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Hotgothic discuss toxic masculinity, their new album and the government pushing a right-wing agenda. There is only one Hotgothic. Buy their fucking album.

Hello Hotgothic, and thanks for granting me access into your world! Your album is finished, and I for one am curious as to what to expect. Can you sum up the LP in a nifty blurb?

Stacy: Hi John, you’re most welcome and can I say how lovely it is to be having a chat with your good self. Nifty blurb? It’s eleven songs covering the joys of recreational drug abuse, love lost, love found and a metric ton of politics.

That’s a whole gamut of topicality you’ve got there. Let’s begin by discussing your latest single: Cockfight … can you break down what the song’s about for newcomers?

Stacy: Well, John Cockfight is about the culture of toxic masculinity and the unintentional homoerotic things “lads”, and wannabe “hard men” say to each other when fronting up for a fight. It’s about men who crave contact with other men but who can only express this desire through violence; it’s about the absurdity of their homophobia. It’s about bros.

That sounds like you have a certain sympathy for their lacking, but also an exasperation, a frustration if you will expressed through comedic lines. ‘I wanna see if you’re as hard as me’ being one of them. Have you met people like those you speak of in Cockfight? How do you handle them?

Stacy: Well John I’m from asshole of nowhere working class small town New Zealand so yeah, there’s plenty of that type about, angry men who wished they had their Brexit to vote for but all they have is idyllic beaches, expensive lager and meth but I think pissed up fighty blokes are a universal don’t you?

I’d like to thank people like that for putting me off football (they always seem to be into football, don’t they?) and pursuing art. Tell me about the making of the Cockfight video. What were you going for and what do you think you ended up with?

Jonathon: It’s not really football’s fault though, is it? The problem is that culture everywhere is steeped in toxic masculinity and there are arseholes everywhere you look – music, and in particular rock music – is far from immune, but neither are the visual arts or literature. Sure football attracts a certain kind of person, but they’re not the only fans, we know a lot of kind and thoughtful football fans. While it’s fair if it’s not your thing, but maybe there’s something to be said for trying to change these structures from the inside… although it’s certainly exhausting.

Glad you said that Jonno, as it’s pertinent not to allow my bias towards the game to be coloured by my early experiences of it in my first recollection. I used to love being a defender in my youth actually, but this interview is about your band. So, gimme some info about the shoot of your video and how it relates to the song’s subject matter?

Jonathon: My take on the cockfight video is that the kind of people who the song is talking about, your lads’ lads and your hardmen, frequently come across as both sinister yet ridiculous. I think that’s the vibe we were trying to get across in the video. Although in hindsight maybe the ridiculousness won out… but then it’s hard to criticise ridiculousness without being ridiculous yourself. As they say, it’s a fine line between clever and stupid

Mate, it’s the kind of video that I’ve wanted to see you guys in as you owned the subject matter, vibe and punctuated all the lyrics with shots that have burnt themselves into my retinas. A very different vibe to your last single. Does the LP veer from tone to tone, or are there segues throughout?

Jonathon: Well as a group of individuals with very short attention spans, we didn’t want it to get boring! So there’s quite a range of tones, moods, vibes across the album. But that said, the two singles give a pretty good idea of the extremes – from ‘last dance at the prom’ synth-pop sweetness to dirty fuzzy electro punk. People who know us will recognise most of the tracks from our live shows, although there’s a couple of surprises in there which are some of our personal favourites. Big thanks must go to our engineer/producer/all-round genius Chris Blake for helping us get the different sounds we were after out of our heads and onto the tape. He’s basically like our fourth Beatle. Oh wait, that was George, right? Shit, sorry Chris if you’re reading this, you’re waaay more integral to our sound!

Stacy: Big beautiful Chris the sonic dreamboat

Will we ever see a Sly Persuaders Collaboration?

Katy: There’s nothing in the pipeline, but it’s not impossible!

Make it happen, Katy! Keen to know if you have a fav track off the album and why. Spill those beans. And no Katy, you can’t say they’re all your fav. That would be frowned upon.

Katy: Cockfight, Pressgang, and Frontline are my favourite tracks from the album because they’re great fun to play and exciting to listen to. I particularly like Pressgang as the writing session for that was thrilling and collaborative, and the song just came together in the rehearsal room.

And for the uninitiated, what’s Pressgang about? Some critique of Dexter Fletcher’s early career in youth TV, perhaps (so showing my age here)?

Stacy: Well, John Pressgang is about the Rupert Murdoch press empire and the way it uses its influence to manipulate the public into backing its right-wing political agenda and the way it stokes the fires of social division to set our people against one another. It’s all about that stuff, but most importantly you can dance to pressgang. I love dancing to misery.

I’m sure we’ll enjoy dancing along with you at your launch party for the album. Where is it again, and who is on the bill supporting you?

Stacy: Roadkill Records is hosting us at the Shacklewell Arms on Saturday the 6th. We have the great pleasure of playing with Super Paradise who we loved at The Roadkill all dayer last summer and have been keen to play a show with ever since. Also on the bill is Violet Haze, who sounds like an electro-rock version of a John Hughes movie and it needs to be mentioned our old friends, and collaborators Medium Wave are DJing the event. Sounds like a party

Stage times? Watching The Widows at 17:45 in Camden Town before heading over to see you guys Goth my brains out at the shack!

Stacy: The who? All joking aside we are playing relatively early at 21:30ish

Oh, that would be The Widows. The latest single is called ‘Brexit Chainstore Massacre’. I do believe they’re the answer to all our political … oh, you were joking. 21:30? Excellent. Any closing comment you wanna leave our readers with?

Stacy: Buy our fucking album

Sounds like a suitable headline for the article. See you Saturday x

See Hotgothic live:

SAT 06 APR @ Shacklewell Arms – London

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