*photo by @justash
When I heard that Canadian rockers Hot Hot Heat were calling it quits, I was surprised by how sad I was. While I can’t say that they were a favorite of mine, I always enjoyed their music. What I enjoyed most about them was how creative and eccentric they were; I was always impressed by the music they would create; it was as engaging as it was fascinating. It was music that didn’t take itself too seriously, and as a result it went to interesting and extremely fun places. So when I realized there wasn’t going to be any more of it, I found myself saddened at the thought. Thankfully, for myself and other HHH fans, the band wasn’t going to leave us high and dry. They were saying goodbye, but they were doing it was a brand new album, and for that I am grateful.
Hot Hot Heat’s self titled final album, released at the end of June, is a celebration of the fans who have supported the band throughout their decade long career. It’s the perfect way to bookend their years of innovative activity in the indie rock scene since their explosive debut album Make Up The Breakdown (on legendary Seattle-based label Sub Pop Records) came out in 2002. Listen to their latest single “Kid who stays in the picture” and you’ll see what I mean:
“To be able to tour from 1999 to 2014 and play hundreds of shows a year was amazing,” says lead singer Steve Bays. “It changed all of our lives. It was the greatest experience I could ever imagine. I can relate to our fans and I respect our fans. They are the kind of people I’d hang out with. I’m proud of every single record, and of finding the ground between making it challenging and fresh, but also not being afraid to be entertaining and put on a crazy show. Every show we ever did was just a total high energy spectacle and that’s a great legacy to have.”
I got the chance to sit down and chat with Steve about the band, their farewell album and some of the amazing collaborations he’s become a part of. Take a listen below: