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Outside Lands: Interview with Hot Flash Heat Wave!

Photo Credit: Matt Benton

Growing up in the small city of Davis in California, these five young rock stars played in different bands in high school. But, destiny seemed to take over once band founders Adam and Nick decided to form a two piece band named Hot Flash Heat Wave. It wasn't serious at first and the band played small parties and garage shows. But, it was obvious that this band was the real deal...and killin' it on the Panhandle Stage at Outside Lands further solidified Hot Flash Heat Wave as a group to definitely watch in the months to come.

We spent some time with bassist and vocalist, Ted Davis, and talked about the band, touring, mental illness, and anime that every anime fan has to see.

NON: We have been listening to your music the past few days, and we love it! Tell us about your musical influences.

Ted: Our musical influences are really across the board. When we recorded Neopolitan and Soaked, they were conceptually based on our influences that were affecting us at the time. We were getting into a lot of classic rock and roll....The Beatles and the The Kinks. But, Nick and I were heavily influenced by The Strokes, also.

NON: As an individual, name a band or someone that you are listening to right now.

Ted: Right now, I've been listening a lot to Steve Lacy. I really love his demo, his solo music is super cool.

NON: Ok, let's be a bit honest. We all have some music we like that might be considered by some to be embarrassing. Name something that you listen to that we might be surprised to hear about.

Ted: I definitely listen to some super-girly pop music. I like Lady Gaga's first album.

NON: One thing I love about you guys is that you don't really have one lead singer. Different people sing on your songs. How do you guys choose who sings on each song?

Ted: We pretty much sing the songs we write. And typically, all the parts are written by whoever is singing the song. The exception to that is the Neopolitan album, a lot of those songs are collaborative. For example, Gutter Girl, Nick wrote the guitar line and Nathaniel wrote the lyrics and the melody.

NON: You guys have been touring for a while. What is the most difficult thing about touring?

Ted: For me, it's all the travel and getting enough rest, staying healthy. I really enjoy meeting all the people and seeing new places. It's a crazy experience, but I have a hard time keeping healthy and getting enough rest.

NON: Outside Lands is HUGE. What does it mean to you guys to play this HUGE event?

Ted: It's really awesome. We are so stoked to have this opportunity. Just living in San Francisco and being a part of the music scene there. It is an honor to play one of the biggest music festivals in the world. It is very humbling, and we feel so much gratitude to all the fans and the support we have gotten. I am so excited because it seems like things are starting to pick up as well.

NON: As a fan of music, are they any performers you are excited to see here?

Ted: Definitely. We want to see Rex Orange County and The Internet.

NON: Touring has to be pretty stressful, also. What are some things you do to help relieve stress?

Ted: I have regular wellness practices. I try to wake up early to do some meditation and I exercise or do yoga. But, I actually broke my foot right before this tour.

NON: Our podcast focuses on how we use Nerd Culture to help us cope with anxiety and depression. For me, video games have always been my outlet. You mentioned you suffer from mental illness. Do you have any advice for others?

Ted: I absolutely relate to anxiety. Meditation changed my life, honestly. It is a different journey for everyone. People find their own coping mechanisms. I think, every person is their own best teacher when it comes to what works and what doesn't. People should always follow what makes them feel safe and happy.

NON: Thank you. Are you into any fandoms, comics, video games, or anything like that?

Ted: Oh yeah dude. I love anime.

NON: Really?!? What are you watching?

Ted: I've been watching Black Clover. Also, the reboot of Tokyo Ghoul. Some of my favorites are One Punch Man and Mob Psycho 100. I love the classics like Akira.

NON: Since you obviously love anime. If you had to recommend one series to a new fan...and that this is the one anime series you need to watch. What would it be?

Ted: Samurai Champloo. The soundtrack is's a classic.

NON: We just watched your video for Raindrop. Tell us how fun it was to do that video.

Ted: Oh man, it was fun. It was another case of us not getting enough sleep, which is classic for what happens before big projects. It was a blast. Driving those go karts around San Francisco was surreal, to say the least. Actually in that first opening sequence when we are driving under the bridge, a marathon ran right through after we were done. We were in our costumes and we were trapped right by the water(laughs.)

NON: We're just curious, if you suffer from anxiety, how do you perform on stage? Is it not a big deal because you have performed in front of crowds so much?

Ted: For me, performance is an escape. On this tour, for example, I felt a lot of anxiety around health issues. If I don't feel well, I get a lot of anxiety. But, the second I step on stage, it's gone. And after it's done, I feel better.

Hot Flash Heat Wave continued it's tour after Outside Lands but they are coming back to the Bay very soon!

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