Red Bank / Asbury Park political punk foursome, Hot Blood, will be releasing the second part of their Overcome trilogy of EPs with an all-ages show this Friday at Asbury Lanes. The Pete Steinkopf-produced, Overcome Part 2 is a four-song quick hit that takes aim at some of the most prominent institutions of modern life. The longest track, single "Chemical Solution," comes in at just over a minute and a half. Somehow, though, the band find time to make their points; and they even throw in a few blistering guitar solos.
I sent a few questions to guitarist Alex Rosen and guitarist / vocalist Mat Kiley as they prepare for the release. They tell us about the ideas behind their songs. We get a little preview of what to expect on Friday night, and I even get Kiley into some good-natured trash talk about a competing show thrown by an energy drink company and a Brooklyn music blog (This series actually often features some of our favorite bands.).
Check out everything they had to say below. Then, on Friday night, head over to Asbury Lanes to celebrate the release of Overcome Part 2 where Execütors, Honah Lee, and Gangway! fill out the bill.
Hot Blood are this interesting combination of thrashing hardcore punk and lefty politics -- calling out the establishment, sticking up for the oppressed kind of stuff. But bubbling up from all of the anger, I’ve always sensed a slight strain of positivity running through your catalog. Is it important to you guys to leave people with the message that change is possible if we all wake up?
MK: I think that's the most important part of what we as a band are trying to say. It's really easy to say "HEY, SHIT'S FUCKED UP, AND WE'RE PISSED." What we want to do is express that we as people have the power to stand together and change the world for the better.
You put out Overcome Part 1 earlier this year, and you’re getting ready to release Overcome Part 2 with Part 3 to follow. What made you decide to do this as a trilogy?
AR: Mat really wanted to do an EP after [debut LP] No Kings. The idea of Overcome pretty much came from Mat and me working together on this commercial solar job. Doing multiple EP's gives room to work with multiple ideas and concepts. Also, for us, we tend to write fast and have a lot of tunes so it works to help get the music out faster than an album. 3 EP's just sounded solid and gives more room to experiment.
Part 1 dealt with the way in which corporations and the government work together to keep the masses quietly working for them. On Part 2, you take on other institutions like churches, the medical establishment, and the education system (in a total of about 4 minutes). Do you feel like all of these major institutions we’ve built up are ultimately working against us? If so, what can we do about it?
MK: Yes very much so. Religion: End the tax exempt status of religious institutions; pressure legislators to keep religion out of politics; and make "money for prayers" type schemes illegal (e.g. televangelist "clubs"). Health care: people are so afraid of Obamacare; but, ultimately, what the people of this country deserve is even further sweeping legislative reform. It's embarrassing how sick people are outright extorted in the US. Education: I'm not even going to get into student loan reform because it would take all day. Do away with the new common core curriculum. Focus more on learning and not just repetition.
Speaking of corporations, what are your thoughts on punk rock shows funded by big corporate entities and sponsored by big, out of town media outlets?
MK: Nothing says punk rock quite like corporate energy drinks and internet tastemakers. Sarcasm is hard to get through text, but I'm laying it on really thick here.
|Poster by Alex Rosen|
MK: I certainly hope so. Some of the best shows happen in places a show isn't meant to happen. I have a feeling that, in the coming years, the VFWs and the like will make a showing as venues for displaced bands.
Can you talk a little bit about the other bands on the bill at Asbury Lanes and what people can expect from the show?
MK: Well, Execütors are local, so if you're from the area and haven't seen them you are severely missing out. They are fucking phenomenal. Honah Lee are good friends of ours from the Trenton area. Rad as fuck dudes and a seriously good time to see live. We've played with them a couple times and it is ALWAYS a blast. Gangway! Are from Long Island and are honestly one of my favorite bands on the east coast right now. They blew my mind out the first time I saw them and every subsequent time since. I expect a lot of brain matter to be exploded Friday night.
Not to get too far ahead of things, but what are your plans for after Overcome Part 2? Is Part 3 ready to go?
AR: We have two new songs that are pretty much done. We may put them on a remixed / remastered No Kings re-release which we may put out ourselves. Not 100% sure. We have already put out 3 things this year, so I think we will handle that after Overcome Part 3 haha. Overcome Part 3 we have been working on. We plan to get it out this year. It will be a bit tough. So far Overcome Part 3 is one song and it clocks in at about 11 minutes, which is about 10 minutes longer than most of our songs. We will be having someone else [other than Alex] do the artwork for it which is also a first for us.
And, finally, just to be clear, you guys are putting on the release show all by yourselves -- a local punk band and a bunch of their friends having a great time screaming at the institutions trying to keep us down, right? No RSVPs, no energy drinks, no vicious unmoderated comment sections.
MK: All ages. No corporate sponsors. No tastemakers judging the things you like because they ain't hip. No RSVPs. We're putting this show on ourselves; and, in doing so, we got our favorite bands together to give the locals a great show at our favorite venue in town. We're really looking forward to it. We may put on a pot of coffee for people that REALLY want caffeine.
Cool. Just wanted to make sure that was clear.
Thanks, guys. See you Friday.