Catching Up With Hot Flash Heat Wave
San Francisco indie rock outfit Hot Flash Heat Wave just released their newest track “Dreaming of U.” Ahead of it’s release back in early September, the five-piece went on tour with The Frights where blog staff member Tope Ekunsanmi was able to catch up with them at one of the Florida dates. She talked to the band about upcoming music, tour life and much more.
WVUM: Do you guys just want to quickly introduce yourselves?
Nick: My name’s Nick I play drums
Jared: Hey I’m Jared I play Keyboard
Adam: Adam guitar boi
Nathan:I’m Nathan i play Guitar and vocals and Ted also plays bass and vocals
WVUM: How did you guys all meet?
Nathan: High school. Basically, we all grew up in Davis, California. We all went to the same school there that’s where we all met, been in different bands were basically a small little music scene luckily during our generation in Davis. So that’s how we all met.
WVUM: So you all kind of just found each other and have been together ever since?
Nick: Umm yeah. I would say the band first started with me and then slowly added members. Ted joined and then Nathan joined and then Jared recently joined to our live act and now were a five-piece even though originally we were a four-piece. So its kind of evolved over time.
WVUM: When did all of you know that music was something that you wanted to pursue as a career?
Nathan: I don't know if any of us really came to that realization that at a specific moment. I think that we just kept doing music and it just slowly evolved over time. I think it was more of that nature but that’s me personally. I think we all try to look of it less as a career even though it can be that. We try to look at it as something slightly more abstract. More of like a passion I guess.
WVUM: What influences have kept you guys going through the music process?
Nathan: I’d say like well for me personally music is like a really good way of expressing emotion and like basically kind of like cataloging events in your life and expressing different events in your life. It's almost like a journal or something. I think my personal inspiration is just like looking at the things I’ve felt really strongly about through certain periods in my life and then trying to document that in a song or something like that.
Nick: I agree with what Nathan said I think one thing that keeps us collectively going as like a band is that I feel like we’re always on an upward trajectory and we keep getting cool things coming our way which is like a morale booster because we are all definitely passionate about music but it always helps when a real cool opportunity comes along. So yeah kind of nice to be climbing a mountain, the musical mountain.
WVUM: And with climbing that mountain there been any obstacles that have stopped you in your tracks and made you rethink some things?
Nathan: Yeah about a year ago our drummer Nick had a blood clot in his arm and his arm swelled up and he went to the emergency room and ended up needing to get a rib removed because he was getting a blood clot from drumming and he almost died like it was a really gnarly surgery and he was out of the band of like 9 months or something. So that was kind of crazy but yeah I mean besides I think that was one of the biggest things honestly besides just dealing with our own personal stuff
WVUM: Nick if you don’t mind me asking what made you come back and keep on going?
Nick: I was allowed to play drums again. When that whole thing went down I wasn't really sure if it was gonna be a year or longer or if I was gonna be able to drum again there was a lot of uncertainty. Which was kind of a bummer because I didn't know where the original blood clot came from drumming. I didn't know if drumming was out of the picture and I would have to switch instruments or something. But yeah basically I got cleared and I started playing music again but I wasn't really in the band until very recently but yeah I don't know once everything was okay from like a medical standpoint. I just popped back into playing music because like obviously its hard not to when you're really into music.
WVUM: What was the first album that you bought with your own money?
Nathan: There's this hip hop group called The Roots, I bought their album...That was a really cool live hip hop album I don't know why it was the first CD I ever bought but I was just in this little record shop in my hometown and I was like just like chatting with the worker there and I was like what should I buy and he just gave me like that CD. So I was like ok so yeah.
Nick: I’m not sure I probably bought one before but I have a bunch of older brothers and I just borrowed a lot of CDs from them but I remember going in to buy the Blink-182 CD. I remember putting that on and listening to that first song I was super into Blink-182 back in the day like a lot of 90s kids were but yeah I don't know it was a very fond memory. I was super excited about the album coming out and hearing the mix.
WVUM: What’s your favorite song to play live?
