Paul and Mia met in 2002 in Johannesburg and started the band Black Rabbit but soon realized that their future lay in London, where electronica was taking off in a big way. After writing and producing for other acts in London they decided to start a new project. Initially they named the band Evil Spirit, referring to the presence Mia always felt in the room when she wrote ‘real’ songs. She believed after so many years of writing commercial tracks to make a buck, the spirit once again returned to help her create real songs. It took them a year to fine-tune their sound and direction and in 2012 they changed the band name to Hunter as a Horse.


Thanks to Hunter as a Horse

Gros Bisous à Laura

Interview by Thierry Jaussaud

Can you introduce yourselves, and where does your name Hunter as a Horse come from?
Mia: Hey, we’re Paul Gala and Mia van Wyk. Hunter as a Horse literally just popped into my head. It has no meaning although it must somewhere subconsciously have a connection to « the horses and the wind » that I always write about in songs. When I was small and living on the farm in South Africa, the wind would often blown viciously at night. The horses would go crazy in their stables and I would always lie in my bed, scared to death by the eerie sounds the horses and the wind made together.

How is work figured out for songwriting and composition ?
Paul: Mia usually starts a song on the guitar with the lyrics then I maybe add a chorus, embellishments, sounds and other production.

How did you come to music, what are your influences ?
Mia: when I was 17, I lost someone very close to me and that same week I wrote my first song. It felt like a presence was in the room with me and I couldn’t remember how I wrote it. I still sometimes can’t remember exactly how I wrote a song. I started playing guitar when I was 7, so I guess I was always musical. I listen to a lot of film scores and classical music.

Paul: started working with my dad when i was 16 in his music studio recording African traditional music, hip hop and Kwaito.

We love Johnny Cash, Nina Simone, Robert Johnston, John Lee Hooker, Bob Dylan, Tom Waits,the Carpenters, Billy Holiday, Crosby Stills and Nash, Neil Young and Simon and Garfunkel. Stephen King, Chuck Palanuik, Lewis Carroll..David Lynch! Jan Bryant Bartel’s Spindrift. Art, light, reactive systems. The other side, the spirit world, astral projection, death and psychedelia & shamanism.

At first listen of Your Darkest Hour, I really fell in love with it. Besides how do you define the sound of your title?
Mia: Thank you 🙂 We really don’t know how to define the sound… It’s a quiet little song about a very dark addiction which has been passed on from one person to another.

Your first track Your Darkest Hour is enhanced by a video. Is there a first EP to come out?
Mia: We will have to wait and see what the next few months have in store…

Do you remember the first time the press has talked about you or the first hearing on the radio?
Mia: We were on Hoxton radio and Amazing Radio… If felt really weird.

Any new artists or albums that you’re into lately?
Black Moth Super Rainbow, Connan Mockasin, Sinoia Caves.

Do you have plans for touring in the U.K, or even throughout Europe?
We hope to…

Your last word for our TEEZ’FM listeners?
“We are told ‘no’, we’re unimportant, we’re peripheral. ‘Get a degree, get a job, get this, get that.’ And then you’re a player, but you don’t want to play in the game. You want to reclaim your mind and get it out of the hands of the cultural engineers who want to turn you into a half-baked moron consuming all this trash that’s being manufactured out of the bones of a dying world.” – Terence McKenna