Hungry Kids of Hungary Gear Up For Sounds Loud

I'm fighting for the attention of Dean McGrath, lead singer and guitarist of Brisbane indie four-piece Hungry Kids of Hungary with a dog barking at an ear-splitting frequency. He's outside the studio where the Hungry Kids are producing their first album and today promoting the Sounds Loud Festival. With the band audible in the background, it's basically Sounds Loud Fest with a dog thrown in.


The Hungry Kids exploded onto the scene in mid 2008, only a year after forming, with the release of their self-titled debut EP. Tracks such as ‘Lenny', ‘Set it Right' and ‘All You Need to Know' quickly gathered impressive airtime on Triple J. Dean describes Triple J's support as crucial to taking the band to where they are now.


"Triple J's support was just invaluable. We didn't have to go through the hard slog so many bands do. It would be easy to take it for granted, I suppose, but we realise that it was a huge step for us."


The Hungry Kids achieved what many bands only dream of; releasing two EPs (with a debut album to come) while remaining independent. That's not to say they didn't need a manager.


"It's a huge thing for us, being independent. We stressed that we need control over what we produce, and having that freedom is just fantastic. We also find having good management is invaluable. We met Ben (Preese – manager) through a friend and he liked our stuff. He had a vision for us, and has worked tirelessly to make sure what he envisioned actually occurred. He looks out for us – we're clueless about the business side of things really."


Dean says that it took the band a while for their live show to catch up to their recorded performance.


"Our live show has just developed immensely. We were very green when we started promoting our first EP in 2008. We'd been writing, rehearsing and recording for eight months, and hadn't played many live shows as a band. We've been touring and supporting acts for 18 months now, just constantly playing shows. We've finetuned it a heap and it's changed a lot. It's gone from being our Achilles heel to something we're all much more competent in."


Dean had some definitive news for those who are eagerly awaiting the release of the Hungry Kids debut album.


"It will be released in June or July. It was going to be earlier but we've been touring, working on our live show. We've been going in to the studio two or three days every week, and we're going overseas at the end of April, touring America; we've had to fit the album around our other commitments."


"We've felt pressures, both internal and external to make this record a very special one. Our thoughts and expectations are beyond that of the previous EPs. We expect that it'll be our best work yet, and hopefully we'll even exceed people's expectations."


Will the album sound be similar to that of the EPs?


"We're the same band still, but the album is different to what they've heard before."


Any other album news fans should know about?


"At the moment we've got about 20 songs to choose from for the album; we've been culling songs, and then working on songs to take to the studio. We're looking at around 12 tracks on the album, or a few either way."


"This album has been more of an egalitarian process. Normally the two leads (Dean, and Kane Mazlin) write songs and bring them to the band. But on this album, it's more collaborative. The songs still originate with me or Kane, but the band have much more of a say, and are comfortable to go…‘That's good but how about we try it like this'. It's definitely a good thing."


Dean describes the Hungry Kids as "an indie pop band, simply. But we have shifts. The band isn't satisfied with creating just one type of music. We all get bored very easily."


When asked about the free music festival we are here to promote Dean is energetic and passionate in his answer.


"It's just a brilliant idea, isn't it? A free, all-ages music festival. Just the concept is exceptional. Sounds Loud Fest has a really strong line up with Bluejuice, Philadelphia Grand Jury, Calling All Cars, Last Dinosaurs, the list goes on. We're really honoured to be a part of it. "


What are you waiting for? If Dean McGrath hasn't convinced you that Sounds Loud Festival is worth attending, then take one hard look at the line up, and feel the excitement build. Even if you're just going to see the Hungry Kids for the last time before they release their debut album.


Sounds Loud Fest is on Sunday the 11th of April in Queens Park, Moonee Ponds, from 11am to 7pm.

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