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Hot hot heat.

Hot. Sizzling. This band steps on stage and they explode. You begin to sweat. Vocals sock you in the face in a most powerful and obnoxious way. Lyrics seep into your head for days. Catchy, jangly guitar riffs are slung about violently. There's a giant behind the drums clicking and pounding, stopping and starting abruptly, forcing your body into rhythmic convulsions. Every now and then a keyboard chirps in, just to interrupt what you already thought was a good thing. Tying it all together though is a slithery bass line, making its way up and down the fretboard and into your toe-tapping shoe space. Behind this four-stringed axe is a young man who can just as easily hold his own on four wheels. So naturally, Dustin Hawthorne gives us the lowdown.

Dan Whiteley

I press record and the tape starts to melt.

What is "Hot Hot Heat" all about?

The name came from Paul, who came up with it when we started about four years ago. I don't think there was any particular rhythm or reason behind it, it was just the connotations of the double hot with heat gave it the appearance of being--I don't want to say hot--having kinetic energy. Just lots of energy.

Tell me where you're from, who plays what?

We're from Victoria, BC, in Canada, Paul, Steve and myself have been playing in bands for ages. I've known Steve for like eight years now, going on nine years. We've been playing in bands quite a bit, then Paul came along I guess five years ago. We all played in bands together, not as Hot Hot Heat, but as different bands. Then we got together with Steve, Paul and myself, and we got singing. Then the singer left and we got Dante on guitar almost two years ago.

How do your songs come together? Who's the songwriter of the group?

We all kind of come up with songs together. Sometimes a song, the structure of a song will come up in practice and we'll just kind of work it out. Nine times out of 10 it'll come out completely different from how it came in. Or maybe somebody will have a riff and we'll start going from that. A lot of the time we'll screw around in practice and we'll write a song that way, just start tuning and keep going and going until we get a song together. Then we'll just play it a bunch and go rearrange it.

What about the lyrics?

Steve writes all the lyrics.

What would you say is the hottest song on the album?

I like the first track, which is 'Naked in the City Again."

Would that be the hottest song to play live?

Yes, definitely. It's got the most groove to it.

It seems like you've been getting a lot of good reviews lately. Which has been the hottest so far?

Just recently we got a review in Vice magazine and we got an eight out of 10, which is pretty cool That's actually the review that got me into you guys.

Vice magazine is really brutal--they give a zero, like, "This band should flick off and die," really harsh, so considering it was a really good review and really flattering that was probably the best one I've heard so far.

What's been the hottest stop on the tour?

Los Angeles has been a fabulous city to play.

Even the last time we played in San Francisco it was really good too, even though it was a small place. New York was really cool and Vancouver is always really good.

What's the hottest tape in the tour van? What's the band listening to?

Oh, shit, it's all over the place. What's in there right now? Oh yeah, Serge Gainsborough was reciting poetry over some avant-garde French musicians or something It was pretty cool, actually.

Who skates in the band?

That's me.

Do you remember your first Thrasher?

That would have been probably 1988, maybe '89. I got a subscription when I was like 12 and I can't remember who was on that. I do remember my first skateboard though. It was a Lester Kasai, and a pair of Gullwing trucks and OJ wheels.

Hottest skater, past or present?

My favorite skateboarder, I had a couple. I really liked Natas Kaupas a lot. He was really a big influence on me. I really like Dustin Dollin. He's pretty crazy. I like how nowadays there's certain elements of skateboarding getting back to the punk scene, just being bad ass and getting drunk It's kind of like how it was when I grew up skateboarding. I like Geoff Rowley a lot; the other guy with longer hair, I want to say Ethan Fowler. He's kind of an arty guy, plays music.


But now I'm totally out of the loop.

What about any Canadian skaters?

There's actually this kid in Victoria, he's so good. His name's Curtis. His last name's Bennett. He's sponsored, but I don't know if he's an am or anything, but he's fabulous. And actually, Rick McCrank is really good.

What would you say would be the hottest Hot Hot Heat song to put in a skate video?

I think "Bandages" might be the best one, cause it's pretty edgy. I think it might translate really well in a skate video.

What's in store for Hot Hot Heat in 2003?

We're going to write a lot of material. We're going to go into the studio. Just continue touring and playing music, and having a lot of fun doing it. That's pretty much it. That sums it up.

Any hot hot shout outs?

A shout out to my little brother Matthew cause he's a skateboarder too.
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Article Type:Interview
Date:May 1, 2003
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