The Hotwires
rockin dudes - the hotwires!
The Hotwires

The Hotwires don’t need to fiddle about under yr. bonnet to turn you on. Just a few well-chosen minutes around yr. steering column with a large screwdriver & they’ll have that sucker ticking over – just you watch. If you care for it, don’t leave it lying around – they’ll have it away, mark my words. The Hotwires are angry – we love angry. The Hotwires are based in London - & it sounds like it. The Hotwires use the energies of classic Punk Rock & Roll to fuel their angst, our expectations & the hope of a nation. Utilising a main frame built in old skool Detroit, several bolt-on analogue accessories & a circuit diagram drawn up by Mark E Smith, The Hotwires eat all British competition for breakfast.

The Hotwires are torn from the fabric of The Yardbirds, The Voidoids, The Minutemen, Pussy Galore. The less-than-fucking-obvious. The Hotwires sound desperate, but not for success. The Hotwires are not for sale – at any price. Principles are more than just a crappy high street clotheshorse.

The Hotwires crawled from the wreckage of 2 infamous London combos:

Billy Nameless (vocals) and Harry Stein (guitar) escaped from the mod-punk-soul collective THE ACTION TIME who released 3 singles and an album on Southern Records and toured with their American idols the MAKE-UP.

Cherry Bomb (bass) and Kriss Kringle (drums) relocated from raw rockabilly greasers LUNAR JET MAN who released 2 singles and tore up the London gig circuit with their unhinged blues explosions.

The Hotwires released their debut EP, “Red Glare Of Rockets”, on their own Concrete Life imprint in Spring 2001. The band put in some explosive live performances with the likes of THE BUFF MEDWAYS, THE MOONEY SUZUKI, PENTHOUSE, THE REALISTICS and THE BEATINGS and continued to hone their angular take on dressed-up and messed-up punk stylings. In late 2002 they appeared on two fine compilations of current rock action – “News Of The World” on the US Howitzer Hlabel and “New Blood” on their hometown ARTROCKER label.

The Hotwires debut album, “Ignition”, is all set to kick down the doors, spill red wine on yr. new carpet & piss in the lift on the way out. 13 cuts of furious vengeance & righteous anger, all delivered with the precision of a Sony Stealth Marketing Campaign – right down yr. fucking chimney, Sweep. The CITY is all over this. It fucking reeks. Don’t fall asleep in front of the fire listening to this through the headphones – you’ll wake to find all yr. stuff gone.

Veering from the likes of “Tiny Fists”, “Big City” & “NY Jinx” – smeared in Detroit juice & attitude – to cuts like “Burning Flag”, “Car Crash No. 1” & “The Destroyer” – possessed by the ghost of early Fall – “Ignition” is ready to rumble, too sure of itself to fumble. It won’t treat you gently on the 1st listen - won’t ring you back when it said it would - & will most likely wipe itself on yr. curtains too. Put simply – “Ignition” is the best slab of Punk, Rock & Roll London has produced since – ooooh, 1976. Just one listen to the ruck of fuck that is “Big New City” will confirm this. Artrocker hold the future of UK r&r in their hands with this release. Thank fuck someone has balls big enough to take this kind of shit to the people & make it work.

The Hotwires are coming to a car park near you. Don’t matter if you’ve locked it or not. They have screwdrivers, tie-raps, tyre jacks – you won’t recognise them – they cover their faces with scarves & balaclavas. Resistance is futile – involvement is compulsory. Let fury have the hour, anger can be power - you know that we can use this. Go Create – Go React – Go inspire.

10 Questions For The Hotwires:

trakMARX - What broke The Action Time's back at the end of the day?

Billy - The image was cracked.

Cherry Bomb – The final straw. Bwahahahaha!

trakMARX - Were yr. dreams already full of The Hotwires, or was there a period of sadness, regret & reflection?

