1. Hello, Luke, JJ, Ty, Brock and Dusty (Hunter Brothers), can you guys tell me a little bit about yourselves before you became a country music band?
We grew up in the small rural S.W. Saskatchewan community of Shaunavon (Home of female hockey great – Hayley Wickenheiser and current NHLer Braydon Coburn, and Olympian Jungle Jim Hunter). Our lives were extremely busy as kids growing up as we were involved in school, music (piano, guitar etc), hockey, our local church, and LOTS of farm work (Dad was a big believer of wise “time-usage”)
We were invited to perform at a local Gospel festival 26 years ago (before Ty was even born) and thats when our on-stage performing began. As a Gospel singing, vocal-based family group, the local invitations expanded into more wide-spread festival and concert opportunities until we were spending large portions of the summer weekends playing throughout Western Canada and the United States. For years we would spend the winter playing junior and pro hockey throughout North America only to return to the farm in the spring to help Dad plant the crop and then dive back in to summer training for hockey and weekend trips performing a various events.
As the years passed, one by one, each brother (because of injury and other life decisions) retired from hockey and made their way back to the farm. While farming became a way of life, the music took on a few different stylistic changes until finally we landed on Country music.
2. How did you guys get into country music and how did you know you wanted a career in it?
In some regards, the transition to country music for us should’ve happened much quicker than it did. We grew up as farmers and still are farmers. Our one local radio station was a country station, which we listened to day in and day our while out on the land in our farming implements. We’ve always loved country music-what it says, how it’s played, where it is rooted and grounded, we’re from the country, and understand country life. It makes sense to us and has always been part of our lives. When we finally landed playing country music… we felt like we finally arrived home.
We also have some great friends who were highly influential in us getting our start in the Country Music industry. Brad and Curtis Rempel (High Valley) have been great friends for years. It was Brad who introduced us to Ron Kitchener with Open Road Recordings and RGK Entertainment. He also co-produced our debut album and co-wrote many of the songs on that album. Without them, there is a good chance we may not be doing what we are today.
3. Who are some of your guys’ musical icons?
We may be 5 blood-brothers with the same parents, same upbringing, same background etc etc, but we are definitely 5 different people with different tastes, tendencies and preferences. Our musical influences and icons span many genres and eras… everything from Gospel, Country, EDM, R&B, Rock, Pop and A capella. We have found inspiration in music from The Jackson 5, Rascal Flatts, Maroon 5, Diamond Rio, The Gaither Vocal Band, Earth Wind & Fire, Paul Brandt, Little Big Town, Stevie Wonder and beyond.
4. What is the story behind your newest single “Born & Raised?”
Born & Raised has been a very pivotal song for us in our music career. It’s a song that hits home for us as it speaks of where we’re from, how we were raised, what our values are and ultimately points to the framework of how we approach life.
More than that, the term “Born And Raised” really is a universal phrase as everyone was Born and Raised somewhere and every person has a story of the people, surroundings and influences that shaped us into the people we are today. There is a line in the song that says “I’m proud of where I’m from…” and it’s very rare that you run into a person that doesn’t carry a certain pride of where and how they were “Born And Raised”.
The events surrounding the release of the single were very special to us as well. The song went to radio just before the CCMA’s which are Canadian Country Music’s largest stage which were hosted in our home province of Saskatchewan. We also had the privilege of recording the music video for the song literally in our back yard… behind our parents house in our hometown of Shaunavon. We combined the video shoot with a benefit concert which saw between 1000-1200 people from S.W. Saskatchewan come out and not only support us, but raise over $60,000 which went to local Saskatchewan charities. The five charities were chosen in line with the theme of 5 of our main “Born And Raised” influences Faith, Farm, Family, Hockey and Community – tied together with the common thread of music.
5. Is there anything new coming up with your guys’ music for the rest of 2017?
We just wrapped up a 2 week media tour through Manitoba and Ontario. We are currently down in Nashville writing in preparation for new singles and eventually a new album. The music industry never rests and we’re thankful to have the opportunity of continuing to press ahead with new ideas and plans!
6. If you guys could sing a duet with a famous singer or group whom would it be and why?
The first group that comes to mind is Rascal Flatts. They’ve been huge musical influences for us in the country world and have done so much for the industry.
We had the opportunity to cross one of these “bucket list” items off our list at this years’ CCMA’s Legends show when we had the blessing and privilege of performing with Paul Brandt. Along with the amazing music he’s put out over the years, he has upheld so many of the things we admire in an artist- integrity, excellence, conviction, family, while still treating everyone he crossed paths with love and respect. It was a huge honour for us.
7. What are a few of your favorite quotes?
We were told some great advice when we first signed our Record/Management contract.
– Never take anything for granted
– Don’t forget where you came from
No matter where this music career takes us, we want to keep those thoughts very close to us.
Another one from our father which rings true being brothers
– The world will beat up on you enough, you don’t have to beat up on yourselves.
8. Is there anything else you guys would like to share?