Feb. 27, 2003

Cold Chicago to Get Dose of Hot Hot Heat

By Randy J. Klodz

Hot Hot Heat, who released “Make Up the Breakdown” in October, will be delivering their unique brand of glitzy pop-punk meets bouncy NewWave to Chicago on Mar. 3, where they make their return to Fireside Bowl.

With Hot Hot Heat’s cross-generation influences, the band’s sound is often compared to the brooding sounds of New Wave extraordinaire the Cure, but Hot Hot Heat bassist Dustin Hawthorne begged to differ with the comparison. “I honestly don’t get it, but it happens so often. I think we sound more like Dexy’s Midnight Runners and XTC than we do the Cure.”

Hawthorne offered an explanation: “When we set out to write a song we’re not like ‘It’s going to sound like the last time because that’s our formula, right?’ That’s why with our albums every song is a little bit different than the next one. One song might sound like the Clash and the next song may sound like XTC or something like that. Especially when you have four creative songwriters in a band, everybody leaves their mark or their trademark on the song.”

The band, which includes singer/keyboardist Steve Bays, guitarist Dante DeCaro, drummer Paul Hawley and bassist Hawthorne, hails from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, a region that, as Hawthorne said, is often mistaken as a Canadian cold spot.

“It’s a common misconception that people have of Canada is that it’s totally cold,” Hawthorne said. “But where we’re from it’s more warmer than almost the entire continent except for the west coast. It never gets extremely cold here.”

“Make Up the Breakdown” showcases ten tracks, totaling 32 minutes of music that’s bound to get you bouncing, especially on “No, Not Now” where Bays’ simultaneous yelping vocals and keyboard pounding provide what could a perfect soundtrack for your next punk-rock dance party--if you were so inclined to have one--with the line, “Nobody likes a child who complains and I won't be that child anymore.”

Fireside Bowl is at 2646 W. Fullerton. This is an all-ages show. Tickets for most events at Fireside Bowl are under $10. Doors are scheduled to open at 6 p.m. For more information on the band check out www.hothotheat.com and for more information on Fireside Bowl check out www.mpshows.com.
Hot Hot Heat Photo: Brian Tamborello