Hot Flash Heat Wave is a Bay Area indie pop-rock band that is hitting its stride. 2018 has seen them tour with The Frights, as well as hitting major festivals like Outside Lands and Tropicalia Fest.
We sat down with singer and guitarist Nathaniel Blum for a quick chat about Toro y Moi, sample pads, and of course, the band’s new release “Dreaming of U ft. Sophie Meiers”.
So, Hot Flash Heat Wave at Tropicalia — very exciting! You guys are on the bill with a lot of big and influential names, but who would you say you’re most excited to be “playing with” this weekend?
Maybe Toro y Moi yesterday, that was crazy. He’s been one of my favorite artists for a really long time.
What did you think about his most recent single, “Freelance“?
I thought it was great. My first listen I was kinda weirded out, and then the second listen I got more into it. Seeing it yesterday was even better live, so now I’m really into it. It’s one of those things that took me a couple of listens but I really like it.
I get that — it is very kinda techno… and… digital.
Yeah, kinda house.
One trend I’ve been seeing at Tropicalia, Toro included, is the use of triggering samples for drums using sample pads. You guys are mostly acoustic though, right?
We have a sample pad as well, and our new song “Dreaming of U” is using a drum machine so it just kinda depends for us. Most of it is acoustic but then we use synths and some electronic drums. “Glo-Ride” also has sampled drums.
Do you guys ever worry about legal troubles using samples? Not necessarily for drum samples but i’m mostly talking about The Legend of Zelda at the beginning of “Glo-Ride”.
I think there’s some sort of law where you’re allowed to use a sample if its… under 6 seconds or something?
Tell me a little more about your new song “Dreaming Of U”. Was any component of recording changed in working with Sophie Meiers?
The recording was a very relaxed situation because I basically wrote the whole song, recorded it, and had her layer on vocals. So, it was less of a full on collaboration and more of a feature.
Gotcha. With that being said, in Hot Flash Heat Wave you have 3 singers and you guys take turns singing lead on a per song basis. How does that contribute to songwriting, is it a solitary or collaborative process?
We usually write our songs on Ableton Live. We usually show each other songs. We usually use a “live” basic drum kit to emulate what the acoustic drums would sound like, like almost to a tee. Maybe I’ll show something and Ted will be like “Oh this is cool, but I have a different idea for a bassline” or for harmonies. We basically just all do that — try to write songs fully on our own if possible, and then have the other members throw last minute touches on it.
What can we expect from Hot Flash Heat Wave in the future?
We’re releasing an album, “MOOD RING EP” in January, as well as a playing United States tour. Our new single “Dreaming of U ft. Sophie Meiers” is out [now!]