Categories: Arts Music Pop

Hot Flash Heat Wave plays SF with good friends

Only a few months ago, Hot Flash Heat Wave called San Francisco home, but after moving to the Central Valley in September, the group is headed back to the Bay this week for something of a reunion show with good friends in No Vacation.

“San Francisco’s a great city and we will always love it, but people need change to keep life fun and refreshing,” says vocalist, guitarist and songwriter Nathan Bloom.

Members of the surf-rock garage band (who have known each other since high school in Davis) shared a home in the Excelsior District, where they wrote and recorded together.

They’re excited to play Wednesday at the Independent, one of their favorite venues, co-headlining with No Vacation; Blum has known No Vacation keyboardist Nat Lee since childhood.

The bands then embark on a national tour together, hitting South By Southwest in Texas and wrapping up in New York March 25.

“It feels great to come back and see old friends, while also getting to play a gig,” says Bloom, adding, “I’m excited because we’re going to play a lot of new songs, and we’re going to have a keyboardist [childhood friend Jared Johnson] with us on tour, which we’ve never done before.”

Drummer Nick Duffy, however, has left the group; Ben Briggance takes his place in the band, along with bassist Ted Davis and guitarist Adam Abildgaard. (Both also are vocalists and songwriters.)

The group, which debuted in 2015 with the album “Neapolitan” and released the more heavily produced “Soaked” in 2017, has plenty of material, and different plans, for a new recording.

“It was fun to see how other people could affect our music, but we felt that, for the next release, we want to have more control over the way the music sounded and was recorded,” says Bloom, who is slated to mix the album.

The DIY aesthetic suits the group, whose friends help out when needed.

Patrick Sean Gibson and Luke Lasley spearheaded the concept and art direction for the psychedelic live-action and animated 2018 video for the tune “Raindrop,” in which all four band members wear flight suits, eat flowers and make their way through San Francisco, from the Castro to the Palace of Fine Arts, with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background.

Their antics didn’t go without notice: “The funniest reaction was this guy who was on acid washing his car, and was really into it visually. He invited us into his house, and we ended up spending a couple of hours there,” says Bloom.

Hot Flash Heat Wave
Where: Independent, 628 Divisidero St., S.F.
When: 8 p.m. March 7
Tickets: $14 to $16
Contact: (415) 771-1421,

Leslie Katz

San Francisco Examiner’s arts and entertainment editor Leslie Katz has been assigning, editing and/or writing news stories about the Bay Area’s rich cultural scene since 1997. Reach her at (415) 359-2727 or

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Leslie Katz

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