Hot Lava Monster


New Year's 1999

Hot Lava Monster played their first show on New Year’s Eve, 1999, at the now defunct 5-Points bar, McKenzie’s. It was an unlikely occurrence as the band really didn’t have a complete lineup, or songs. Mike recalls, “We had been trying all year to solidify a bass player, and our songs, with little success.

A few weeks before New Year’s, we got offered that gig, but I didn’t see how that would be possible. It wasn’t until that Patrick decided he was going to sing and play bass for that gig that we actually started moving forward as a band. In about three weeks, Patrick learned to play bass, for the most part, and we finished our first songs. And then of course, all we needed was a name."

the band standing in front of Dreher highschool during its demolition

The Band

close up of Patrick wearing sunglasses and bathed in purple ligh on stage


One of the original founding members of the Hot Lava Monster, Patrick’s voice and lyrics have been the signature sound (or some might say, the “core”) for the band since the beginning.

“Patrick and I met in theater class in high school. We hated each other. Truly. But we eventually found a deep friendship in shared mischief, social awkwardness and a love for music.” - Mike

Facts: He loves ice machines, hates tractors and is famously awkward according to Wes

Wes playing bass on an empty stage bathed in purple and blue lights


“No one is really sure how Wes joined the band. He kind of just started showing up at shows, like ALL our shows, and then eventually he was just on stage with us. All I know is that when it happened, it was like a volley of thunder from the skies. His presence on stage and in the studio reshaped the foundations of the band and was key in propelling us to the next level.”- Mike

Facts: Great bass player, songwriter and friend. Has never beaten Mike in a late night fisticuffs.

John Hawkins sitting behind the drums in the studio


On Jon’s arrival, Wes recalls, “ (a 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.”

Facts: HLM was Jon’s first band and he’s not as funny as Mike

Hot Lava Mike making devil horns with hands

Hot Lava Mike

Of Members Past

Andy Dumiak

Years Active 2006 - 2012

Josh had just left the group and the band was wondering, not for the last time, if and how they’d continue. “I remember going out one night to see some bands play with Patrick and to discuss the future of HLM, and randomly running into Andy who we had known from his time with the Soul Mites. The Universe aligned that night and the rest is history.”-Mike.

Wes and Andy formed a tight bond as the HLM rhythm section. “From the first jam session I was sold. Not only was he a solid drummer but our personalties clicked. He immediately felt like a brother.” -Wes

Just like when Wes joined the band, Andy’s coming signaled a whole new level for Hot Lava Monster.

Facts: Andy can drink all of us under the table.

the great Andy Dumaik grinning and holding a beer

Josh Brannon

Years Active 1999 - 2006

Josh is one of the founding members of Hot Lava Monster. Always full of fire and charisma, Josh brought a big snare and kick drum attack to the band and helped shape the rest of the band musically and creatively.

Patrick remembers Josh for his incredible arrangement skills: “Josh was always a great arranger..he had a real talent for building the songs in a way that made sense out of the madness.”

Facts: Funniest and most creative guy we know.

Josh playing drums in the practice shed

Honorary Monsters

Matt making a funny surprised face

Matt Alsup

"Matt is truly the unsung hero of the band. He had the unfortunate task of trying to manage our reluctant band. But truly, he kept us on track and was the reason we made so many strides when he was with us. We thank him for all his advice, friendship and for continually pushing us." - Mike

“Matt brought opportunities we would have never had without him. I can't thank Matt enough for what he brought to the table. Each of our albums brought incredible people into our lives.” - Wes

Facts: Great bass player and graphic designer.

Steve smiling for the camera while working at the mixing board at The Jam Room Studios

Steve Slavich

"Steve Slavich is one of the most talented engineers and producers we have ever worked with. With credits such as the Smashing Pumpkins & Dave Mathews, he truly helped shape our young band in the studio and on the stage through over the years. He’s been with us since the start and we really wanted to circle back around and work with him again as captain for The End Cometh." - Mike

Facts: Badass golfer and guitar player. Loves the Lions (why?)


Weenie, Katy Renfroe, Cami Best, Chris Hornsby, Marty Fort, John Puryear, Jay Matheson, John Briglevich, & Sylvia Massy

wes smiling
wes grunting
wes angry