Billy - Well I always knew I was going to carry on whatever trajectory I was on. It's a shame that couldn't be with The Action Time but that was about those particular 6 people making that particular sound, just as the Hotwires is about the sum of the 4 individual parts, and striving for a greater end result.

trakMARX - You lot sound almost as angry as Marquee Smith - what gets yr. goat?

Billy - Today it's industry guest-lists as I helped out on the door at artrocker last night and could happily take a baseball bat to all the record company freeloading scum who are an unfortunate scourge on going to gigs in London.

Cherry Bomb – Ignorance paraded as a badge of honour. Designer-label worshiping. Anyone who says “I dunno – it was before I was born”. Bad taste. Smug right-wingers. The erroneous use of the apostrophe.

trakMARX - The Hotwires have set out their stall with the preconceived notion that there will be no sell out. A refreshing stance - why don't more people adopt it?

Billy - I dunno. The thing that bugs me about smaller bands that buy into the whole music industry myth is that the dumb fucks are fucking themselves over as well as joining the coke-splattered all-boys club that is 'the biz'. I have specific political objections to signing my music away to a major corporation, and I understand why that might not be for everyone, but I can't understand why so many people have such a disregard for their own art.

Where are all the 'new rocknroll' bands going to be in a year's time when the media and industry have moved onto the next fad? Does anyone really believe Universal are going to be up for bankrolling the 2nd 80s Matchbox album, or V2 are going to give a fuck about Burning Brides? No one ever seems to learn from mistakes other bands have made in the past - how many interviews have you read with bands that signed up all wide-eyed and innocent to some huge label and then are whining 2 years later because they've been dropped and their supposedly precious artistic control was messed with? Oh no, you don't fucking say!!! There may have been some hope for these bands longevity if they'd kept control over their music and built stuff up slowly but their 'careers' are effectively doomed. I guess there's the argument that they're using the labels by getting what hay they can out of them while the sun shines, but it still leaves the stench of greedy sell-out fuckpig shit all over their music. I don't really care when bands are blatantly out to conquer the world and are buying into the myth from the outset, but particularly with the 'new rock' schtick the bands use small labels, promoters and resources merely as a leg-up to the next level (hello Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Goodbye POLL-E-DOOR – Sell Out Futures Ed.) and gain some underground kudos, and that really is fucking lame.

If you wanna lock yourself in the fascist bathroom then fair enough but don't try and fool the kids that you're anything other lowest common denominator xfm advert jingle makers.

Cherry Bomb – Because no one realises that major labels are nothing but huge lending houses. With the odds stacked firmly in their favour. Yes, there is no sell out as a political stance, but it makes fucking sound “business” sense too.

trakMARX - You recorded "Ignition" in a local community studio on yr. North London home turf. Any interesting anecdotes from the sessions?

Billy - It was a really chaotic place to record. There always seem to be Kurdish weddings going on and weird functions in different parts of the complex. We stumbled across an evangelical gospel sect in one room who were all standing round doing this amazing call-and-response chanting. They had this guy up on stage battering the shit out a drumkit and the minister was shouting into a microphone about saving his soul so loud the tiny p.a. they were using kept distorting - it sounded like some mad Christian version of Jon Spencer or something. They caught us standing outside the room listening in and these smiling robot ladies invited us to come to their next meeting - me and Harry ran back down the corridor with these over-friendly god-botherers shouting "Come Back Soon!" as we fled. The culmination of our time there was the car that crashed through the wall of the studio - I'd nipped out to the shops for a pint of milk and when I came back there was the back-end of a car poking out of the destroyed remains of the entrance. Apparently someone had been learning to drive in the car park outside and hit the accelerator instead of reverse. It missed Harry and the engineer by a matter of inches.

Our advice to the kids is: "Support you local community - but maybe wear a crash helmet whilst you're at it".

