Hungry Kids of Hungary

"To be honest, the life of a rock star increasingly seems to be trying to catch up on sleep," admits Hungry Kids of Hungary's Dean McGrath "you allow yourself to be excited when you're not too busy being exhausted." While maybe taking the gloss of what kids would dream to be the life of a recording artist, you can't blame McGrath for needing to ensure that he's catching just the right amount of Z's. He and the band have been so god damn busy lately, he's probably entitled to a nanna nap or two.


The Brisbane four piece haven't had much of a chance to scratch themselves, let alone sleep. Since the start of the year it's been nonstop for the band, recording their debut album Escapades, playing their first overseas shows and also managing to slot in some Australian gigs in between. Judging by the bands upcoming schedule, they might have to start getting used to it. An 18 date tour national tour over October and November, with some festival dates thrown in the mix will keep the band on their toes until the end of the year.


"We've been so busy with everything, when stuff starts piling on and there's all these different things happening you lose sight a little bit. You get caught up in what you're doing at the time and you don't get to think about what's coming up.


"We're sort of at a point now where we went on tour for a few weeks early last month and now we've got a little bit of downtime, now it's the point where we're able to take it all in, just how much stuff we've got going on and how well things seem to be going. It's a nice period to sit back and reflect on it a bit."


While the band were eagerly snapped up by new Australian independent label Stop Start once the album was completed, at the time of recording Escapades the Hungry Kids of Hungary were doing it completely independently. As such, the recording process the band found for themselves was close to perfect.


"We started recording back in January and we were doing it underneath our producer's house in East Brisbane. He's got a pool out the back and it's just a nice relaxed recording environment so I guess for us that helped a lot. We weren't under the pump, we weren't in a studio where we had time on the clock and it was gonna cost us a heap of money the longer it took. We got to take our time with it and got to turn it into what we wanted it to be."


McGrath and co-vocalist Kane Mazlin were both song writers in their own right before they were introduced to each other by mutual friend and Hungary Kids of Hungary drummer Ryan Strathie. They worked out very early on that both McGrath and Mazlin had plenty of songwriting prowess to bring to the table.


"Generally the rule is that if I write a song I'll sing it, if Kane writes a song he'll sing it. We work fairly independently of each other in the early stages of song writing. Either of us will go to the band with the skeleton of a song and then the four of us will kind of get the hammers out and bang it into shape, pull it apart, put it back together."


The resulting work is twelve tracks of the catchy 60's pop inspired rock that we've come to expect from Hungry Kids of Hungary. The infectious melodies that litter the record are summed up in the two minutes of the dynamo first single ‘Wristwatch'.


" Wristwatch came together ridiculously quickly. I recorded a demo by myself just on my computer at home and sent it to the guys. This was when we were probably half way through recording the album that I wrote that song. I said to the guys ‘Here's a bit of a late entry that I think could really work on the record'"


And worked it has, with Wristwatch landing the Hungry Kids of Hungary song of the year at the 2010 Q Song Awards, the Queensland music awards. The band's infectious tunes are beginning to steal some hearts, not just here but overseas on the back of their recent northern hemisphere jaunt.


"It was amazing man. It was a relatively short period of time that we were away for. Three and a half weeks goes by pretty quick when you have so much you want to see and so much you want to do and then you've got shows on top of that and you got to meet people, it was all hard work" McGrath says with a laugh


"The crowds were really wonderful to us though. A lot of the shows we played were showcases so there were a lot of industry folks floating around but we were really pleasantly surprised that there were people at the shows, we played to a few full rooms.


"When you go overseas it's like starting all over again. You're playing smaller venues again and you get to a point where you're playing bigger rooms here in Australia and then you go over there and you're like ‘Oh we're doing this again are we?' but the crowds were crammed in and they were great. We were really, really warmly received so it made the whole trip feel well and truly worthwhile."


Stepping back to square one has given the Hungry Kids a new lease on playing live, with the new album in the can and a successful venture overseas, McGrath and the band are itching to get back on stage on home soil.


"We're going to be busy over the next few months for sure. There's a lot of shows to play but how else would we have it?"


Hungry Kids of Hungary tour nationally through October and November. Check the Dwarf gig guide for when they hit a venue near you.

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