Hot Flash Heat Wave’s “Vampires” Warns of This World’s Blood-Sucking Habits

It’s the latest single from the San Francisco trio’s forthcoming LP.

If you’ve been looking for the West Coast’s answer to The Strokes, look no further than San Francisco trio Hot Flash Heat Wave. Their latest single “Vampires” is a flurry of thick ’80s new wave guitar and anxious drums. “Nowhere to run,” the vocals campily sing post-chorus. “They just keep on coming back for more,” they later warn. It’s a playful warning about this world’s blood-sucking vibes.

“‘Vampires’ spins off of the musical cautionary tale, the narrator punning around the theme while warning a young idealistic listener that ‘the world will drain you,'” says the band. “The lyrics jab at consumerism, pop-media-enforced party culture, and our societal system that pushes us away from our youthful ideals toward well-trodden career paths and empty materialism, alcohol, and drug abuse. The song uses a fantastical theme to veil its critique, its sonic landscapes pulling from new wave and goth influences to match the lyrical tone, illustrating a dark expansive world filled with vampires.”

Hear the track below, and read on for a brief Q&A with the band’s Ted Davis.

Can you talk about your path to becoming a recording artist?

I think it started with my connection to music as a kid. It always captured my heart and imagination, and I fell in love with this sort of romantic notion about what it is to make songs and be in a band. I have a dream of making something true, something that touches on the mystery of life.

Can you share a bit about your songwriting process and what you think makes a good song?

Typically a song starts with a small idea—a melody or a guitar riff or something—and then we build from it. To me, a good song tells a story and makes you feel it too. We’re always sort of chasing after the new ways music continues to inspire us.

What do you hope people take away from “Vampires” and your music that will follow?

Music has helped me celebrate life and make sense of difficult times, and I’ve felt so connected to and understood by many artists’ work. I hope we can contribute to that magic and bring a bit of wonder into the world. However people relate to these songs, I just hope it gives them something.

How did your time in Davis/San Francisco influence the music you make?

I feel so fortunate to have been a part of our little community of garage bands growing up in Davis where Nick, Adam, and I met. That scene was really where I found my first true sense of belonging, and it sort of led us all to forming this band together in San Francisco and to where we are now.

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