Hungry Kids of Hungary was an Australian four-piece indie pop band from Brisbane, Queensland. The band consisted of Dean McGrath (lead vocals, guitar), Kane Mazlin (lead vocals, keys), Ben Dalton (bass guitar, vocals) and Ryan Strathie (drums, vocals). They are no longer active, and announced that they would be parting ways as a band on 28 November 2013.
Origins and self-titled EP (2007 - 2008):
Forming in mid-2007, the band appears to be the brainchild of drummer Ryan Strathie who had played in separate bands with both Kane Mazlin and childhood friend Ben Dalton. While Mazlin was living in London for a brief time, he kept in touch with Strathie sending him demos. Dean McGrath, Strathie and Dalton went to different local high schools and the boys became friendly playing in competing bands. When Mazlin returned to Australia, Strathie assembled the four for their first rehearsal with the intention of Mazlin fronting the band. It quickly became apparent that McGrath had a number of songs of his own and so they agreed to two singers and two songwriters. The band began to rehearse and recorded their debut, self-titled EP after playing a couple of local shows. They launched their EP at seminal Brisbane venue The Zoo in mid-2008 and quickly set out to play as many shows as possible.
They quickly garnered attention from the Australian music industry, most notably that of Triple J's Richard Kingsmill who played the songs "Lenny", "All You Need To Know" and "Set It Right" which would later go on to be added to high rotation.
Mega Mountain and touring begins (2008 - 2009):
In December 2008, the band were announced as the Queensland winners of Triple J Unearthed that entitled them to play the Gold Coast Big Day Out. They also went into the studio to begin recording of their next EP with Brisbane producer Matt Redlich.
The band embarked on the formative International Relations Tour with fellow Unearthed winners Philadelphia Grand Jury (Sydney) and Washington (Melbourne). The tour was a great success and sold-out nine of the 12 shows on the east coast.
Their second EP "Mega Mountain" was released into stores nationwide, along with their debut, in April 2009 via MGM Distribution and the radio success continued with their single "Scattered Diamonds" being another to reach high rotation on triple j, FBi, 4ZzZ and RRR. The single reached top 5 on the AIR Charts and the EP garnered favourable reviews everywhere. A second single "Old Money" was issued with a No Device remix of "Scattered Diamonds" which become a dancefloor hit at Purple Sneakers in Sydney.
The band has played with the likes of Tom Ugly, Fire! Santa Rosa, Fire!, Washington, Edward Guglielmino, Philadelphia Grand Jury, The Boat People and, most recently Bertie Blackman and Little Birdy. They have also played at festivals such as Big Day Out, Sounds of Spring, Valley Fiesta, Blueprint Festival and, most recently over the Summer of 2009/2010, Woodford Folk Festival, Sunset Sounds, Falls Festival and Southbound Festival.
In September 2009, the band entered Electric Avenue studio in Sydney with producer Tony Buchen to record new material. A new single Let You Down was released digitally in October 2009 with b-side Study Hall and is the first taste of an album the band will record in January 2010.
In November 2009, the band embarked on their maiden headline tour around the country to launch the single. Supports on the tour included Deep Sea Arcade, Ball Park Music, and Boy & Bear.
Debut album and international debut:
On Wednesday, 20 January the band entered Massive Studios with producer Matt Redlich to begin work on a single with the working title of "Baby Eye". According to the band's Twitter, the song was cut live in one take. As the band embarked on a tour with OK Go and their own headline tour (called The Air Sick Tour) with Ernest Ellis and Boy & Bear, Let You Down hit rotation on music cable channel Channel V and garnered high rotation on triple j.
On Saturday, 24 April the band boarded a plane to Los Angeles for the debut shows on international soil with scheduled appearances at Musexpo US and UK as well as a slot at The Great Escape in Brighton where they played alongside a host of other Australian artists including Blackchords, Dappled Cities & Bluejuice. At virtually the same time, "a new taste of their debut album" called 'Wristwatch' was leaked to triple j and via the band's Facebook page. Ryan Brockington of the New York Post also premiered it on his PopWrap blog. Despite not being an actual single, 'Wristwatch' was quickly added to high rotation peaking at number 3 on the AIR charts below two Powderfinger songs.
In September 2010, at a party for their label Stop Start, the band introduced a fifth member named Remy Boccalatte.
It was announced in August 2010 that Hungry Kids of Hungary had signed a two-album deal with new EMI offshoot label Stop Start for Australia and New Zealand and that their debut album Escapades would be released 1 October. 'Coming Around', the second single (after 'Wristwatch') was debuted on Richard Kingsmill's 2010 show on Sunday, 5 August and was promptly added to high rotation Wednesday, 1 September. Their previous single "Wristwatch" also won Best Alternative and Song Of The Year (over Yves Klein Blue at the 2010 Q Song Awards.
Escapades was released on 1 October 2010 and peaked at No. 23 on the ARIA Album Chart and No. 4 on iTunes Album Chart. It was awarded triple j's Feature Album of the Week and the band embarked on their album launch tour with Ball Park Music and Big Scary as supports soon after. They played the triple j Ausmusic Month show in Brisbane with John Steel Singers and Ball Park Music and invited guests Inland Sea and seja to cover Kylie Minogue's "Can't Get You Out Of My Head". They played shows nationwide and a string of festivals over New Year 2010/2011 including Pyramid Rock, Peat's Ridge and more.
2011 saw another single from Escapades - "The Vacationer" - land on triple j rotation while "Scattered Diamonds" was added to rotation on commercial networks around Australia. In March, they embarked on another overseas tour - this time to include South By South West and Canadian Music Week. Following a tour with The Chemist and Andy Bull, Hungry Kids of Hungary announced that they'd be having a break from touring to work on their second album. In the interim, they did make appearances at festivals Splendour in the Grass and Homebake.
In November 2011, the band signed a deal with Rough Trade in the Benelux to release their debut album Escapades following the success of single "Scattered Diamonds" on radio stations 3FM and Kink FM. The album was released on 28 November and spawned a further two singles (so far) in "Let You Down" and "Wristwatch". The videos for all three singles all were shown on MTV Benelux.
In May 2012, the band completed the recording of their second album with producer Wayne Connolly at Albert's Studios in Sydney. They headed overseas shortly after to begin mixing with Simon "Berkfinger" Berckelman in Berlin before a full tour of the UK and Europe that included an appearance at the Pinkpop Festival in the Netherlands. Touring guitarist Alex Bennison (Slow Down Honey, Andy Bull) was added to the lineup for these dates, replacing the previous fifth member Remy Boccalatte.
Upon their return in June, they signed a worldwide publishing deal with Albert Music and continued mixing with Wayne Connolly after it didn't work out with Berckelman.
In a radio interview on triple j with Tom and Alex, Dean McGrath revealed that they had a single called "Sharp Shooter" ready and it'd be out within a couple of weeks. The appearance also include a new version of the Hungarian anthem entitled "Hungary Forever" which the band reportedly wrote and recorded the weekend prior.
2013 began with the announcement of Hungry Kids of Hungary's second album "You're A Shadow" being schedule for release on 22 February 2013. The band completed a short run of tour dates for the album's first two single releases "Sharp Shooter" and "Twin Cities" with fellow-Brisbane Gung Ho, who they share management with.
You're A Shadow was released on Friday 22 February in Australia and was the triple j Feature Album the week of release.
They have also been announced as part of the Groovin The Moo lineup for 2013.
On 28 November 2013, the band announced their intention to split.