Manchester’s answer to Charlie’s Angels, Hot Minute made their debut in 2019 with their no-nonsense, girl power fuelled take on indie-pop. Armed with endearing attitude, fierce drive and a knack for producing sillily infectious synth-pop tracks with bold, confrontational lyrical content; Keely, Courtney and Bella are those ‘girls in bands’ that some parts of the music industry are telling us we just don’t have enough of.
It’s no secret that a good majority of women in the music industry have experienced some kind of misogyny, whether it be inappropriate sexual comments, sexual assault, being spoken down to by male peers or simply just a lack of opportunity, and so following the release of their third single Drive, we thought we’d get to know the Manchester girls who’re not only producing some of the best new music in the city; but putting out an important message while they’re at it.
First of all, can you introduce yourselves and tell us your role in the band?
I’m Keely and I sing/write melodies and lyrics, Courtney is our resident synth queen/producer and Bella is our guitarist and handles all the lovely aesthetics you see on our Instagram!
Your first two releases were very much focussed on the struggles of being female in what is very much a male dominated industry, what advice would you give to any fellow females starting out in music?
We could talk for days about this, but I think first and foremost the most important thing is not to let your gender be the defining factor about you OR your music. Define yourself by what you do, you can do anything – you don’t need permission. Yeah sure it rubs some people the wrong way BUT they aren't your people so who cares! There is an audience of people out there who will truly resonate with your real struggles, real messages and love your music – cater to those people and ignore the rest!
It’s both an admirable and bold move to be so confrontational about such a subject, especially in a debut; how did the reception to Magic compare to your expectations?
Why thanks! Well, being honest we’d probably say that for your first release you never expect much, but it’s always best to start as you mean to go on despite the reception you receive. People like to moan about people being generally ‘preachy’ in everything, but what they don’t seem to understand is this is our (and many women/minority groups) actual life – this stuff genuinely affects us so of course we’re going to talk about it – shout about it even and if you don’t like it you know where the door is.
How does Drive compare to Magic and Hell Is Empty?
In a strange way, they’re all so different and I think that shows the journey we’ve been on as we’ve been on it. It was a conscious choice to put out literally whatever we wanted regardless of the similarities (or lack thereof) sonically. I think you can really see the growth there from each single to the next, and that’s what we wanted. Not only is it a representation of Hot Minute, it’s a culmination of us as people, we listen to everything so naturally it’s all going to be different. Obviously, there are the obvious links like the synths, tones and vocals but we don’t really have a fixed style, it’s just where the wind blows us, it's just more fun that way!
You’ve been holding onto Drive for a few years now, right? When did you realise it was the right time to put it out into the world?
Fun Fact, Drive was actually supposed to be the second single rather than the third taking Hell Is Empty’s spot. BUT for some reason the music gods were just against that idea, literally, everything that could have gone wrong went wrong and it became increasingly more obvious to us that it wasn’t the right time. This wasn’t her moment. So, we pulled her back for a few months to make sure that when she did come out, she had her own moment and that’s when the saxophone came in. After that everything just slotted right into place and here we are.
Not many people have been lucky enough to experience Hot Minute live as of yet, is there a particular reason why you’ve not played many shows?
We want people to engage with this brand that we're building, this whole world of Hot Minute, we’ve spent so long trying to get everything right we’ve not really played many gigs. Rest assured though that is about to change although I can't say where or when – but it's coming! And without being mysterious its actually really hard for us to play live sometimes because of how different our set up is, it’s 99% electronic and that can give some sound techs a run for their money. We’re still at a point where most of our crucial engagement comes from online which is primarily where we exist, we wouldn’t turn down the right gig, but we definitely can be a bit choosey.
Are we likely to get more chances to catch you live this year? If so, what can be expected from your live show?
You are! We want these shows to be more than just a gig, which is another reason why we don’t gig often, when we do, we’re going to put 110% into it. This is a band and a brand, and we have a lot of things to say. Expect an all-round good old time and saxophone solos.
There’s been a lot of promises made regarding equality in the industry for 2020, what’s the main thing you think needs to change from a new artist’s perspective?
Stop taking less than you deserve! Don’t just deal with it in silence! Speak up, use your voice, talk about change and implement that change in your actions. If people are being sexist you call that shit out, we’re in times of such progression and change, tittering on the edge of greatness with our social/political movements in the music industry – now is not the time to pull back it’s the time to go full steam ahead. Crush sexism, misogyny and prejudice until it is no more.
Finally, how’s 2020 looking for Hot Minute? Anything particularly excited in the diary?
It’s looking big! We've already worked on a few sneaky things this month, we have so much planned. The flow of Hot Minute content is going to be consistent throughout this year, bigger and better and more horrifyingly 80’s and extra than ever before. You’ve been warned.