Q&A: The Hot Takes

in SF Local Bands by

How did you come up with the name of the band?
Through a lot of trial and error! We were relieved that The Hot Takes was available as a band name, as others we thought of were already being used.

How would you describe your sound?
A passionate, edgy blend of modern indie, 70s punk, and 80s new wave.

When did you first become interested in playing music?

In high school, it sort of began as a joke but it’s exciting to still be doing it years later.

What’s the strangest or funniest thing that’s ever happened to you at a show?
Being pulled onstage by Peelander-Z to play guitar during their last song; their whole set was like an acid trip.

What are you listening to these days?
Penguin Prison, Bleachers, VHS Collection, RAC, The Interrupters.

What does music mean to you?
There’s such spirituality in good music. A great song can humble you and bring you to tears, or make the impossible feel possible for a moment.

How’d you guys first get together to play music?
Wish there was a sexier story, but it was in response to Facebook & Craigslist posts. But we had an immediate connection playing together.

What inspires you to write?
The chance to capture an idea – whether it be musical or lyrical – that might inspire someone else to create their own art or do some good in this world.

What’s the biggest challenge in becoming a musician today?

Finding an audience in a very crowded field of other musicians, especially online. Distinguishing yourself from other very talented bands and artists who are all creating amazing music is definitely a significant challenge.

What are some of your favorite Bay Area music venues?
Rickshaw Stop, New Parish, The Independent, The Legionnaire, 924 Gilman, Elbo Room, Fireside Lounge.

What are some of your favorites places to hang out in the Bay Area?
Lake Merritt, 1-2-3-4 Go! Records, Broken Guitars, Bar 355, Zocalo in San Leandro, Cat Club and Madrone Art Bar in SF. There’s specific answers for each, but they all feel like part of a community.

What’s one thing that people would be surprised to find out about you?
The places we all work…you’ll have to ask us sometime to find out more.

Is there anything you’d like to plug?

Our debut EP will be out May 7th and we’d love for you to check it out. You can keep track of us via our LinkTree page.

An avid drummer whose discography includes albums on Digital Nations (a Steve Vai imprint), music critic Louis Raphael has always kept a pulse on the San Francisco music scene. After many years as the San Francisco Music Examiner for Examiner.com and AXS.com, he decided to start Music in SF® as a way to showcase what the San Francisco music scene really has to offer.