Interview with Roots Rock Artist Hunter Root
MuzicNotez: First off, it’s an honor to be doing this interview with you, thanks for taking the time to sit down with us.
What motivated you to start creating music? What age did you begin?
- Hunter Root: I started playing drums and guitar at the age of twelve because of my older brother, Nick. He was a guitar player and was my first true inspiration to pick up an instrument.
MuzicNotez: Who were your musical influences, idols, or bands growing up that have helped mold you into the musician you are today? Or helped mold the music that you create?
- Hunter Root: My first influences were classic rock bands that my father listened to…The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, The Doors, Lynyrd Skynyrd, etc. After that I was heavily influenced by 90’s grunge bands like Nirvana, Soundgarden, Alice In Chains. Following those influences came more modern rock groups like The Black Keys, Cage The Elephant, The Arctic Monkeys, etc. After all that I fell in love with Californian surf and garage bands like The Growlers, Ty Segall, Thee Oh Sees, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, etc. And last but not least came the influence of new alt country artists like Tyler Childers, Billy Strings, Charley Crockett, Colter Wall, etc.
MuzicNotez: What’s the ultimate goal you want your music to achieve, or for you to achieve in your career as a musician? Any particular message you wish to send?
- Hunter Root: Since I was a boy I just wanted to be able to make honest music for a living. That has always been my dream. I don’t think music in itself has goals. The true point of music is simply the music itself. Hopefully my music inspires other people to create too.
MuzicNotez: What’s the greatest concert you’ve ever been to or performed?
- Hunter Root: My favorite concert was probably the time I saw “Fuzz” at Underground Arts in Philly
MuzicNotez: Your latest release is the album ‘Arkansas’, how do you feel this album is different from your previous releases? What does it mean to you?
- Hunter Root: This record mostly stands out genre wise in comparison to my previous releases. Whereas the older releases leaned more indie rock “Arkansas” has strong folky, country, southern rock roots that permeate the whole record. On top of that, lyrically, the album embraces a more personal and narrative approach in contrast to the metaphorical and open ended approach to older material. The album means alot to me as it was named after my brother and I’s place of birth and symbolizes going back to my roots as an artist and person.
MuzicNotez: Your single off that album ‘Town Rat Heathen’ went viral, how did that come to be? What did it feel like to see happen?
- Hunter Root: I released a twenty second clip on Tiktok of me singing and playing the first verse. It got 500k views which prompted me to finish the song and release it immediately. Following the release of the song I had another reel get over 1.5M-2M views on multiple socials which led the track on Spotify to gain traction and turn into real listeners. I went from 400 monthly listeners to 100k in a few months. It’s over 3M plays on Spotify now. It is completely surreal. I had dreamt of that day happening for years and it finally happened. I feel blessed.
MuzicNotez: You’re a founding member of the band Madusa’s Disco, but have released 4 solo albums yourself. What are the pro’s and con’s of being in a big band, and being your own solo project?
- Hunter Root: Being in a band is great because multiple heads are better than one when working on most projects and issues. It can be hard pulling everyone together though when it comes to scheduling, personal lives, and creative choices. That is what’s nice about making records solo, although you don’t have as much help, you have way more time and freedom to do things at your own leisure. Art is sensitive so not being rushed affects the product tremendously.
MuzicNotez: What else are you working on? What can we expect to see and hear from you in the future?
- Hunter Root: Definitely another solo album with singles to come in 2024!
MuzicNotez: Anything else you wish to say about yourself or your music? Any message for your fans?
- Hunter Root: I just want to thank all my friends and fans pre-viral for helping me get to this point. I had so much encouragement through the years it’s insane. You know who you are. And thank you to the new fans, Much love.