Local band returns from tour

Staff photo by Hannah Laclaire Hunter Stamas, the lead singer of “Hunter the Band,” sings, as drummer Connor Coburn and guitarist Cameron Gilhooly (off camera) play in front of the former Alec’s Shoes on Main Street at the Taste of Downtown Nashua in June.

NASHUA – Standing on stage hundreds or even thousands of miles away from home, Hunter Stamas and her bandmates were playing some of their band’s original songs – and the audience members, people who lived on the other side of the country, were singing along.

“It’s surreal,” Stamas said, adding it reminds her “why we spend all of our hard-earned money on touring to be able to share our songs.”

“Hunter the Band,” which touts itself as “Nashua’s favorite band,” is at the end of its third tour of U.S. and Canada, returning to Nashua for its home show after more than two months on the road.

Stamas, 23, singer, guitarist and harmonicist; Cameron Gilhooly, 26, guitarist and backup vocalist and Connor Coburn, 24, drummer and backup vocalist got together in later summer 2014 after Gilhooly, who went to middle school with Stamas, and Coburn attended one of Stamas’ solo shows.

“The rest is history,” Stamas said, “We were really natural at writing together.”

Stamas was so determined to start, she said, that she booked their first gig without a set list or a bassist, with the group pulling together both of those within a matter of weeks.

The three of them, along with rotating “hired gun” bassists, have written and produced two full-length albums, while their song, “Colour,” is up for New England Music Awards’ Video of the Year.

While Stamas struggled to describe the band’s style, she settled on “fun.”

“We use so many tropes from different genres that it’s hard to put my finger on it,” she said. “All I know is that almost everyone has fun listening to it.”

They started touring in 2016 with a few small regional shows to see if they had “the guts” for something larger. Eventually venturing across the country on their first U.S. and Canada tour, which they “fell in love with,” they have now played in almost every state and much of Canada. They made roughly 30 stops on this latest “Listen to Hunter” tour.

They have a private, invitation-only show at their Nashua studio on Friday (“to show people where the magic happens,” Stamas said) but will play again Aug. 31 at Fody’s Great American Tavern, 9 Clinton St. with another band, Monkey Knife Fight. They are also booking local shows in and around the state for the coming months, and Stamas encouraged fans to check out Hunter’s Facebook page for updates on when and where they will be playing.

Stamas is currently in school for management and accounting to help take the band even further. For her, the band is more than just her job.

“Music saved my life,” she said. “When I lost my father in high school, I kind of went off the deep end because I didn’t know how to cope … writing songs and sharing them with others, I noticed, made them happy (and feel) less alone with their problems, so I just kept doing it.”

It brought her, her family, her friends and “thousands of strangers together,” she said, with the band’s music being the common thread that binds them.

Hannah LaClaire can be reached at 594-1243 or hlaclaire@nashuatelegraph.com.