Nathan: Personally my favorite song is the last song that we play which is this song called “Blue” and its just fun because Jared who plays synth for us during the set he hops off the synth and he plays the accordion and like I don't know its just a really dynamic and a high energy song but also has some like cool moments where the instrumentation drops out so I guess that's my favorite live performing song
Nick: I like playing go ride which is like the single we released this year its kind of a different vibe its less like rock compared to our older stuff its more like groovy I don't its kind of groovy energy a nice little change up probably the most like cool slow going energy of the set thats a nice kind of way to break up the set you know most of the other rocky tracks
WVUM: Do you like bringing the shaker out?
Nick: Yeah that’s actually NATHAN
Nathan: Yeah shaking has become my number one passion in life I dream about it every night and its pretty much the highlight of my day every day
WVUM: Are you go professional are gonna just leave the band and become a pro shaker?
Nathan: Yeah I have a solo project called Mr. Shaker and I'm gonna be doing a multinational tour in 2019. We’re gonna be hitting Argentina and Chile.
WVUM: No Brazil?
Nathan: (laughs) That’s not announced yet but there will be a full Brazil national tour coming in 2026. Just to keep your listeners aware it's only shaking no vocals no guitar
WVUM: Since all three of you sing in the band what’s the writing process like?
Nathan: I guess now recently we’ve been doing a lot more individual writing at least in the beginning of the track. Then we'll kind of bring it together Once we feel like we’ve done our fair share and everyone will throw the finishing touches on it. That's kind of how we flow these days.
WVUM: Do you guys have any new music coming out since you released Glo Ride in March?
Nathan: Yeah we got a new EP coming out early next year early 2019 Fresh EP 7 hot new tracks
WVUM: What’s the sound like is it more like Glo Ride are you guys mixing it up
Nathan: Yes. I’d say Glo Ride is the slowest song on the record but its definitely vibe wise in that realm. its a bit more groovy and there's a bit more psychedelic rock influences and some kind of like weird hip-hoppy influences
WVUM: I took a few fan questions so um here they are. What’s your favorite thing about Florida
Nathan: I love the weird things that grow on the trees whatever that's called. What is that called what do you call that?
WVUM: Spanish Moss
Nick: I personally like the weather like tropical
WVUM: You would not say that if you lived here year round it gets pretty bad
Nick: Yeah it's a nice place to visit for sure I don't know about living there I haven't lived in a humid climate before so.
Adam: I like how it looks hella prehistoric here like I almost feel like I walked into Jurassic Park like all the trees and swamps and stuff you know what I mean.
WVUM: Yeah I kind of get what you mean
WVUM: what’s your go-to snack while on the road
HFHW: Almonds, Salad.
Nathan: We always go to whole foods and get like really fire salads.
WVUM: That's good. I would not be healthy at all
Nathan/Adam: No we’re super healthy here at the hot flash family we like also have these detoxifying vitamin water mixes Like a green powder that has wheatgrass and other healthy shit and like antioxidants and stuff. So basically we have about 6 or 7 different powders that we’re adding to our water we have uh this antioxidant mixture. We have this thing called liquid I.V which essentially is Gatorade on steroids and then we have these tablets which are like also vitamins and minerals that we kind of just put in our waters The reason for all of this is that we get very physically exhausted by sitting in the car all the time so as much health that we can put in our bodies the better we can get along I guess we're trying to play the long game here with our bodies don't want to get too sick on the road.
WVUM: And related to that what’s a breakfast like on the road or are you not breakfast people.
Nathan: I think we usually will hit a diner or cafe and like get [breakfast]. For instance today we went to this really weird Florida diner and all of the Florida people were like looking at Ted and Adam because they have like dyed hair.
WVUM: Has there ever been a diner that you've been to on the road and ever thought man I wish I could go back there.
Nathan: There was one in Las Vegas. Skinny Fats in Las Vegas fucking bomb. Shoutout to Las Vegas
WVUM: This is our last fan question. What is your favorite finger and why?
Ted: Chicken fingers
Nathan: Ted likes chicken fingers I’m gonna say the ring finger because I have the utmost respect for our marital system and love in general
Undetermined: I’m gonna go with the thumb
Undetermined: I like the middle finger uhh whip that out sometimes usually with my friends that's all nothing too bad
Undetermined: I’ll say the pointer finger you know if you need to gold dig