies?
Outside of music, most of us like to game a bit (and I’m teaching myself video game development and loving it). I like travelling and getting out into nature when I can, mainly for hiking or swimming, but living in such a sprawling city can make it challenging. Kirill loves trying different beers and spirits. Marc slings basses for Chicago Music Exchange and so gets to hang with some really interesting and cool bands that come to town. Ray does all sorts of creative stuff, often surprising us (like I didn’t realise he could oil paint until he just decided to paint the album art for our upcoming record).
Who or what is your favourite character from fiction?
For me, it’s Irian or Tehanu from the Wizard of Earthsea series (Ursula K. Le Guin). I really like characters with courage and integrity, and they are definitely that.
How do you create your music? Sit and write lyrics or plan an album out? Etc.
The starting points can vary, but most of the time, I just record riffs I write on the guitar or clips of singing on my phone/voice memos. When I’m driving or flying somewhere I just listen back through them and see which ones catch my ear and draw me back in. What’s fun is a lot of the times after I sort of round up a bunch of these, I’ll notice thematic similarities I really wasn’t aware of when first recording them. It’s funny how our unconscious mind can do so much organising and processing without our knowing it. That lends itself really well to how we approach records, which has always been thematically/conceptually.
What is your favourite thing to eat?
Pho, hands down. Not sure about the other dudes. Tacos are a great unifier for us, though, ha.
What are your other occupations?
I worked in software development for the last 14 years or so, but moved away from it to focus on Huntsmen and trying to forge in a different direction professionally (making games). Ray and Marc both work at Chicago Music Exchange; Ray manages inventory and Marc manages the bass shop. Kirill is a financial advisor mainly for college-age clients.
Where would you like to play a live show at?
Within reach, maybe, would be St. Vitus in NY or The Fillmore in San Francisco, just because they’re such great and respected clubs.
What is your favourite type of vehicle?
Going to indulge myself on this and say fighter jets. I grew up on Top Gun and used to see F-14s from Oceana Naval Base running drills over Virginia Beach when my family would go there in the summer, so it’s pretty burned into my psyche.
Do you like fantasy or science fiction more?
Pretty even split, I think they are mentioned together because they’re spiritual siblings. It all comes down to the execution/case by case.
Who are your favourite writers?
Answering only for me: Ursula K. Le Guin, and T. S. Elliott.
Do you like to skydive or go climbing/hiking?
Haven’t skydived or properly climbed with gear and all, but I hike whenever I can, and I think I’d love climbing. Again, being in the middle of a big city though we just sort of end up being city slickers until we can get away from a weekend or something…
Do you like to hunt and fish?
I used to enjoy fishing off the pier at the beach as a kid, but I haven’t gone hunting, and really haven’t fished again in my adult life. I’m a lover of animals though. I don’t know about the other dudes though!
Who is your favourite horror character? And why?
Frankenstein’s monster, because of his depth as a character, and the sadness of his story.
When is the new album being released?
Not sure release date, but I think it’ll be out by the fall. We’re going into the studio on April 2 (in a week) for two weeks, trying for a double LP, and so the production overhead for all of it is twice as much, and we haven’t done it before so not sure how long it’ll take to get everything together!
Fantastic stuff, and a great bloke as well, so follow the link below for more!