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Hunter Oliveri and The Mighty Return of Grunge

Hunter Oliveri and The Mighty Return of Grunge

Hunter Oliveri and The Mighty Return of Grunge

Hunter Oliveri is remarkable rock talent from the unremarkable city of Paso Robles, California – and he is primed and ready to bring back grunge in nothing short of an epic way!  Now signed to Spinefarm Records, recent singles such as Dumb and Spiraling Out have made quite an impact on music fans all over the world.  With influences such as Nirvana, Soundgarden, and The Smashing Pumpkins, Hunter places his own modern take on music from the 90’s – and the results are absolutely exhilarating!  Highwire Daze recently checked in with Hunter Oliveri to find out more about this dynamic artist on the rise!  Read on as we journey on a highway into the grand and mighty return of grunge!

We’re here with Hunter Oliveri. First of all, Hunter, what was the very first song you wrote, how old were you, and what was that song about?
The first song I wrote was probably like some hip-hop thing, honestly. I think it was called Back Street or something like that, and it was about, I don’t really know, it’s not like, girls or something. I don’t really know, honestly. It was kind of terrible, but a first song, so it’s all right.

How old do you think you were at the time?
I was probably, like, 13, I’d say.

How old are you now?
19, now.

Where are you based out of, and what is your local music scene like there?
I’m based out of Paso Robles, California. It’s a small city. It’s kind of a country sort of town, pretty small town. Not much to do, but a little bit of jazz, too, though. There’s a lot of jazz venues, like underground jazz venues. Mostly like country, though, for sure.

How did you wind up signing to Spinefarm Records?
Basically, I got hooked up with my manager, and he got me in the room with some producers, and we kind of just got some tracks made -,me and him on Spotify independently. I ended up getting a few offers from some different labels that weren’t Spinefarm, and I wasn’t really feeling it, so I just kind of held back and see what else was offered, if there was anything, and then Darren, who’s actually my A & R currently, he reached out to Ari, my manager, and said, like, “Yo, you manage this kid, I got to hop on a Zoom with him, I love his music!” And I guess Ari and Darren go way back, so it was like, a coincidence that he reached out. He didn’t know that was my manager at first, and hopped on a zoom with them, and I just love Darren a lot, and the whole team at Spinefarm, so I thought it was, like, a perfect fit, so I just ended up signing with them.

Let’s talk about a few of your songs. First of all, the single Dumb, tell me about Dumb, and what’s the story behind the lyrics for Dumb?
Dumb is basically about just wanting to be a kid and just doing dumb things pretty much, and just not wanting to grow up or have any responsibilities. It’s kind of like that transition from being a teen sort of or like a young adult into becoming an adult and just kind of realizing it sucks and just wanting to have no worries at all, basically.

You have a brand-new song I think you just released called Spiraling Out. Tell me about that song and the story behind it.
I actually wrote those two songs, Dumb and Spiraling Out, in the same week.  It’s sort of like a similar thing to Dumb in a way, like realizing growing up almost, and whether it’s like being anxious in certain times or just feeling whatever. Almost just not wanting to grow up, and it’s just like going through hard times and you’re just stressed out, Spiraling Out.

Let’s go back a few years to Cold Girls.  Tell me about that song.
That was about this girl, honestly, that’s about a specific girl, and she kind of did me dirty, so I had to make a song about Cold Girls. I was kind of just heartbroken, so wrote about that, and it was just cold, and it was just disrespectful what she did, and that’s pretty much it.  My lyrics are super simple, I don’t try to put a meaning behind a deeper meaning, it’s kind of just like, what you hear is kind of what it is.

You had quite a few singles released in 2020 during the pandemic, what was that experience like, releasing music during that time?
Well, the pandemic, it was actually kind of like a good thing for me music wise, because I got to sit down and work on a lot of different stuff and experiment.  And it was nice because I kind of just got to put out as many songs as I wanted to and kind of just do my own thing.

Have you ever played out here in the Los Angeles area or is that something you plan to do in the future?
Yeah. I played at The Roxy, actually, last July. I opened for Chad Tepper, and it was pretty sick. It was one of my first shows that I’ve done ever. It was like my second show, I think, but it was the first one in, like, five years, so it was pretty crazy. Super nervous.

What could one expect from a live Hunter Oliveri show?
My live shows, I would say probably are just really personal. Just kind of feeling like you’re in a garage, almost. Even if it’s like a big arena, just kind of make it personal and just connect with the audience a lot, talk to the audience, pick out certain people, maybe bring people on stage. It’s kind of almost like I’m hanging out with my friends in a way or like they’re hanging out with their friends, too, just really personal, honestly.

The press release said you performed a Metallica song at your kindergarten graduation?

What do you remember about that, and do you still like Metallica?
Yeah. I still like Metallica. I don’t really remember much from it, but I remember my dad was there, and I kind of remember playing before, just like practicing right before, but I don’t really have any memory of it, to be honest.

How supportive have your parents been of your music?
Incredibly supportive. They’ve been the biggest supporters, honestly, my biggest fans, especially my dad, he loves my music and is always supporting me and giving me advice and stuff like that. It’s nice, honestly.

Are your parents involved in music at all?
No. My dad just is, like, a big fan of listening to music. They’re not involved in it or have never done music or anything.  My dad tried to be in some bands in high school or whatever, but nothing like serious.

If you could open for any band, either now or from the past or any artist, who would it be and why?
Probably Nirvana, honestly, because I’m obsessed with them and I think it would be crazy energy, and I know their fans have crazy energy. I think that’d be awesome to do that, but live, maybe I would say, maybe Smashing Pumpkins.

This is so funny you mentioned Nirvana, because this is my very next question. If you were invited to appear on a Nirvana tribute album, what song would you do by Nirvana and why?
Probably Milk It by Nirvana because that was the first song that I heard by them when I was eight or nine.  And I was like, what is this, and then ever since then, I’ve always loved them. So probably Milk It or Blew.

If your music was a donut, what kind would it be and why?
Donut… That’s a crazy question. Probably a sprinkle donut with cookie dough on it and Oreos to kind of have a wide variety of music that I’m able to do. Yeah, I’d say that.

You answered that crazy question pretty well. All right. So, Hunter, what’s up in the New Year for you?
I’d say just crush it on social media and try to get a bigger buzz on there, and then a few more singles, I think like three or four more and then the album and some more videos, too, with the singles, and then hopefully go on tour after the album comes out. Hoping that comes to life – that’s like a dream that I have…

(Interview by Ken Morton)

Hunter Oliveri on Instagram

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