In the spotlight – About Bunny

In the spotlight – About Bunny

About Bunny are a London (UK) based four-piece indie rock band with Jemma McKenzie-Brown on vocals, Alex Malseed on bass, Karl Hopkin on guitar and Amanda Dal on drums. They create an intoxicating hook laden riot, that refuses to be quiet or go down without a fight. The heavy hitting vocals, spitting bass and guitar tones will lull you in to a melodic comfort zone, then kick you in the guts. Keep on reading to learn who their icons in music are and what movie inspired the band name.

How did the band form?

Jemma: “I was thinking about starting a band back in 2018 and I saw Alex play with a friend of mine in London and I reached out to see if she was interested in writing together ect. and she was! So after a good year of writing we went on the look-out for a guitarist and drummer and we eventually met Karl and Amanda through mutual friends.”

Did you guys have any formal training or are you self-taught?

Jemma: “Some of us have formal training and some are self-taught. We’re a mixed bag!”

What dynamics do the members bring to the band?

Jemma: “We are all so different but similar at the same time which works well for us. I’d say I’m definitely the most extroverted and loud! Amanda, our killer drummer, is the calm voice of reason over the chaos. Alex, the bassist, is a firecracker and never afraid to say what she thinks. Karl, our guitarist, is both wild and introspective at the same time. Also, he is a chef, it’s not a personality trait but it’s a great thing!”

What useless party trick do you all have?

Jemma: “Karl does an impressive eyebrow wave, Amanda can ‘juggle badly’ – in her words, Alex can say the alphabet backwards and I can do the splits!”

Who picked the band name? Is there a story to the band name?

Jemma: “The band name came after Alex and I were watching the Big Lebowski round my flat one night. Alex said “what about Bunny for the band name” after Tara Reids’ iconic character. And that turned into About Bunny.”

What music inspired you growing up? How does that compare to what you’ve been inspired by lately?

Jemma: “For me growing up, it was a combination of music my family loved and played and what I discovered on MTV. Rock has always been in my DNA. My dad played a lot of rock classics like Queen, Meatloaf and Fleetwood Mac, whereas my uncle introduced me to the likes of Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Linkin Park and Foo Fighters. It was watching MTV as a kid when I discovered female artists that spoke to me like Alanis Morissette and No Doubt. That’s when I first felt super inspired as a girl to start writing my own music.”

“Nowadays with streaming services, we have access to so much fresh, indie music, that inspiration is everywhere. Bands I love at the moment are Dead Pony, Kid Kapichi and Black Honey.”

Alex: “Growing up I had three albums (ABBA – Gold, Queen – Greatest Hits and Chris Rea – Road to Hell) to choose from as my parents weren’t into music that much. MTV proved a life saver as did friends older siblings and there I finally discovered Nirvana, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jimi Hendrix and Garbage. As I appreciate those artists like a fine wine or old friends, I love being able to listen to millions of independent artists at the click of a button.”

“In the morning I have my folky singer songwriter playlist – currently obsessed with Jensen McRae who you can find on our Bunny playlist, Rock in the afternoon – I recommend some Kid Kapichi and Dreamwife for any activity, and some indie disco in the evening with Plastic Mermaids and Blu de Tigre.”

If you had to pick out one icon in music to celebrate who would it be and why? 

Jemma: “Ah it’s so hard to pick one! Can we combine Joan Jett, Stevie Nicks, Shirley Manson and Debbie Harry? They’re all badass females, top of their game. They all do something different and speak with their own voice and they all inspired us as young women and still inspire us now!”

How would you describe the band’s sound to a first-time listener?

Jemma: “A noisy riot that makes you wanna kick a bin!”

What does your songwriting process look like?

Jemma: “It often starts with Alex and I having drinks over at mine. Often Alex will come with a bassline or an idea or she’ll just create something on the spot and as she plays I’ll just start jamming from there. We don’t often pre-empt what a song is going to be about. It’s more subconscious, just start singing, scribbling lyrics down and after a few minutes it’s clear what’s going on in my head and the song shapes up from there.”

What do you feel when you walk on stage and what is your favourite thing about playing live shows? 

Jemma: “It’s the best feeling. We all get such a kick out of performing on stage. It’s the reason why we make music, to be able to perform and share it with people! My favourite thing is seeing the crowd get rowdy and into it.”

Tell us some of your proudest moments?

Jemma: “Our first ever live show was supporting Vukovi which was an amazing place to start for us! And when we got our first play on Radio One with Nels Hylton with our track ‘Goodside’!”

What are your music career goals? 

Jemma: “I think the same as most artists, to be able to play amazing venues and connect with people who enjoy your music and meet and collab with other artists and like-minded people.”

Now that the year is almost over, how would you say that 2022 has treated the band?

Jemma: “Yeah, it’s been a good year for getting back up and running post Covid. We only started releasing again in June but we’ve been really glad to start getting our music out there and playing live shows again which we missed so much in the ‘rona time. We’re just excited and looking ahead to the new year.”

What are your plans for 2023?

Jemma: “We’re releasing our first Mixtape on 20th January, which will be all the tracks we’ve released so far plus a bonus track, then after that we’ll start working on our debut EP which we’ll put out in summer time. We have a few shows lined up for the beginning of the year and we’ll keep putting out music and playing more shows throughout the year.”

What’s your favourite song from the Cool Top 20 and why?

Jemma: “‘Shallow Hellos’ by LAHGO. I love the vocals and the delivery. Great production on them too. Great vibe.”

What song would you like to add as a bonus track and why?

Jemma: “The track I’m obsessed with and am playing on repeat at the moment is ‘Bullet Farm’ by Dead Pony. Its suuuch a banger, again love the melody line and the vocal delivery.”

More About Bunny?

(Photos by Ben Watkins.)