HotWax talk All Points East and recent EP 'A Thousand Times'

Neu HotWax: “We just write what we want to play live”

This Hastings trio might still be in their teens, but they’ve already got the world at their feet.

Glance down the list of HotWax’s upcoming gigs and it’s hard not to be a little in awe. Whether hopping overseas for a handful of hefty festivals, opening for The Strokes and Yeah Yeah Yeahs at their upcoming All Points East show or heading across for North America dates with Royal Blood, the Hastings trio are set to spend the rest of 2023 ticking off some major life goals, all while still in their late teens.

Kicking off the summer with not one but four appearances across this year’s Great Escape, their brand of scuzzy-round-the-edges rock - complete with electrifying live show - fast saw them become one of the festival’s most talked-about acts. “It’s been crazy, it’s been so fun,” somewhat underplays Tallulah Sim-Savage, reflecting on their past few weeks. “It was just very surreal because it was so full on.” Her bandmate, and best friend, Lola Sam picks up. “It was really good weather too, so it kinda felt like a nice little holiday,” she laughs. “The last gig at Chalk was at 1am after Dream Wife so we were quite scared, but it ended up being really good and [the room] was full so that was really cool.”

For HotWax, there’s refreshingly little that seems premeditated. First born when Tallulah and Lola were paired up together by a music teacher in secondary school aged 12 and 13, the development of the trio - completed by drummer Alfie Sayers in 2021 - has been a truly intuitive one. “At school there weren’t many people who were into guitar music or anything,” Tallulah explains, “and Lola was the only other person in our school [into it] so we kinda had to do it! We just really, really clicked musically and friendship-wise - we’ve always been best friends - so that always just felt really right.

“When we started out, we were a lot more instrumental and a lot more psychedelic because I’d never really sung, and so I kinda wanted all the songs to be instrumental!” she laughs. But as the trio’s collective tastes have changed and grown, so has their remit continued to expand; something reflected in their recent, ambitious EP ‘A Thousand Times’, which manages to channel the likes of The White Stripes, Hole, Wolf Alice and more across its five tracks. “Every time we write a new song, we obviously want it to sound like a collective - for it to sound like HotWax - but we want it to have a different sound,” says Tallulah.

What’s currently inspiring them is primarily the prospect of playing more shows: “I think we just write what we wanna play live,” Lola confirms. “Is this gonna be fun? How is this gonna sound?” And with such a packed diary for the coming months, there’s going to be a lot of opportunities for inspiration to strike. “I think we all try not to overthink things too much, otherwise we’ll all start freaking out,” Tallulah says, “but we’re just so excited to travel around and play on different stages and go to new places.”

Tags: HotWax, All Points East, Festivals, Features, Interviews, Neu

As featured in the July 2023 issue of DIY, out now.

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