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Hot Hot Heat

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Hot Hot Heat
Hot Hot Heat in 2007
Hot Hot Heat in 2007
Background information
OriginVictoria, British Columbia, Canada
Years active1999–2016, 2023–2024
Past membersSteve Bays
Paul Hawley
Dante DeCaro
Parker Bossley
Luke Paquin
Louis Hearn
Dustin Hawthorne
Matthew Marnik

Hot Hot Heat was a Canadian indie rock band from Victoria, British Columbia, formed in 1999. The band was signed to Seattle label Sub Pop in 2001 and Warner Records throughout the majority of their career.

The band has released five full-length albums to date, their first and critically acclaimed, Make Up the Breakdown (2002), Elevator (2005), Happiness Ltd. (2007), Future Breeds (2010) and their last before disbanding, Hot Hot Heat (2016). The band's style makes use of electronic and traditional instruments and has variously been categorized as dance-punk, post-punk revival, new wave, and art-punk.

After five years of scant activity following the touring cycle of Future Breeds in 2011, on March 13, 2016, Hot Hot Heat announced new music with a limited edition 7" record, "Nature of Things" which was released for April 16, 2016, in participation with Record Store Day that year. Preceding that release, on April 5, the group officially announced they had disbanded and would release their fifth and final self-titled album on June 24. 2016 via Kaw-Liga Records, with the album's lead single, "Kid Who Stays in the Picture" premiering alongside the announcement.[2][3]

Following an eight year hiatus, Hot Hot Heat reunited at the end of 2023, with the release of their comeback single, "Shock Me" on December 1, 2023.[4] However, the reunion would be extremely short-lived following an announcement by the group on January 26, 2024, stating all intentions to release new material and subsequent live performances were effectively cancelled. The reasoning was further explained in part due to lead vocalist and primary songwriter Steve Bays no longer being able to commit to the group's plans.[5]



Dustin Hawthorne, a drugstore clerk, and Steve Bays, a personal assistant, had been in many different bands together since 1995 and met Paul Hawley in 1998. In 1999, Hawley bought a Juno 6 keyboard and asked Bays to try playing it, as no one else knew how. Hawley took over the drums from Bays and Hawthorne played bass. Matthew Marnik, who was a friend of the band, sang vocals. The band's original sound can be considered electropunk.

The band soon changed direction to a more melodic, pop-influenced style, losing Marnik and adding guitarist Dante DeCaro. Strongly influenced by the new wave sound of 1980s bands the Cure, XTC, the Clash, and Elvis Costello and the Attractions, the new lineup, with Steve on vocals, quickly released a series of 7" singles and toured extensively in Canada and the American Pacific Northwest, joining up with similarly styled indie rock bands such as Les Savy Fav, the French Kicks, Radio 4, Ima Robot, and Pretty Girls Make Graves, and opening for established Canadian rockers Sloan on a national tour.

The band's touring exposure attracted the interest of Seattle record label Sub Pop, who signed Hot Hot Heat in 2001, leading to the early 2002 release of EP Knock Knock Knock, produced in part by Chris Walla of Death Cab for Cutie. Although Hot Hot Heat got its start as a hardcore band, by the time it made contact with Sub Pop, its sound had mutated into what would soon be known as dance-punk. The band stood at the forefront of a movement that would explode on the indie rock scene within another year.[6] That release was followed up quickly by the band's first full-length release, Make Up the Breakdown, produced by Nirvana and Soundgarden producer Jack Endino.

That album quickly found critical acclaim, and its singles "Bandages" and "Talk to Me, Dance With Me" received regular airplay on MTV and radio, including influential Los Angeles, California station KROQ-FM, on whose charts both reached No. 1.

However, their track "Bandages" was removed from radio in the UK, from the playlist at BBC Radio 1, in the light of the war in the Middle East. This was thought to have hindered its position at No. 25 in the UK charts. The track had been on the B list on the station, guaranteeing 15 plays a week and a potential audience of millions. It was removed because of a "prevalence of the word 'bandages' in the song", a spokesperson said.[7] In 2002, the band signed with Warner in the U.S.[8]

In 2003 the band re-released the 2001 album of tracks recorded prior to their Sub Pop recordings, Scenes One Through Thirteen, on the OHEV Records label. Reflecting the band's transition period between their original sound and the present, and thus very much unlike what fans had heard on Knock Knock Knock and Make Up the Breakdown.

