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Hot Hot Heat

Author: Carlisle Rogers
Friday, 12 October 2007
Hot hot heat’s fifth album sees them hitting their stride, as bassist Dustin Hawthorne told 3D’s Carlisle Rogers.

Canadian dance-rockers Hot Hot Heat released their latest studio album, Happiness Ltd. last month. In many ways, the project trades in some of their early experimentation for radio-friendliness, at least on the production front.  The writing is some of their most intense yet, drawn from writing almost exclusively on tour.

Hawthorne says that the band had never written anything serious while on the road, so they wanted to give it a shot to inject some fresh inspiration into the music. “Not every song that we wrote on the road and recorded made it onto the record, but it was cool. When you’re in a different city every day, I think your moods are always different. I think it was cool – it definitely gave us something to do during the day, which was nice. We never record demos while we’re on the road. We just write the songs and then record them into demo form later on. We usually just take songs to the sound check and then fuck around for two hours.”

Writing for the new album wasn’t the only thing they did on tour, either. “We did party a bit on this tour, but we also kind of didn’t. Our drummer likes to party, but the singer doesn’t. There are times when I won’t touch a drop of booze, and other times I’ll get flat. I don’t want to get too wrecked if we have an important show coming up. We were a lot more rock and roll on the last two records. I think we’re just getting old. But I still have an affinity for making things sound as brash as possible. I really like growling, loud obnoxious bass guitar sounds.”

This is also the first album with new guitarist Luke Paquin, who replaces the exiting Dante DeCaro. Dante cited major label politics and a disdain for touring as reasons for leaving. “Also, musically he was going in a different direction, towards folk rock and Americana. He just wasn’t into it. Luke came into the fold because we were in LA making the record knowing that Dante was leaving. We were searching around and ran into some people and saw some bands play over there in LA. I started talking to them asking if they knew a good guitar player and they suggested Luke. The rest is history. Before being in Hot Hot Heat, he did some couch surfing and taking odd jobs trying to make it as a singer/songwriter in LA.”

WHO: Hot Hot Heat
WHAT: Happiness Ltd. out through Warner
WHEN: Out now