The Hot LZ’s – Your Hangover’s Hangover!

The HOT LZ’s are bringing back old-school punk rock to the map! We asked them a few questions about the band, Portland, and their debut album “Aggravate My Mind.”

Can you introduce the band?

Jon: Captain Jonny Sensitive. I play the bass
Ethan: Ethan Klickman, I play the drums and I don’t have a nickname
Matt: Matt “Wet” Waters and I play the guitar
Mark: Mark Death I play the guitar and sing

Can you tell us about your album?

Jon: It’s on Hate Street Records. We recorded it at Cat Piss Studios with Greg Odell
Mark: We recorded it over about 8 months and I don’t know… Recording was smooth, releasing it, not so much.
Matt: Once we got the tracks done we had been talking to a label in Europe about putting it out, but that fell through, so we put it out on Hate Street which is Mark and Jon’s label.
Ethan: This is the first record I have ever been on personally, so that is pretty cool!

Will you also release the album on CD or just vinyl and digital?

Matt: I think CDs are largely bullshit and no one wants them anymore.
Jon: CDs are pretty obsolete. People that used to buy CDs are now buying digital shit and putting it on their phone and IPods.
Ethan: We have been thinking of going super underground and putting it on floppy disks. Haha
Mark: And if someone wants to pay for it, it will come out on CD.

The info sheet says that “Aggravate My Mind is the perfect soundtrack for your hangover’s hangover”, is it really?

Mark: Well I can’t speak for anyone else, but most of the songs I wrote on the LP I wrote hungover or drunk!
Matt: I can’t say I would listen to our record hungover, but maybe someone else will. I mean I guess I can relate to it.
Ethan: I don’t like to do anything when I’m hungover but lay there with my face down.

Have you released any other records before?

Mark: Yes, we released a 7” and it did not come out very well, everything went wrong with it.
Matt: Bringdown Comedown Putdown 7” came out a couple years ago. Different band. We had a different drummer and a keyboard player. It had a glow in the dark cover with ink that bled into the record and destroyed the grooves on a bunch of the records. So that’s how that went. There are still a few copies floating around though.

“Aggravate My Mind” has a real old school flavor to it (from the raw sound to the back cover pics), do you think that it’s something missing in today’s music?

Jon: I would say absolutely. Record covers used to be a pretty awesome art form back in the day!
Ethan: It’s because everybody listens to music from an MP3 format so album covers and inserts don’t matter if it’s gonna be on your phone.
Matt: We recorded the record on an analog reel to reel 8 track in a basement with almost no effects. It sounds like we do live.

How is the Rock and Roll scene in Portland?

Mark: Almost all the clubs are closing down because Portland is becoming One Big Condo. There are some good bands. I don’t leave my couch so these guys are who to ask…
Jon: Portland music scene is still thriving and there are some great bands here. When I go to shows and there are other bands playing from around the country usually the Portland bands are the best bands.
Ethan: The Rock and Roll scene seems pretty well intact. On a side note the Crust Punk and Metal scene is consistently poppin’ off. Off topic, but just so you know.
Matt: I would say the glory days of Portland Punk scene are gone, the most recent one at least. What ever was going down 5 years ago is not around any more. Everyone got old, had kids or got priced out of town.

Have you played in any other states? What about Europe?

Mark: We have played in some dives in Washington State. It was interesting and fun. We were supposed to go to Europe this year, but that fell through. Hopefully we are gonna make it over there sometime in the future.
Jon: Europe would be awesome. In the not too distant future I hope!
Mark: Can we stay at your house?
Ethan: If anyone wants to to pay for tickets and food that would be cool.
Matt: We would love to get our record heard more in Europe. We are doing our best to keep it affordable to people that wanna buy it overseas on our bandcamp. We would love to have our LP distributed in Europe.

Five records that are important to you?

Jon: We are all gonna pick one then we will agree on a fifth one. Mine would be Joy Division/Unknown Pleasures.
Mark: Mine would be The Heartbreakers/Like A Motherfucker.
Matt: I’m gonna have to go with The Stooges/Raw Power.
Ethan: I’m gonna look like an asshole here and say Iron Maiden/Killers.
Jon: And Blue Oyster Cult/Tyranny and Mutations.
Mark: We all agree the Chuck Berry/Great 28 fuckin’ rules!

What can we expect from The Hot LZ’s in 2017?

Mark: I would say maybe rock stardom, maybe a triple live album.
Matt: I think all other bands will hear our music and quit. Ha! Because it’s that good. Ha ha!
Ethan: Someone is gonna die and because of that death the record will sell out.
Mark: Not it…
Jon: Making more records and playing more shows and hopefully getting our ass to Europe!

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The Hot LZ’s “Aggravate My Mind”

Founded in 2011 in Portland, Oregon, The HOT LZ’s offer us 12 garage punk songs full of search and destroy energy, with a contemporary powerpop feel in the vocals. Guitars sometimes bring JOHNNY THUNDERS to mind (“Living in Rewind”, “Don’t Wanna See You”), tunes like “Art Of Failing” and “Missing The Point” have a sharp street punk edge, and garage rock’n’roll fans will probably enjoy “Murder In My Heart”.
The HOT LZ’s bring the proto-punk spirit back to life with songs like “Margins (Of My Mind)” or “Drain The Dregs” that sound as if the band just put two mics in a room, drank a few beers, and pressed on the record button. You’ll even hear a bit of surf rock in “Better You Than Me”, and “Fade, Decay (And Blow Away)”, “Baby, You Ain’t Shit”, or “I Can’t Seem To Die” flirt with American old-school hardcore.
“Aggravate My Mind” is raw and real, it is out on vinyl, and it looks as cool as it sounds, so get in touch with the band, and maybe you can have it for Christmas!/Laurent C.

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