An unlikely musical mateship: Johnny Hunter and Triple One interview each other

I first saw Johnny Hunter and Triple One perform alongside one another at The Lansdowne in late 2016. It was an unusual lineup, and truthfully, I didn’t think it could work. Though, as is often the case these days, I was wrong. The room was filled with music lovers from a variety of local music communities, and the vibe was unlike any other gig I’d been to.

Since that night, Triple One and Johnny Hunter have gone on to become two of Sydney’s favourite hip-hop and post-punk acts, respectively. So we asked each band to interview each other, and here are the results…

Illustration by the incredible Chelsea Tuesday

Pork rolls, year 6 plays, and mixed-genre lineups; we got Johnny Hunter and Triple One to discuss their unlikely musical mateship.

Triple One interview Johnny Hunter

TRIPLE ONE: What is your earliest memory of Triple One and when did you realise that we weren’t complete flogs?

NICK CERONE (Guitar): Obi Ill forgetting his lines in our Year 6 Play Rinse the Blood Off My Toga, just repeating the line “Let’s get some action huh?” in the hope something would change (nothing changed). The first time I ever heard Colours was when I realised that Triple One were flogging good music and not just themselves. The hook to this day still gives me nostalgic feels from when I first heard it and thought that they were going to be big.

NICK HUTT (Vocals): Marty Large rapping Chicken Noodle Soup in the toilets at school. It was groundbreaking, absolutely groundbreaking! “Chicken noodle soup chicken noodle soup.” Wait… Are you telling me you still aren’t a bunch of flogs? Going to a Triple One show was a great reason to sink beers with your mates and meet new people. It’s actually how I met Cerone. But for me, it wasn’t until Skeaz Lauren jumped on that stage with them we thought, “Damn, this could actually be legit.

TRIPLE ONE: If one member of Triple One was to be elected to become Prime Minister… who would it be and why?

NICK C: Billy Gunns would get in solely on the slogan: ‘Make Australia Not Chat’.

NICK H: If I was a sadist and I relished in the world burning even more than it is now, then “Nah in like the same sorta sense but nah,” I’d elect Obi. If I wanted to live in a world where everything was “Yeah chill, and not sucks,” then I’d elect Lil Dijon.

TRIPLE ONE: Imagine that aliens invade Earth and ask you for your Top 5 essential Inner-West spots. Where are you gonna take them?

NICK H: We’ll do this one together.

NICK C: Ok Daddy.

  1. Summer Hill Chicken Shop: We need to show the aliens what Planet Earth has to offer in regards to fine culinary experiences. Contrary to popular belief, this is the BEST chicken burger in the Inner-West.
  2. The Lady Hampshire: Fresh beers, vintage interiors, local murals and sticky carpets. And you might even get to meet the guys from Triple One!
  3. Boss Kebabs Sydenham Petrol Station: late night feasts for late night Ubers home. 3 birds with one stone.
  4. Pratten Park Ashfield: A gem of a spot for some touch footy, best complimented afterwards with a cupla cuplas.
  5. Pancakes on the Rocks Newtown: Coming Soon…

TRIPLE ONE: Now that you’ve toured with Triple One, what other hip-hop acts do you reckon Johnny Hunter should share the stage with?

NICK C: Slim Set. They’ve performed with Triple One a bunch of times and the pairing has always gone off – would be great to be on the same bill.

NICK H: Death Grips!

TRIPLE ONE: Why do you think other acts/promoters are so hesitant to throw gigs with mixed bills? What other mixed bills would you like to see?

NICK C: Because they either think it won’t sell or the different crowds will clash. Both our Melbourne and Sydney shows on the Johnny Hunter/Triple One combined ‘EastConnex Tour’ had such a great atmosphere, you wouldn’t have guessed that it was a mixed genre bill, and I think that’s becoming more of a regular thing and promoters should see that and act on it. Give me a mixed bill of ChillinIt and Pist Idiots, and I’ll be front row the entire show.

NICK H: I actually don’t understand why. Like I do, but I don’t. As a kid going to my first festivals, hip-hop acts were always sharing the stage with rock acts. I saw Lupe Fiasco and Iggy Pop at the same Big Day Out. I guess people are scene heavy and wig out when they’re in unchartered waters. Straight up, Raj Mahal & DEN – the roof would cave. Terrifying thought.

