The up-and-coming psychedelic surf-rock group, Hot Curl, have erupted out of Brooklyn’s bubbling indie music scene with a small arsenal of recorded splendors and are set out to take the New York City circuit by storm.
Salute Magazine recently caught up with the band’s lead singer/guitarist, Prescott Horn, to talk about how Hot Curl got its start, their musical influences, upcoming projects and the group’s recent performance at Baby’s All Right in Williamsburg.
SALUTE: How did the band get started?
Horn: The band started late 2015. [At the time] I was playing in two bands, one with Hot Curl’s drummer Justin [Lisa], and the other band I was in was with Hot Curl’s guitarist, Alejandro [Triana]. Both of those bands split up. I was taking a break for a little while and then I really wanted to reform. So, it was the end of 2015, I wanted to get one of my other bands back together with Justin on drums, and I wanted to play the old songs we were playing.
It was actually just us 3 for a little while, I wrote a few songs and recorded them, wrote all the parts, just like demos, and then we started trying out bassists. We found our first bassist Neil, who was from Oakland, but was living in Brooklyn… it wasn’t really working out with him, so we got a different bassist [Sharif Mekawy]. So that’s really how it started.
How did you find your sound? What influenced you?
I think influences change a lot of the time. In the beginning definitely influenced by bands like Tame Impala and bands on Captured Tracks label—Dive, Beach Fossils and Wild Nothing. Those are our are current influences, and the obviously there is tons of other stuff that’s older that we’re all in to. But as far as a sound… we’re trying to have a current sound.
Since I was writing and recording a lot of the music myself and then I showed the demos to the band, I was kind of taking a lot of inspiration from other artists who have the same approach, like Mac Demarco or other band’s where one person is recording all the music.
I just moved to Brooklyn. What’s the music scene like here?
There tons of bands. And there are a ton of venues. Bands doing a lot of different stuff. New York has more of like a punk edge, where a lot of bands are influenced by the punk sound or just that kind of mentality. Where it can get heavy and thrashy. And it’s more about bringing excitement to a live show than it is getting a perfect recorded song. A lot of the bands put more energy into the live sound rather than recording because the recording is expensive and the people who are recording, a lot of it is DIY.
Did you always know you wanted to be in music?
I think all of us have been playing music our whole lives. Since we were teenagers. Myself personally, I always playing guitar but it was alone in my room. It wasn’t until college and after college that I really started playing with people and getting into bands. But it was always something I wanted to do, it took a while to find like-minded people and to feel comfortable playing around people.
Singing, especially, is always something I always did but never in front of anyone. But then you get to a point where you don’t care anymore and you’re just going to do it.
What projects are in the works?
We [recently] had a show on Oct. 18 at Baby’s All Right, playing with Darkwing, Fruit & Flowers and Grim Streaker. We’re all Brooklyn bands. We all know each other. Baby’s All Right is probably our favorite venue to see music in New York and we haven’t played there [before].
We spent the first few months of this year writing and recording new material. We have a bunch of new stuff that hasn’t been recorded yet. My goal is to eventually have enough songs and have a full-length album. So far we’ve put out two EPs, and I want to put out a full-length album of all new music. That’s kind of what we’ve been working on, all new material.
What influences your songwriting?
It’s hard to say. I have a few different styles of writing. Sometimes it’ll be just playing on acoustic. My most effective form of songwriting is through recording. It happens as a process, I’ll record a simple guitar melody and then I’ll do some chords, and throw on a bassline or a drum beat. And then do a vocal line.
For me, lyrics are just a stream of consciousness, at first they don’t make sense and you’ll say something and ‘oh it can mean this’ and it will inspire you.
It just comes out naturally. When I start a song I am not sure what I am going for. Whatever mood I am in that’s what comes out. And each part of the line will a guitar line will inspire. It’s really just what sounds good.
Advice for other up-and-coming artists?
It’s just about persistence really. Getting out and trying to meet as many people as you can and trying to make friends with people in other bands. Because the more people you know and the more you tap into the scene you’re trying to get into, the more show offers you’re going to get, the more exposure you’re going to get. So it’s really about just tapping into the local scene. And also just focus on writing good music.
STREAM: HOT CURL – ‘LATE BLOOM’ EP