AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW with HOT FLASH HEAT WAVE

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San Francisco-based surf-inspired garage rock four-piece Hot Flash Heat Wave is making a big splash in the Bay area; the band, comprised of Adam Abildgaard on vocals, Ted Davis on bass, Nathaniel Blüm on lead guitar, and Nick Duffy on drums, is self-releasing their debut album Neapolitan on September 11th.  Adam and Ted took a break from a living room jam session to chat with me recently, and I knew our conversation was going to be a fun one when it started like this:

Me: You’re having a jam session in your living room? I hope you live in a house!

Adam:  We actually live in an barn that’s been turned into a house, and there are no real sound regulations, luckily.

Me: I’ve never thought about San Francisco having barns.

Adam:  Yeah!  All the houses are full now.

Hot Flash Heat Wave was started by Adam and drummer Nick a few years ago; the band’s style was very different at the beginning, but now, at the ripe old ages of 21-24, the band has matured, and so has their music.

They’re also creating their own space in the San Fran music scene:  “I feel like all the music scenes here are pretty insular.  If you don’t know a certain circle of people, you don’t really hear about it,” says Adam, with Ted adding, “It’s less of a community for some reason or another.  I feel like every little scene is in its own pocket; I don’t know why exactly but they don’t really commingle like in other cities.  We do have a select group of bands we try to play shows with and jam with, so I guess we’re in our own pocket.”  They all live together, in their barn-turned-house, which Ted says is “pretty sweet,” adding “We have a sibling vibe.  We get in all these interesting brotherly confrontations but always work it out.  It’s convenient too, and it’s good, because when we go on tour, we’ll already be used to being together so much.”  “It’s definitely interesting to live with your whole band. It’s cute,” adds Adam.

hfhw.neapolitan (1)The band recorded Neapolitan last summer after a crazy whirlwind of writing music.  The album touches on themes of love and life experiences, like making life choices that family members don’t necessarily condone (i.e., pursuing music as a career).  Ted’s grandmother was particularly against him making a life in music, but had recently attended her first Hot Flash Heat Wave show; “She’s a tough lady to win over, but we’re slowly melting her heart,” says Adam with a chuckle, “and lots of other grandmothers’ hearts too, we hope,” adds Ted.

The foursome is planning a tour along the west coast, from Los Angeles, all the way to Vancouver, choosing to end the tour with a show celebrating the release of Neapolitan.  Heads up though–things can get a bit unruly at a Heat Wave show: “We try to be composed but the kids get rowdy,” Ted says. “I’m the goober of the group, I’m always smiling and I have curly stupid hair.  Grandmas love me.”

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