Tuesday, September 20, 2016


Hot Lava - Lavology  (October 7, 2008)

Like many bands, Hot Lava started out as art school geeks before they started making music.  Allison Apperson studied design, Jared Sosa and Andrew Mowe wanted to be filmmakers, and Matt Deans did illustration and design.  The band's visual imagination revealed itself in song titles like "JPG In The Sun" and  "Blue Dragon." The band eventually bubbled up through Richmond, Virginia's indie scene, their A/V background providing a natural entre' into art galleries and loft parties.  It proved a little harder opening the doors of Richmond's rock club scene;  Hot Lava's conceptual mix of Nineties indie-rock and Sixties pop tropes didn't really fit in with anything else going on at the time.  Eventually the band realized that there were other weird little bands in other towns that "got" them and the band formed a network of like-minded artists up and down the East Coast.  Bar/None released the group's only release, Lavology, in the fall of 2008.  Wondering Sound.com enthused, "
It's no surprise [Hot Lava]  align themselves with Dan Deacon's Wham City collective — they have a similarly quirky, 8-bit sound, complete with short song lengths and lots of non-sequiturs. The highlight on Lavology, their debut full-length, is 'Apple+Option+Fire,' a mega-catchy lo-fi bounce that would be twee if it weren't so all-over-the-place."  

Allison Apperson:

We wanted to keep things weird to keep it interesting, but it wasn't just for the sake of being weird - it was because we were all art school weirdos. We changed things up a lot each show, sometimes we would have some dancers, or invite our other friends in bands to play a cover with us, we tried playing to a metronome and bringing in some of the effect used on our album. I think the art school, creative background pushed us to keep things interesting. It also came through in show fliers and in the band artwork. Everything was very DIY. We were also lucky to have a good friend who worked on a Hot Lava logo and almost our whole identity from the start.
We were in Richmond, VA. We did make a few trips to NYC and DC. SXSW one year with a tour on the way. For us, the band kind of happened by accident. It happened right after we finished college and some of us had full-time jobs. We tried to make it all work, but our other lives, the day job lives, didn't allow for a full-fledged tour. Also, touring just wasn't really our thing. The most fun came when we were recording and writing; touring had a different vibe. We might not have been cut out to be road dogs.
There were plans (for a second album,)  and honestly I would still like to take a stab at those working recordings one day. The songwriting sort of stopped for a good while, but came back right as everyone in the band was moving. We have a couple of things in the vault that were pretty cool, but aren't quite there yet. If it ever does come out, I don't know if it would be a Hot Lava album or something else. We'll see. I bet one day we'll finish those tracks.

I think our 60's sensibilities were almost by accident. I love simple pop songs and without knowing it so much, ripped some style from the 60's. We performed with a lot of bands that later became influences and are people I'm really glad we met. Deep Time in particular, a band from Austin, Texas, pushed our writing style a bit. The split that we released on our own was influenced a bit by them. They're a great band. I did meet Kim Deal a few years ago and gave her a Hot Lava record. She probably wouldn't like all the bleep blops and keyboards.
Jared is crushing it these days.  [His Instagram account has more than 20,000 followers.]  I just moved to Chicago and am working as an Art Director. Outside of that I just wrapped up a documentary on a beloved practice space in Richmond (our hometown) that shut down in June. Hot Lava played and recorded there a tiny bit, but our friends and a ton of other bands really called that place home and it's a shame to see it go.  [You can check it out here.] I just wrapped that up before moving. Kind of a farewell present to Richmond. Love that place.

Hot Lava on Bar-None.com.  

Hot Lava on iTunes.com
"Blue Dragon" 

"JPG In the Sun"
 "Mummy Beach"

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