Cherry Bomb – No air conditioning in the intense heat of summer, cars crashing into the wall of the studio, the “weekend of fire” taking place as we recorded, pavements splitting in the sun as we sweltered, late nights, journeys home on maniac-stuffed trains, engineers emigrating to Belgium, fighting, biting, exciting.

trakMARX - Artrocker seem to be holding the spirit of punk rock & roll up on their own at the moment - how did The Hotwires get down with them?

Billy - In the period I spent between bands I wanted to keep my hand in with music so I ran a club night for 6 months called The Rhythm Hive at an old strip club in east london and put on some cool bands such as Beachbuggy, Part Chimp and The Motherfuckers. There was hardly anything going on at that point in terms of punk or rocknroll stuff in London (the media was all over the 'new acoustic movement' like a syphilitic rash). I'd been to the first all-dayer Artrocker did at the Garage and there seemed to a similar spirit about what they were doing. When Tom and Paul started doing the weekly club they got in touch about pooling our efforts. By this point the Hotwires were up and running so I'd decided to concentrate on that, but my girlfriend started helping them with the club and Artrocker dug the Hotwires so offered us shows and stuff. I think they're a good label to be on as it's run by 2 people who are completely and utterly in it for the music, to the extent that they don't care if they don't make any money off anything as long as they spread the word. If only Tom didn't write so much fucking absolute shit in his mailout editorials then the relationship would be perfect - vive le difference!

Cherry Bomb – Planets aligned, cars crashed, lightening flashed, it was love & we couldn’t hide it no more.

trakMARX - You have a split single release coming up soon. What can you tell us about it?

Billy - We have 2 comrade bands in rocknroll, The Real Losers and The Motherfuckers, who we've played with in their hometowns (Leeds and Sheffield). Although there's a lot of great bands around at the moment the majority of them tend to be American, but these cats are a rare example of UK groups who understand the essence of rocknroll. The Real Losers do this really basic, stripped-down dumb thing that's fits in with the whole Mummies/Gories/Rip-Off record snotty lo-fi garage-punk sound, and the Motherfuckers are heirs to the horrorpunk throne occupied by the Cramps and the Misfits (I'd recommend Liverpool's Zombina & the Skeletones in this category as well).

Cherry Bomb – The Real Losers & The Motherfuckers are the best fucking bands in the country. Our spiritual brothers & sisters. This is the slab of plastic that kids will clutch to their sweaty chests, will wisper in awe about to their friends, will sell on Ebay in the year 2050 for vast amounts of Euros.

trakMARX - In an ideal world - what do The Hotwires hope to achieve?

Billy - I like the idea of bands being a catalyst for people getting into other stuff. Like getting into the Cramps got me into loads of great 60s garage and 50s rockabilly music, and listening to the Dead Kennedys at a formative age made me want to read Noam Chomsky and take an interest in global politics. If we managed to achieve any level of notoriety then It'd be cool if we were the tip of the iceberg for people to check out other stuff we're into. At the end of the day all bands should be about communication, whether that's making people dance at a show or trying to proliferate a particular idea.

Cherry Bomb – Just want to make one person’s heart beat faster.

trakMARX - Who would The Hotwires induct into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame?

Billy - The Country Teasers. That's an acceptance speech I'd pay money to see.

Cherry Bomb – Mark E Smith, The Damned, Public Enemy, Annie Oakley, Missy Elliot, tAtU, Blondie, Blackbeard The Pirate, X Ray Spex, Bikini Kill, Tony Adams, Jimmy Cliff, The Sonics, who ever invented doughnuts, The Swamprats, Vincent Gallo, Nick Cave, Justin Timberlake & Jon Spencer (the last 3 together, personally “inducted” by me).

trakMARX - Who would The Hotwires most love to tour with - given the choice?

Billy - Living - Guitar Wolf, the Cramps, Fugazi, The Gossip. Dead - The Germs, The Meters, Huggy Bear, The Clash.

Cherry Bomb – A pack of werewolves, a fleet of pirate ships, a posse of cowboys & a can of worms.

The Katestar – 03/03

Home of the hotwires:

contact - the needle & the damage done