Hard work pays off for Huulen with Sony record deal

By David Parker | 21/10/2019

Hard work pays off for Huulen with Sony record deal

A REBOOTED band who came together as schoolboys are celebrating after being signed to a record label.

With nine years of gigging behind them, Huulen have signed a two-year deal with Sony label Rock Avenue after coming close to losing hope.

The four-piece indie band consists of singer Andy Daniels (25), of Mexborough, guitarist Will Campbell (25), of Adwick, and Wath brothers Matt Elliss (25) on guitar and Joe Elliss (23) on drums.

The band — formerly known as Starkins — are over the moon that their hard work has paid off.

Andy said: “Our families are very proud and happy for us — my mum said I need to pay off her mortgage now, so no pressure!

“It’s been a long time of us being in this band to get some recognition. 

“It’s hard being in music — you do get down. You don’t understand why some things are getting played and we aren’t.”

The band worked their way up from recording their own demos to being invited to record in the studio of Editors guitarist Justin Lockey.

Executives from the Sony label Rock Avenue heard the band’s music online and asked for more.

Six weeks later, the band signed a two-year deal which will see them heading off on tour around the world in March.

“We used to be really hopeful it would happen,” said Andy. “We used to put hours and hours in to it. 

“When we rebranded about a year ago we thought: ‘We are just going to record all our stuff and enjoy what we are doing’.

“We have been promised things before but it never materialised.

“But nine years of hard work is finally starting to pay off, it’s a massive relief we are all really happy about it.”

It was a chance meeting as 16-year-old schoolboys that brought together Andy and Matt, who was already playing with Will in bands.

“I met Matt at on work experience in a music shop in Mexborough, PA Audio in High Street which has now shut down now,” said Andy.

“We got put in there by accident — it was only supposed to have one person at a time.”

He added: “Joe, who was about 12, started learning the drums and we just threw him in at the deep end. 

“We started playing local pub gigs, we were probably terrible but people said we were good for our age.”

In their infancy, the band had an indie-pop sound but Andy says their sound has now taken on more rock and garage-rock influences from the likes of The Strokes, Nirvana and Kings of Leon.

Their name change came about after playing a gig in Norway at a venue called Hulen.

“It was like a nuclear bunker converted into a music venue,” he said.

“It was a nearly sold-out gig, about 400 people, and was a highlight of our career so we decided to change our name.”

But you don’t have to travel that far if you want to catch the lads play — they will be at Sheffield’s Cafe Totem on November 30 supporting the Shangralas. 

They will also headline at the city’s Record Junkee on February 8.

Visit the band's Facebook page to find out more.