Rocking Out With Hunters' Fiery Front Woman

30_HuntersPhoto: Courtesy of Aliya Naumoff. Illustrated by Ammiel Mendoza.
The assault of a Hunters live show is a see-it-to-believe-it sort of situation. Colead singers Derek Watson and Isabel Almeida have a dynamic that's both intensely combative and seriously sexy (the two happen to be a couple, which could help explain it). It often seems like Almeida spends as much time writhing on the floor as she does singing into her mic. With a bright-pink shock of tussled hair, it's a vision of pure punk that could burn your retina. We caught up with the front woman after an especially rough week of shows at New York's CMJ festival to talk moving from Brooklyn to Philly, recording the band's self-titled new record, and its raucous stage presence.
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Music Marathon
"CMJ was pretty intense. Saturday was the last day — we played three shows in a row, and that was after driving back from Baltimore and sleeping three hours. To be honest, sometimes I feel completely destroyed before a show, but as soon as I'm on stage, hearing the music, I don't feel anything anymore. Then after the show is over I'm like, oh my god, I'm dead. For that last show, we were drinking some vodka and Red Bull, but most of the time, it's just the adrenaline of playing, the audience's energy, and the music. That just gives me energy."
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Record Release
"This year we recorded at Electrical Audio in Chicago, but we didn't really have much time. We recorded the whole record in five days. I think it was perfect for this record. Sometimes you can start overthinking things. These songs were ready: We just wanted to get in and get out. We've been playing and touring on these songs for a while now. It's been nice to share it with people, and people who like the record can listen to the songs and come to the shows and know what songs we're playing."
Going All Out
"Two seconds before the show starts, we're just joking around and having a beer. We don't have a ritual. We just go for it!"
Heroes to Hoagies
"Tommy [Martin] and Greg [Giuffre] still live in Brooklyn, and we still go to Brooklyn to practice, but I'm really excited to be in Philly. We moved because we needed more downtime, and also because the rent was so expensive that we were subletting our place when we were on tour. We started getting uncomfortable with having strangers around all our stuff. Vinyls would go missing, and we didn't know if we lost them or people took them. It made more sense to move to Philly. It's way cheaper."
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