Brooklyn-based dance punk duo Hunters make the kind of very cool, slightly aggressive music that leaves you full of both borderline creepy admiration and high school-level intimidation. And by you, I mean me, as I was just a little more scared than any adult should be to meet Isabel Almeida and Derek Watson, the architects of some of the best music I’ve heard in a long time (think all frenetic beats, intense vocals, and much glorious feedback). As it turns out they are actually the nicest people in the whole entire world, and total weirdos to boot, which means my devotion for them has only tripled since doing this interview. Read on to meet your new imaginary best friends:
Have you guys both been doing music your whole lives?
Derek: In one way or another. I never had lessons in anything.
Isabel: I had lessons like, once. I think I went to one class ever, singing lessons in Brazil. And this guy was telling me a bunch of stuff and I was like dude, I don’t care. I just want to learn to scream without losing my voice. I was like 12. And the guy said “you can’t do that” so I never went back.
How did your very first show together as Hunters go?
D: I think it was at Bard College. It was actually really fun, because kids go bananas up there.
I: It was like in a garage, and they open up the garage door so you can see outside.
D: There was like a torrential downpour. Usually people hang out inside and outside, but the whole time everyone had to be inside, so it was really crowded and sweaty. It was a good show. And then some girl tried to kidnap us and take us back to her place.
I: We had to drive back and this girl was like “No guys, it’s raining too hard! You should just sleep at my house!” while waving her finger, like seductively at us. And I was like “Um what’s happening? Please don’t leave me alone with her, I’m scared.” (laughs). She spent the whole time just saying “you guys are staying over, right???” and I was just like, “No, never.”
D: We slept in the car that night.
What bands are you guys really into right now (other than your own)?
D: Really into Hawkwind right now, like the first four records of theirs.
I: The first two Judas Priest records.
D: ZZ Top’s Tres Hombres record is amazing.
I: Siouxsie. I’m always obsessed with her.
If you guys weren’t in a band, what would be your dream jobs?
D: Pro wrestler. Easily. But I’d be a heel. The bad guy.
I: I don’t think I would have a job. I would just be lost.
Let’s imagine there are no constraints. You don’t have to go to school or anything. Maybe you want to work in a monkey sanctuary in Africa. That seems fun, no?
D: Like, what about trampoline tester?
I: I would be a trampoline tester. I think that sounds fun.
D: That was mine you can’t take it.
I: You already have pro wrestler!
D: Oh right, sorry.
I: Wait! I need to change my job. I want to work at a coffee shop in Amsterdam. That would be the best job ever. I would try all the pot and tell people “this one makes you feel like this, this one makes you feel like this” and stuff.
D: You want to be a marijuana analyst.
I: I would do that on the side right now.
D: You already kind of do that.
Words: Yasi Salek
Photos: Matt McGinley
For more on Hunters visit http://www.huntershunters.com/