In 2004 Make Up the Breakdown won "Favourite Album" at the Canadian Independent Music Awards by popular vote. Guitarist Dante DeCaro announced his departure from the band in October 2004, but stayed to complete their next album, and in 2005 joined Montreal band Wolf Parade. That album, Elevator was the band's major label debut and was released commercially by Warner Bros. In April 2005, Dante handed guitar duties over to replacement Luke Paquin when the band started their 2005 tour. In June Elevator appeared in the top ten of the !earshot Campus and Community Radio chart.[9]

In 2005, the band opened for Weezer and Foo Fighters on the "Foozer Tour".

Hot Hot Heat played an opening set for American synth rock group the Killers at Red Rocks Amphitheatre on May 17, 2007. However, the Killers were forced to pull out after three songs because lead singer Brandon Flowers was suffering from bronchitis.

The group's follow-up to Elevator and third studio album, Happiness Ltd., was released on September 11, 2007. In late March 2007, the band posted the song "Give Up?" on their MySpace page as a sample of the album, and it was released on iTunes as a single on May 15. A second single entitled "Let Me In" was released on July 16.

Hot Hot Heat toured in 2007 with Snow Patrol as their opening act on the U.S. leg of their summer tour. Their headlining tour of Germany, Canada and U.S. started September 3, 2007.

"Let Me In" debuted on KROQ-FM at number 8. On August 8, 2007, the music video for "Let Me In" premiered on Myspace Music. Also, on September 6, 2007, Hot Hot Heat posted their new album on their MySpace.

The band spent most of 2008/2009 recording and constructing their own studio. Experimenting with 5/4 disco grooves and electro loops, they went into the studio with producer/musician Ryan Dahle from Limblifter/Age of Electric awhile doing a brief Canadian tour opening for Bloc Party.

On September 24, 2008, Hot Hot Heat would make an appearance on second season of American-Canadian children's television series, Yo Gabba Gabba!, with the song, "Time to Go Outdoors", featured on season's third episode, "Talent".[10] At some point during this period, founding bassist, Hawthorne quietly left the band. Parker Bossley from Canadian dance-punk band, Fake Shark - Real Zombie! would become the group's new bassist. Ironically, another member of Fake Shark - Real Zombie!, Canadian guitarist, Louis Hearn would later on become the group's next bassist following Bossley's departure from the group in 2010.

Bassist Louis Hearn performing in 2011

The band's fourth studio album, Future Breeds was released June 8, 2010, through Dine Alone Records. To build anticipation for the release the band performed residencies at two small clubs in the United States, Public Assembly in New York City, and Bootleg Theater in Los Angeles throughout May and June 2010 respectively.[11]

Hot Hot Heat's public activity was scant in the 2010s; however, they debuted a new song, "Mayor of the City", in May 2013.[12] In response to a fan's question on Twitter, Hot Hot Heat mentioned a release for an album in the fall of 2015. On September 10, 2015, Hot Hot Heat announced new material via their Instagram page for a spring 2016 release. On Friday June 24, 2016, Hot Hot Heat released a 10-track self-titled album and announced it would be their final album.

After the band split, Bays reunited with former bassist, Bossley to form, electro pop project, Fur Trade.

On November 18, 2023, the band announced they had reunited via social media, with Bays, Hawley, DeCaro and Bossley consisting as the line-up. Their return single, "Shock Me" was released Dec 1. 2023.[13] On January 26, 2024, however, the band announced via social media that their reunion had come to an abrupt end just before the new year due to Bays feeling "he could not participate."[14]



Former members

  • Steve Bays – keyboards (1999–2016, 2023), lead vocals (2000–2016, 2023), backing vocals (1999–2000)
  • Paul Hawley – drums, backing vocals (1999–2016, 2023)
  • Dante DeCaro – guitar (2001–2005, 2023)
  • Parker Bossley – bass, backing vocals (2008–2010, 2023)
  • Dustin Hawthorne – bass (1999–2008)
  • Matthew Marnik – lead vocals (1999–2000)[15]
  • Luke Paquin – guitar, backing vocals (2005–2016)
  • Louis Hearn – bass, backing vocals (2010–2016)

Former touring musicians

  • Jimmy Sweet – keyboards, guitar, percussion (2007–2010)





Studio albums

Title Album details Peak chart positions


Make Up the Breakdown
  • Released: October 8, 2002
  • Label: Sub Pop
19 38 35 146 5
  • Released: April 5, 2005
  • Label: Sire
10 92 31 34 34
Happiness Ltd. 133 86
Future Breeds
Hot Hot Heat
  • Released: June 24, 2016
  • Label: Kaw-Liga/Culvert
"—" denotes album that did not chart or was not released