TRIPLE ONE: Who would win in a rap battle: Nick Hutt or Nick Cerone?

NICK C: I’m fitter, he’s a quitter, he’s just bitter that he’s cat litter whilst I shimmer like golden glitter. Flex.

NICK H: Shit!

Johnny Hunter Interview Triple One

JOHNNY HUNTER: Why do you think it’s important that bands of mixed genres support each other?

OBI ILL TERRORS: I feel in America it’s less taboo to find hip-hop crossovers or artists stepping out of their comfort zone to explore new sounds and still have it commercially viable. Could be because the market’s bigger, maybe the music genre is wider and more developed. I feel there are big boundaries in Australia when it comes to music. People are pretty quick to jump on hating a local sound or genre just because it’s popular opinion, especially in Sydney. Aus hip-hop cops a pretty hard stick, I feel people in my area are so hell-bent on being socially recognised, that they do shit and say shit not because they want to or mean it, it’s literally just to fit in – it’s kinda shit.

Bringing in the mixed bill and coming together with cross-genre bands allows people to experience some new people and new tunes. Every time we’ve played with Johnny Hunter, the vibe’s been nice, less pretentious, less dickheads. I feel people can recognise Johnny Hunter and 111 are also very close in our personal lives, and that almost makes it okay for them to enjoy or support a genre that they generally wouldn’t.

JOHNNY HUNTER: Elaborate on a few non-hip-hop influences that you lot have…

OBI: Shit, personally I enjoy artists energy and lyrics. Zack De La Rocha from RATM would have to be the biggest for me. Others would be Jamie T or Missy Higgins haha, also love a bit of punk.

Billy, I’d say focuses much more on beats and sounds. I usually don’t know what the fuck he’s talking about. He loves Aphex Twin tho. Soundscapes are definitely making their way into some music that we’re working on. Billy also loves Blink 182 and Limp Bizkit.

Lil Dijon is into his indie and alternative music: King Krule, Weezer, Pond; a very broad spectrum but he’s got a good ear for a good fucking tune. Apart from that he’s in the know with his experimental and electronic – the best person to give control of the Bluetooth to in a car or at a chill. Martin legit loves 90s R&B and shit from the future, a big influence of Martin is the futuristic. He showed me Aqua’s Barbie Girl video clip. I’ve never seen somebody so hyped on the fashion and concept and it’s not until you really think about it that you realise the genius. He loves that shit and Vengaboys, legit.

JOHNNY HUNTER: We’ve shared many pork rolls on many Sunday mornings. Give us your top 3 pork rolls spots and why?

OBI: Fuck.

  1. Marrickville Pork Roll (obviously)
  2. Kings Hot Bread (Hurstville)
  3. Amour Bakehouse (Summerhill)
  4. Special mention to Hong Ha, but you’re overrated.

JOHNNY HUNTER: In 25 words or less explain what you think happens at a Johnny Hunter band prac.

OBI: Ben talks to Jerry about his ketogenic diet, Jerry says “Yeh, ay.” Cerone impersonates Jerry, Hutty dresses in drag while Xander pig squeals at him. (25 words exactly)

JOHNNY HUNTER: Something has happened at bohemian grove! The Illuminati is furious and has threatened a devastating cyber attack crippling all 111 social media and bank accounts. The only way to prevent this is to make the ultimate sacrifice and swap a member of 111 with a member of Johnny Hunter. Who is it and why was he chosen?

OBI: We swap Lil Dijon for Hutty, the frontman switcheroo. Johnny Hunter goes on to sonically dominate the world. Triple One blood sacrifices Hutty to appease the Illuminati and cut a deal with the devil, also dominate this realm.

JOHNNY HUNTER: We’ll sign off with some real wholesomeness. We’ve shared the stage a few times now and we’ve all shared a lot of ups, downs, swings and roundabouts. What’s your favourite memory with us on stage/tour?

OBI: When the last day of the tour became the 1st Annual Sunrise Royal Rumble: Bender Backyards of Melbourne.


Triple One are performing at Falls Music and Arts Festival this New Year’s Eve. Grab your tickets here.