The Latest News

The End Cometh is Out!

  • Published:1/1/2020
  • Author: Mike
black album cover for the End Cometh

Hi Friends!

Our new record is officially out! What a journey it has been. After Andy’s departure, in 2012, we took a long, deep breath. We went about our lives, raising families, running businesses and pondering what would be next. Patrick and I were still writing together. We wrote and made demos for an album’s worth of songs, but I don’t know if they were really Hot Lava songs. And so time passed..until one night when I received several text messages from Wes.

Wes was at the Band of Horses of concert at the Township. He had been drinking and he told me, very directly, that we weren’t done and we were going to release another record. The idea of putting a band back together and kicking life back into the machine seemed really heavy to me. However, leaving ideas on the table didn’t sit well with me either. Wes wasn’t taking “no” for an answer. That’s one of the things I always appreciated about the band. There was always someone there to lift you up and pull you out of the darkness.

So it began. I started making roughs on my laptop and programming beats to give everyone a rough idea of what was in my head. I dove back into some old ideas (Double Minded Man, Lies) that had been around since college that never seemed to go away, but also seemed like they never wanted to be finished either. Wes brought some fantastic ideas of his own to this record (The Long Con, Azrael). Writing together again was fun. But, as you might have guessed, my drum loops just weren’t cutting it.

We were fortunate to have a large network of talented friends who stepped in to play drums for us during this time. However, it wasn’t until we received an audition video through a friend that the songs and The End Cometh really took shape. Wes Remembers “ (my friend) sent me a link to a video of Jon playing along with the tracks on "The Weed Sessions". Mike, Patrick, and I got together and watched the video. There was Jon, sipping a beer and slaying every drum part. Needless to say, he was in the band. Jon's adventurous drum chops and dry humor fit right in. He was perfect. We began work on "The End Cometh".

Lyrically the record explores the endings we must confront within our lifetime, whether it’s our health, our friendships, our freedom, or our existence. Patrick notes, “I really wrestled with my mortality on this record. Everything passes eventually. Our mind and body breaks down. Whatever we don't use often will atrophy and turn to dust. But there is something comforting in voicing the need for help from a higher power, whether it is heard or not.”

Particularly for the title track, Patrick took inspiration that was close to home. “We are all prisoners. We think we are free, or at least that we would be free if it wasn't for our job or our circumstance or some other external force, but really, we hold ourselves back more than anything. I've always fought those walls figuratively, but over the past several years, I have been communicating with a family member that is in actual prison. We've written a lot of letters and talk weekly on the phone, so his situation is always on my mind. I went to visit as well, and that's when it really sets in. The cabin fever and the atrophy of the soul and body is astounding. So between my own fears, my family member's imprisonment and watching "Escape From Alcatraz", these lyrics found their way in.”

Mike Goes West!

  • Published:2/23/18
  • Author: Mike
giant red rocks at the Garden of the Gods park in Colorado Springs

Hi Friends! Many of you already know that I moved to Colorado in 2018. Before I left, I took the time to write some thoughts down about being in Hot Lava Monster and what the Columbia Music Scene meant to me. You can read it all below if you’d like.

Hi Columbia Music Scene,

I’m not one who is generally comfortable sharing my thoughts to a large number of people. However, I’ve been thinking about what I might say to all of you as I get ready to depart for Colorado. Being a musician here has been such an impactful part of my life, and identity, for so long that I didn’t want to leave without saying a few words.

When I was in high school and just starting to learn to play guitar and make music with my friends- many of whom I still play with today, I remember wanting nothing more than to be in a band. On the weekends, we’d make the trek from Chapin down to Rockafellas’ where we were introduced to bands & artists like Jebel, Blightobody and Danielle Howle- who all quickly became my heroes. I remember wanting nothing more than to be just like them and do what they were doing.

I’d religiously seek out a copy of the Free Times every week and read the Music Section to learn everything I could about the local music scene. On clear days, the WUSC airwaves made it out our way and I’d jot down the bands they played in a little notebook I kept in my glove box. I made regular trips to Manifest Disc & Tapes looking for these artists while also (always) buying a CD from the “local” section whether I had heard of the band or not. In short, I was obsessed.

In high school we played a few shows at the Senseless Beauty Café in 5 Points and recorded our first 5-song cassette with Jay Matheson at the Jam Room. I went to a Blightobody video shoot one night at Maxcy Gregg Park, though apparently someone forgot to bring a generator, so it was a no-go. I still got to meet the singer, so it was worth it. We also finally got to play a show with Jebel at a bar called Clyde’s- which was easily the highlight of my young musical life.

Through college, we went through several lineup, name changes and years of inactivity before Hot Lava Monster actually took shape. However, this is not to tell that story, but only to illustrate that Hot Lava Monster was really the vehicle that connected me to all of you.

On nights where I wasn’t practicing with the band, I went to New Brookland Tavern to meet other bands and help them load in and out. Benji (rest in peace) also let me run lights- I remember wanting local shows to be as special as possible and to do whatever I could to help make that happen. I met a ton of you during those days and for the longest time, the only people who came to our shows were other musicians and bands- something I’m extremely grateful and appreciative for.

Over the years, we became friends- great friends. I’ve been to your parties, weddings and sadly, your funerals. In the end, the community we had, is what I will the miss the most. From the writers, promoters, club owners, musicians and friends who continually supported us and the scene, I thank you from the deepest part of my heart and wish each of you the best in the days to come.

Your friend,

Hot Lava Mike-