Indie Sounds: So you just played your final 2009 show at the Mercury Lounge ... what's your 'executive summary' of the HOTcakes and what has been achieved this year?
Erin Marsz: 2009 has been a tremendous year of growth for the HOTcakes. We had two new members join the band, Matt Stamm on keyboards, and Kevin Snider on bass. We had the opportunity to travel and play shows outside of New York City, with the biggest being playing two shows that the MidPoint Music Festival in Cincinnati. And in general, we had the blessing of many incredible experiences writing, recording, and really solidifying our sound.
IS: Who are The HOTcakes, and how did the band come about?
Erin: The HOTcakes formed about a year and a half ago through the lucky coincidences of broken up bands and English tea. And by English tea I mean, Craigslist. Back in 2007, Lee, Chris and I were playing in a band together that broke up and we reformed to start the HOTcakes. Matt and Kevin came on board this year to fill in the line up. The formal roster with everyone's duties is as follows: Lee Leshen on drums, Chris Hills on guitar, Matt Stamm on keyboards, Kevin Snider on bass, and myself, Erin Marsz, on vocals and some guitar.
IS: You produced a self-title EP last year. What's next on the recording plan?
Erin: Currently, we have a plethora of songs that are ready to be recorded. We've already gone into the studio twice this year to demo a bunch and 'thin the herd' as we just have way too much material. Right now, we've narrowed it down to a strong group of 12 songs for recording and we are looking forward to getting into the studio early next year. We've been talking to several producers and are just flattered with the attention. So, hopefully, we will have more exciting news on that front soon.
Buy the HOTcakes self-titled EP @ CD Baby. Download it @ iTunes.
IS: And what's on the 'business plan' for 2010?
Erin: We are raring to hit the ground running in 2010. We've been working on booking a ton of shows in Boston, New Haven, Philadelphia, DC, Cincinnati, and many other lil' cities in between. So local touring is a huge priority. We are also going to be making our first music video, recording a second record, and basically having a ton of fun as well.
IS: What venues and other NYC acts do you like to go out to?
Erin: I have three favorite venues in New York city. Firstly, is the Mercury Lounge. They book incredible bands, especially from abroad that tend to blow up a year after they play there. I've had the opportunity to see a lot of amazing bands play there for $12 or under. My second favorite venue is Arlene's Grocery. That venue also does an amazing job of putting together great show lineups. They also have great sound and the set up of having the bar separated from the performance space lends itself to the perfect after party. And my third favorite venue is Piano's. The first show I ever played in New York was at Piano's and I'll always hold it close to my heart. They also have an incredible booking staff and it's a great place to go if you just want to pop in for some great music and a pint. There are always new and fun bands there.
Some local acts that I love to see are my friend Boshra's new band, Saadi. They are really amazing and should not be missed. Another band that I love to see play is a boy trio, Pocketknife. They have tight harmonies and are very reminiscent of The Police. Of course, I love to see my Canadian pen pal, Maygen Kardash, and her brother S.J. Kardash, of Violent Kin whenever they play in town. And last but not least, my dear friend, Ari Ingber's band, The Upwelling. I've known Ari for a long time and always feel super proud when I see them play. They also just released an amazing record, An American Stranger. I highly recommend it.
IS: What NYC venue do you aspire to perform at?
Erin: I have to just say it though I know it's many years off, but the one venue I've sat outside of and consistently dreamed about playing is Madison Square Garden. Few artists get the opportunity and that would fully blow my mind. More realistically though, it would be super fun to play the Music Hall of Williamsburg and Bowery Ballroom.