Hot Work is an ascending surf-punk band hailing from Sydney’s Inner West. Comprised of four bandmembers, Michael van Dyk (Lead vocals/Guitar), Riley Pierce (Drums/Vocals), Jack McPhee (Bass/Kazoo/Vocals), and Liam Wilson (Guitar/Slide Guitar/Vocals) - together they are making powerful music that not only explores a kaleidoscope of different music genres, but also delves into deeper messages of awareness and growth. Influenced by notable music bands and artists such as Parquet Courts, Guantanamo Baywatch, and Patsy Cline, this multi-dimensional band has truly honed their own unique sound and style which their followers love them for.
Most recently, to the excitement of their fanbase, Hot Work has announced the upcoming release of their debut concept album titled, "Boys Club", which will be available soon on all digital streaming platforms. Coming October 21st, this new collection of songs features twelve dynamic tunes take an introspective and undeniably honest look into themes of toxic masculinity, personal accountability, and more. In just a short time since their release, three of Hot Work's singles from the album, "Baby Boy", "Pretty In Pink", and "The Problem Pt2" have already received an immensely positive reception from both dedicated and new listeners from all around the world! Follow Hot Work on their social media platforms to stay tuned on their future music releases and news. Listen to their music now on Spotify:
"'Boys Club' is a race through musical history to discover which nerve is tethered to the male ego."
- Hot Work
Hello, thank you very much for joining us today! First things first, how did you guys come up with your unique band name, “Hot Work”?
Hot Work: Coming up with a band name is the hardest part of starting a band. We were joking around about calling ourselves Coldplay but that apparently there was already a band out there called Coldplay, and then someone said why don’t we do the opposite of Coldplay, and so that’s where the name Hot Work came from.
I’d love to know, what initially inspired you guys to form your group?
Hot Work: Michael is originally from New Zealand and had been in a couple of different bands back there. He’s always been very passionate about music so as soon as he moved to Australia he started looking for people to start a band. He first met Liam through his housemate who is now married to him, and they discovered they had a very similar taste in music. They started making music together and then invited one of Liam’s friend, Jack, to join in as well. Riley was someone that Michael kept running into at parties and when Michael found out he was a drummer he kept hassling him until one day Riley came to a band sesh and the rest they say is history.
What three words would you say best describe Hot Work’s musical style as a whole?
Hot Work: Ironic surf punk.
Tell me about your upcoming debut album titled "Boys Club".. what is something very special about it?
Hot Work: "Boys Club" is a race through musical history to discover which nerve is tethered to the male ego.
You have some great tracks on the “Boys Club” album! I’d like to know, do you guys have a favorite song on it? Why is it your favorite?
Hot Work: We think all the songs on our album are great! A lot of time, energy, rewriting and more rewriting went into creating all these song and crafting them into a cohesive, unified album… but if we had to pick a favourite perhaps our latest single, "Baby Boy", would be up there. At first listen it’s quite a simple song, but it’s so punchy, it makes you want to dance, the rhythm breakdown in it is a real groove, and we spent a lot of time perfecting the right guitar sounds for the song. Although the song may seem simple, we spent a lot of time crafting it to get it sounding exactly they way we envisaged it in our heads.
Were there any challenges or obstacles Hot Work encountered while making this album come to life?
Hot Work: COVID, always COVID. We started writing this album not long before COVID and then when it struck that created a lot of logistical nightmares. Our producer was based in Melbourne and we are in Sydney, so we had to find the time in between lockdowns to get to Melbourne to work with him in person. We also had lots of periods in lockdown where we (the band members) couldn’t even be in the same location in lockdown, so we had to get a bunch of recording equipment so we could work on the album at home and then bring all the pieces together when we could.
I'm curious, what song off of your album did you guys write or complete first?
Hot Work: Well the first song we wrote was the last song to complete, which was "One Day". We went through about 20 different variations of this song before we finally settled on something we were happy with. Probably the first song we completed in its full form was "Baby Boy". That song was just meant to be. Right from the first chord progression we knew exactly where it was going and it was written from start to finish in less than a week. Sometimes you just get a song that you know exactly what you want to do with it.
Most artists say that through their art they learn more about themselves, heal injuries… in what ways has music helped all of you?
Hot Work: Well this album is about toxic masculinity but as we were talking about themes and the lyrics we realized we were only looking at it from a superficial level. Throughout the process of making the album we realized we needed to go deeper, to look at ourselves critically, to see where we fell short, where we contributed to the patriarchy and toxic masculinity, and to really take ownership and accountability of our own actions. The song "The Problem Pt2" is the culmination of this and is a pivotal moment in the album. It’s where we stop looking at others and passing the buck and put our hand up and say, “Yes, we are part of the problem too, we need to be better”.
In your opinion, what would you say separates Hot Work the most from other bands in your genre?
Hot Work: I think we’ve always been very aware that the music we create could quite easily fall into certain genres and scenes, and so we’re very cognizant not to just recreate a sound that other people are already doing. So although in the past we have had a very retro surf pop/rock sound, we incorporated a lot of contemporary elements into the songs alongside underutilized elements of music from that era. We have songs that have doo wop vocals, reggaeton drum beats, Hawaiian slide guitars, Postpunk guitars, we even have a bit of a heavy metal influenced song in there. But in saying all this the album still needed to flow and work together so with all these additional elements we’ve made sure that they work within the context of the album. We’re not just throwing them in there to be different for the sake of being different, there has to be a reason why they exist in the album and at the end of the day they have to feed the musical and lyrical narrative of the album.
What is the next "big thing" the world can expect from Hot Work after the “Boys Club” album release?
Hot Work: This album took a lot of time, energy and our own money to make so looking to the future we want to be making more music in a more organic and flowing manner. We have already written four new songs for our next EP release and we will continue to explore new genres and styles to grow and expand our sound.
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