The San Francisco leg of the Dr. Martens Presents Tour continues Thursday, September 21 at Dr. Martens – Haight St. This time, it’s a rock ‘n roll double shot: Hot Flash Heat Wave will bring their jangly garage sounds to the stage, followed by headliners The Fresh & Onlys. Both San Francisco mainstays, we caught up with each band about new albums, influences and what it’s like to play music and look for love in the city by the bay.
Congrats on Wolf Lie Down. How does it differ from your two previous albums (House of Spirits & Long Slow Dance)?
New chapter for us. New bandmates. New Label. New approach to the songs. New place in our lives. New children. House of Spirits was fairly miserable to make, and Long Slow Dance was such a bold new artistic statement that making Wolf Lie Down was relaxed, paced, and a simple to create completely on our own willing accord.
What does it mean to you to be from San Francisco?
It’s complicated. We’ve lived here a long time now, and are somehow weathering the modern storm almost every major city is wrestling. SF was born of dreamers and debauchery thrust upon some potent holy land. The neoliberal politics here gutted the middle class and nearly wages war on the poor. It’s redundant to unpack as it’s well documented online, but we came up seven years ago in the height of the modern SF garage punk hype that was just post-freak-folk era, but now we seem to be the only ones still here. We were deeply inspired by the energy of our peers but were never gonna fit in with neither macho ungabunga or folk whimsy too long. Plenty of young bands and labels now in the bay area that are beasts in their own right, and many more who laid the groundwork for us to come up who are still fighting for their artistic birthright here.
San Francisco was born of dreamers and debauchery thrust upon some potent holy land.
Your sound is pretty varied.
It always has been. Every record someone is bummed that we’re not doing the punk thing, or the jangle pop thing, etc. We’re at a point in our craft where we just do the work, catch the melodies, and make recording them as fun and inspired as practical solutions allow. This time around, the primary driver is the two of us riffing off one another’s musical ambitions more than anything.
Finally, what do you stand for?
“And life itself told me this secret: “Behold,” it said, “I am that which must overcome itself again and again.” ~Nietzsche
How did Hot Flash Heat Wave get started?
We got started as a 2 piece with a toy keyboard and a drum machine playing garage shows and house parties. We eventually reformed as a 4 piece in San Francisco with a more jangly, garage sound. I think the summer heat had a lot to do with our band name because in Davis, CA (our hometown) it would get well into the 100’s every day of summer.
One of your best songs off the new album is San Francisco Dating Life. So … what’s it like?
Dating in SF is interesting because it’s so small and everyone knows everyone. It can get a little incestuous and gossipy at times especially when you go out a lot. Sometimes it’s nice to make friends and stop hooking up with people when you live in a small place like SF.
Top 5 influences?
They’re really hard to narrow down but here’s a go: Beach Boys, The Smiths, The Kinks, My Bloody Valentine, and Cleaners From Venus.
What do you stand for?
We stand for love, equality, and self-expression. Especially in our current political climate, we are trying to be more vocal as believers in love and art … music is a beautiful way to spread the power of love and inspire others to let their voices be heard. Always looking for new opportunities to help those in need and provide music for people who want to let loose and escape their day to day grind.