Hot Problems is the dynamic duo who have come from the future to save the world through dance music. Dr. Hot was nice enough to take a few minutes from his heroic quest to spend Seven Questions In Heaven with us.
Describe your music for our readers who may not be familiar with you.
Our songs are pop-dance anthems, the lyrical topics ranging from partying to fun. The mood varies from laid-back toe-tapper to full-scale party assault. Usually, there's some mildly informative rhyme-spitting over the bumping verses and then the choruses typically open up into loud and glorious sing-alongs that include a lot of lyrical self-affirmation and some very vague references to how great things are. The songs tend to make listeners dumber and happier. We refer to this effect as "Partyfundance."
Who are your musical influences and idols?
Well, since we're time travelers from the year 2067, most of our influences haven't even been born yet, so you definitely haven't heard of them. D.J. Problems is a club D.J. in the future who mostly spins post-Megatek music from the late 2050s, so he likes a lot of killdance music and deepverb and bombastic post-post-dubstep artists like Windex and D.J. Wubblethump. He's into digital rock too. As a theoretical physicist who just recently discovered my talent for rapping and singing, I'm more of a traditional pop guy who grew up listening to Professor Pringle, The Box People, and some of the softer artists like Calvin Weiss and Jana Love. Like D.J. Problems, I also got into digital rock in high school (Electric Hammer, Sliptrick)--I do like synths and a good guitar lick. We both enjoy the old classics too, like Skrillex and Dr. Luke, and of course, the really old stuff--Michael Jackson, Prince, and all that pop from the 1980s. Our tastes are diverse to say the least.
What was the first album, cassette, or CD you bought with your own money?
You mean that you've heard of? Mine was Boyz II Men's sophomore offering, II, featuring the smash hits, "I'll Make Love to You" and "On Bended Knee." D.J. Problems' first download was the Green Day box set.
Have you heard anything from George Lucas or his people regarding the "Party With My Friends" video yet?
No. We hope they watch it and chuckle knowingly at the clever irony of it all.
You guys have come from the future to deliver us music. What made you leave 2067? Why stop at 2012? Is there anything we need to know about music and entertainment in the future?
Our mission is complicated to say the least. But suffice it to say, we're trying to stop a madman from changing history by causing World War III and our only weapon to stop him is powered by Partyfundance. And as it turns out, 2012 holds the greatest wealth of Partyfundance in human history. That's why we're making the album now: to power up with worldwide party hysteria. So far, it's been hard. People only want to party on weekends for the most part and we need more of a sustained level of debauchery. And as concerns the future, all you need to know is... things work out okay. The mainstream entertainment gets more and more absurd and the more creative stuff on the margins gets better and better. I think you'll get a kick out of what happens to Brad and Angelina, by the way. It's a real twist. You'll never see it coming.
Let's talk about the present state of music. Fans are able to help finance your album through PledgeMusic and receive lots of cool stuff in return. How do you feel about bands asking fans to finance albums via sites like PledgeMusic and KickStarter? Do you think this business model will become more and more commonplace?
I feel great about the crowd-funding model. At first, I wasn't into it. I thought of it as asking for charity. But the more I researched it and now that we've tried it, it really seems like it makes sense. People want to be a part of funding artistic projects that they believe in. Some people even want nothing in return because they just feel good knowing they're lending a hand. But they are also very interested in the exclusive rewards offered for pledgers and seem to be really excited about being a part of the record-making process. It adds a new level of intimacy to the fan/artist relationship.
I do think crowd funding will continue to grow. It seems there is the passion and the willingness out there to support artists financially and allow them to create whatever they want. The model allows the masses to act as benefactors to the artist in the same way that the wealthy supported their own resident artists in the olden days, allowing them to create without worry of starvation. Crowd funding circumvents the powerful taste-makers and gate-keepers who so often dictate how the artist works nowadays. It's an interesting alternative to the languishing record label system, as it removes that middle man and opens new avenues for the creatives out there.
Hot Problems is the side project of your other band, Ludo. Are you currently working on new material? When will we see a new Ludo album?
Right now, I'm working on Hot Problems material, as well as writing the first in a series of novels based on a Ludo rock opera called "Broken Bride." No time for writing rock just now. But I look forward to doing it soon after the Hot Problems album is finished. And while there are currently no plans for the immediate future, Ludo always tends to appear at random with something new. I wouldn't be surprised if we made an announcement at some point in the coming months that we were embarking on something exciting, but I'd be lying if I said I knew just what that was.
More Hot Problems: Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | PledgeMusic