Bandmate on Bandmate: More Than 'Two Brains' Behind Hot Donnas' New EP

Updated: Nov 10


Image credit: Supplied

Since 2017, Dunedin four-piece Hot Donnas have been creating music primed to get bodies moving, heads banging and brains hooked on their infectious melodies and fired up rock attitude.


Today the band, comprising of Jake, Mitch, George and Gene, shares their next chapter, announcing their new EP, The Adventures of E-WAN, and from it their new single, ‘Two Brains’ an action packed single that bodes very well for their upcoming release.


‘Two Brains’ is the sort of track that could exist in the same sonic landscape as early Arctic Monkeys or Queens of the Stone Age. A song about indecision, overthinking and figuring out which way is best to proceed, ‘Two Brains’ is three minutes and fifteen seconds of shredding guitars, thrashing percussion and strangely hypnotic vocals. The perfect dose of rock serotonin for any fan.


Jake: “I wrote the hook for ‘Two Brains’ in my head at the end of a big night of foolishness, when I found myself facing a decision of what to do next. The ultimate suggestion throughout the song being that whichever choice I make throughout my life, I will face the nagging pressure from both good and bad influences. And forever be lost bouncing between the consequences of my judgement.”


Released alongside an action-packed music video co-directed by Wade McClelland and Jake, ‘Two Brains’ was brought into the boxing ring. Matching the action of the song with visuals that spoke to the pace and chaos of the track, the ‘Two Brains’ music video steps up to the plate, injecting humour into its final product.


Jake: “After needing to add an element of action to an already action packed song, I made the call to choose one of the lads, square up in the ring and film it. With a very basic skeleton idea in mind, we sculpted a story of underdog vs. favourite scenario that allowed for all the eye catching shots, comedy and big hits that turned into the perfect video content for the song.”



Making their debut in 2017 with the Greek Yoghurt album, Hot Donnas have been releasing music and touring consistently throughout NZ as well as making waves in Australia. Their energy on stage is unmatched and with their new music ready to go, the band is champing at the bit for their return to touring.


This stage presence is due to the boys’ dedication to giving everything they have to their audiences, with Gene prone to changing up his guitar riffs at every gig and self-professed scene-maker Jake currently on his third guitar since the band formed. Doing the hard work for us, the boys asked each other some insightful questions to tell us a bit more about what makes them tick....


Jacob to Gene: How many times do you need to change a riff before you’re satisfied with it? I swear every gig we play you have a different bassline. I’m starting to wonder if you’ll ever play the same thing twice? WHAT’S GOING ON BRO??


Gene: It does take a while until I settle on what I like to play. There are a lot of factors that go into my writing process as since the vocal melody comes last when we write I usually end up changing my bass line to a blend of melody while keeping it grounded with the drums. When gigging I like to change it up a little bit and love the freedom of playing depending on how I'm feeling that night.


Mitch to Jake: You’re now on your third guitar throughout our Hot Donnas journey and there has always been an underlying problem with each guitar. I’ve never met anyone who breaks as many strings as you do, no matter what guitar they play. Please tell me why because something needs to change?


Jake: I pride myself in making a scene whenever we play. Somewhere along the line I must have lost all respect for the fine art of making relatively cheap guitars so now I just treat them like trash. I suppose it would be frowned upon in the guitar community to own really expensive stuff just to ruin it with sweat, blood and alcohol spillage, so I reckon I may as well just buy cheaper stuff and trash it.


Gene to George: How do you keep so on top of your drum skills as i’ve never heard you practice?


George: I don’t.. Ahhh just kidding. Growing up I played the drums religiously, nearly had my drums seized by noise control a few times. I couldn’t tell you how many hours I put into practicing back in the day. These days I don’t really enjoy practicing by myself - much prefer to play along with others as I reckon that’s what makes you a better musician.


George to Mitch: We’ve been playing music together since waaay back, over 10 years infact. My question is, how have you put up with my shit for so long?


Mitch: To be honest George, working with you has been hard work to say the least. There’s been a few times where I've asked whether it’s worth it. You’re the class clown so it makes it easy to brush past your annoying side. I’m very glad we are still able to make loud music together.


So there you have it, a deeper understanding of the Hot Donnas. Set to release The Adventures of E-WAN on November 13, Hot Donnas are keen to kick open the door on this new phase and share their music with fans and newcomers alike.



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