Hunterchild Interview

By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Hunterchild is a collaboration between Luke Aaron Jones and Marty Sprowles, two musicians that were previously a part of rock band Dreamers of the Ghetto. When that band disbanded the duo went in a different direction, exploring elements of soul and R&B. Their self-titled debut is due out via Temporary Residence on May 13th, the same label that released Dreamers of the Ghetto’s Enemy / Lover, and so far the group has released two songs. “Time Traveling Lover” premiered yesterday via Spin (and is also available to stream below), but a few weeks back the debut single “Aching” caught my attention with Luke’s powerful vocal performance and the simple yet effective beat that backed him up. I had the chance to send Luke Aaron Jones some questions via email to learn more about Hunterchild and their upcoming release.

Your debut full length will be out May 13th. Both of you played together in Dreamers of the Ghetto, but how did you approach this new project?

I write the songs and demo them out, adding as much production and aesthetic as felt for the song. From there I take it to rehearse and further collaborate with Marty. We work well together this way. He often programs the beats again with live hardware and between the two of us we play musical chairs until we are satisfied with the sounds and performance. I always consider the fact we are a two piece live when writing, but we’ve managed between the two of us and dual drum machines to not limit ourselves. We are both multi instrumentalists and we work fast and well together and use our gear to our advantage. I feel full freedom in writing and full faith between the two of us we can pull off anything we can imagine. There are always times to expand live production but it works great with the two of us and our system helps us enjoy the simplicity of the project without compensation of sound and grandeur.

Hunterchild’s debut will be released through Temporary Residence, the same label that put out Dreamers of the Ghetto’s Enemy / Lover. What has it been like to work with Temporary Residence again?

It’s been wonderful. Jeremy DeVine is a great human being and wonderful person to work with. He’s an artist himself so he understands the artist’s way. We always feel total freedom but also great advice in all aspects. There is a trust and respect in our relationship that is hard to find in the current music business model. TRL is a very unique label and its been a joy!

“Aching” caught my attention with its softer R&B sound and powerful vocal performance. How does this song compare to the rest of the songs and what else can listeners expect from Hunterchild’s debut?

“Aching” is what it is. A slow burning melancholy song that allowed me to express a side of my voice and sensitivity I wanted on the record. Each song has its own voice and force. I think listeners will understand more once they hear the record in its entirety. Hunterchild is a vessel in which I want to continue exploring my writing and voice to its limits. I will say the entire record is passionate and sensitive though. Fans should expect an eclectic record. It’s hard for me to think of one song on the record that sums up or defines Hunterchild. I hope there is something there for most to enjoy!

The press material I received mentioned a fairly wide range of influences that included traditional R&B, Peter Gabriel, and Depeche Mode. I can definitely hear elements from these artists in “Aching,” but what are some of your influences that may not be obvious to listeners?

Sade, Annie Lennox, Greg Dully, Prince, Roxy Music, Isley Brothers, Tears for Fears, Brian Eno, Steve Perry, D’ Angelo, Kate Bush, to name a few.

The album was co-produced by Kevin Ratterman. Describe what the recording process was like and how Ratterman was able to help you bring your ideas to life.

The recording process was wonderful but intense. We spent ten days tracking and put in 12 to 15 hour days. We would start around 11:00 or 12 and finish anywhere from 3 to 4am each day. His studio La La Land is the best I’ve ever set foot in. It is such a top shelf space. Kevin has a great ear and is a great engineer and musician. This combination makes him a wizard in his own space. He’s great at layering and bringing atmosphere that added a lot to the record as well as performing a lot of the guitars and processing the beats. His input and experience really brought the tracks to life and the collaboration was joyous. I would definitely love to work with Kevin again in the future!

The music video for “Aching” is just as powerful as the song itself. The video was shot by Eric Ayotte and perfectly fits the overall mood of the track. How long did it take to put the video together and did the final product change at all from the initial concept you had in mind?

The video for Aching I conceptualized before shooting. Marty and I both love making videos and feel very comfortable in front of the camera. I think we had one production meeting with Eric and then went to shoot with a pretty good idea of what we wanted. Once on scene we just went for it. The filming was all done in one evening and then Eric edited from there with our input after a first draft. The final video really stayed close to the visuals and essence I had in mind before shooting the video. It was a simple concept and Eric’s camera work and editing really brought it all together. The music did the rest of the work. I’m super excited for the videos coming!

I noticed the only current tour dates listed are local performances. Will you be heading out on any tours in the U.S. later this year or early next year? What can fans of your material expect from your live performance?

We will be doing some touring as we approach closer to the release and after. Fans should expect a smoky, sexy, passionate, beautiful set. We really love playing as a two piece and plan on staying that way as long as it makes sense for us. We stay very close to the written material but fans should expect a live show that explores the songs in live fashion.

Our website covers movies, TV shows, and video games in addition to music. If you could put your music into one of these mediums, what song(s) would you choose and how would they fit in?

Blade Runner scored with a soulful soundtrack.

 

I’d like to thank Luke for taking the time to answer these questions. If you’re interested in pre-ordering the album, it is available on iTunes and on CD from Temporary Residence.

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