  • Hot Hot Heat four song 7" (1999)
  • Hot Hot Heat Split the Red Light Sting (2000)
  • Hot Hot Heat three song 7" (2001)
  • Knock Knock Knock (2002)
  • Happiness Ltd. EP (2007)


List of singles, with selected chart positions and certifications, showing year released and album name
Title Year Peak positions Album








"Bandages" 2003 × × × 27 25 19 Make Up the Breakdown
"No, Not Now" × × × 46 38
"Talk to Me, Dance with Me" × × × 78 12 33
"Island of the Honest Man" 2005 × × Elevator
"Goodnight Goodnight" × 20 × 33 36 2 59 27
"Middle of Nowhere" × 23 × 50 47 23
"Christmas Day in the Sun" × × Non-album single
"Give Up?" 2007 × × Happiness Ltd.
"Let Me In" 24 × 19 × 54 138
"Harmonicas & Tambourines" × 44 ×
"21@12" 2010 28 Future Breeds
"Goddess on the Prairie" 13 38
"Mayor of the City" 2013 Hot Hot Heat
"Kid Who Stays in the Picture" 2016 14 25 38
"Pulling Levers" 43
"—" denotes releases that did not chart.
"×" denotes periods where charts did not exist or were not archived.

See also



  1. ^ "Hot Hot Heat". Sub Pop. Retrieved February 2, 2014.
  2. ^ "Hot Hot Heat prep final album with 'Kid Who Stays in the Picture' video – watch". NME. 17 May 2016.
  3. ^ "Hot Hot Heat Announce Brand New Album Which Will Also be Their Last". 6 April 2016.
  4. ^ "Hot Hot Heat Share New Single "Shock Me": Stream". December 2023.
  5. ^ "Hot Hot Heat Say Their Reunion is over". 26 January 2024.
  6. ^ "Hot Hot Heat finds "Happiness" on major label". Archived from the original on October 20, 2007. Retrieved August 27, 2007.
  7. ^ "The Heat Is Not On! | News". Nme.Com. 2003-03-24. Retrieved 2012-12-12.
  8. ^ "Hot Hot Heat Sign U.S. Deal With Warner". Archived from the original on September 4, 2003. Retrieved February 3, 2019.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  9. ^ "National Top 200 chart". !earshot Campus and Community Radio Report, June 2005
  10. ^ "Time to Go Outdoors - Hot Hot Heat - Yo Gabba Gabba!". YouTube.
  11. ^ "Hot Hot Heat Ready 'Future Breeds'". idiomag. Retrieved 2010-03-17.
  12. ^ Hot Hot Heat (May 31, 2013). "NEW SONG: Mayor of the City (Thanks, Huffington Post!)". HotHotHeat.com. Retrieved September 5, 2014.
  13. ^ "Instagram".
  14. ^ "Instagram".
  15. ^ "Hot Hot Heat Interview". Neonlounge.com. 2005-10-27. Archived from the original on 2012-03-06. Retrieved 2012-04-02.
  16. ^ Peaks on the ARIA Hitseekers chart:
  17. ^ "Die ganze Musik im Internet: Charts, Neuerscheinungen, Tickets, Genres, Genresuche, Genrelexikon, Künstler-Suche, Musik-Suche, Track-Suche, Ticket-Suche". musicline.de. Archived from the original on 15 August 2016. Retrieved 23 February 2016.
  18. ^ a b "Hot Hot Heat - UK Album Charts". Official Charts. 5 April 2003.
  19. ^ "Hot Hot Heat - Billboard". Billboard.
  20. ^ "Hot Hot Heat Independent Albums Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved May 30, 2024.
  21. ^ "Hot Hot Heat Canada Emerging Artists Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved May 30, 2024.
  22. ^ "Media Source - Canadian Active/Alternative Charts". Mediasource.proboards.com. Retrieved 2012-12-12.
  23. ^ "Media Source - Canadian Active/Alternative Charts". Mediasource.proboards.com. Retrieved 2012-12-12.
  24. ^ Peaks on the Canada Rock chart:
  25. ^ "Hot Hot Heat Mexico Ingles Airplay Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved May 29, 2024.
  26. ^ Peaks in Scotland:
  27. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 260. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  28. ^ "UK Chartlog: H". zobbel.de. Retrieved 4 May 2009.
  29. ^ "Talk to Me - Hot Hot Heat - Official Charts". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 29 May 2024.
  30. ^ "Hot Hot Heat Chart History: Bubbling Under Hot 100". Billboard. Retrieved 24 May 2022.
  31. ^ "Hot Hot Heat Digital Song Sales Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved May 30, 2024.
  32. ^ "Hot Hot Heat Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved 3 January 2018.