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"From Oz To La La Land"

From Oz To La La Land

The Hot Kicks Rock Hollywood
Scott Mitchell
Issue date: 5/27/09 Section: Online Exclusive
Page 1 of 1

Towards the end of a long and stressful semester, I took some time off to see "The Hot Kicks," an Australian rock band that a friend of mine recommended to me. It was a uneventful weekday night that took me to the set at the Key Club on the Sunset Strip. By the time that the half-hour set was finished, I was hooked.
The band returned to the Key Club earlier this week, and although relatively unknown to the crowd who were mostly there for the main event, the band tore up the stage and had the audience screaming for more.
The band features siblings Pete [guitar] and Kim [drums]. After the show, the band took the time to answer some of my questions.

How would you describe your music, sound, and direction?

It's rock n roll with a punk ethic, but there's also that pop sensibility to a lot of our songs, meaning that you can definitely sing along with the choruses.

How long have you been in Los Angeles?

Around 2 and half months.

You have been working in the studio. Is a new album in the mix?

We are recording our debut full length album with renowned L.A producer Dave Cobb (Shooter Jennings, Chris Cornell) and engineer Greg Gordon (Oasis, Dandy Warhols, Public Enemy). We really want to capture that live raw element which our shows are known for. Our aim was to record an album that doesn't sound like a lot of the crap you hear on the radio these days which has been over produced and almost clinical sounding. Dave and Greg were along the same vibe and were keen to use recording techniques like the classic rock bands such as Zeppelin, The Beatles and The Who used back in the 60's and 70's. We tracked straight to tape and recorded live, all in the same room. We were so stoked with the sound coming out of the room while the whole band was playing, we ended up using those live takes. It was pretty remarkable.

Have the US audiences been treating you right? Well received when playing on stage in LA?

The crowds here have been amazing, particularly in Austin Texas during South by Southwest. The crowds at our shows were out of control. They definitely dig their rock n roll over there!

How long have you been playing together?

Kim & Pete are siblings and have been playing together for over five year in various projects.

Who were your early musical influences?

INXS, Beastie Boys, Led Zeppelin, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Michael Jackson, Nirvana, The Beatles, Dr Teeth and the Electric Mayhem.

Who are your more recent musical influences?

Not recent bands but Rolling Stones, Deep Purple, The Who, Small Faces, The Clash, Queens of the Stone Age, Chili Peppers, Muse, Kings of Leon, The Hives, Supergrass, The Raconteurs.

How would you describe the sound of the band?

Like being slapped in the face while having sex with a supermodel!

How do you compare the music scene in the states to that of Australia?

There's a good rock scene in Oz but it's such a small market due to the population. So the main thing about being here in the States is that there are more bands, more venues, more places to tour and more of an opportunity for original unique rock n roll!

What is the story behind your recent move to LA? How long in the making?

It's something we've been looking at since we first came over here a couple of years ago. You've got to go where the love is, and we're definitely feeling it over here. We also wanted to work with Dave Cobb so that was another factor for getting set up in L.A. We love playing live and touring, so America is definitely a good place for that.

What is the creative process like for the band? How are songs generally worked from concept to finish?

Pete writes a lot of stuff which he then brings into the studio to work through with Kim. We also just jam out in the rehearsal room and formulate many songs from there.

Do you miss home?

We miss our families and friends but we're amped to be in the States for a while.

What do you like best about LA/America?

Everyone's really really really good looking in L.A!

What do you like least about LA/America?

Everyone's really really really good looking in L.A!

What is the most fun interesting part of your musical adventure and journey?

As an independent band, we deal with every aspect of running the business so that definitely means you're interacting with all types of people. We love playing live, touring, and the people you meet along the way, which in any other circumstance would never happen. You never know what situations you'll end up in so things never get boring!

What has been the most fun or interesting experience here in the states?

Everything!!!! Happy Hour meetings over margaritas and great Mexican food, meeting amazing people, the challenge of finding couches to crash on, the excitement when all our baggage and instruments come out on the airline baggage claim, trying to get to gigs in all sorts of strange circumstances, the passion and dedication from our fans, L.A, NYC, San Diego, Austin.

How will all of the new sights, sounds, tastes, temptations, associated with moving to a new country and city, factor in to the equation?

We've worked out that the feel of hangover is the same, no matter what country you're in! We tend to take most things in our stride. We've been touring pretty consistently over the last few years so we're used to being in unfamiliar surroundings.

"“Hot Kicks” Rock Santa Monica"

“Hot Kicks” Rock Santa Monica
by Peter Hughes - Hollywood

One of the freshest, most energized bands to come out of Australia in years are the Hot Kicks. We caught them at the Dakota Lounge in Santa Monica where they managed to get a rather laid back crowd on their feet by the end of their short thirty five minute set.
The Hot Kicks have a full and vibrant sound that uses a mix of alternative, classic rock and punk to great effect. Pete plays a mean guitar and Kim is one of the most visual and rapid-fire drummers on the rock scene today. Her rainbow colored hair flies everywhere as she pounds the skins, occasionally sneering or making crazy faces that had me smiling.
The Hot Kicks perform rock music with strong hooks and powerful melodies. Two memorable songs, “The Money” and “Pretty Little Face” from their EP, “Kid in a Candy Store” are still stuck in my brain. Seriously. Both tracks received well deserved international radio and critical kudos in 2008.

While they do mainly original material, their cover of the White Stripes tune, “Fell in Love with a Girl” at the Dakota was also powerful.
Visually, they always manage to stimulate. Pete struts the stage with confidence and a knowing smile. They bounce off each other with a playfulness that is both classic rock and indicative of two dudes who simply love what they do. Their stage experience helped the Hot Kicks whip even a small room like the The Dakota into a minor frenzy. This band knows how to work a crowd. The Hot Kicks are loud, naughty, with a drive and a determination that is hard to ignore. A couple of hits could easily propel the band to major stardom.
Word has it that they are currently recording their debut album. Maybe this will break them out in America and beyond. Their talent certainly warrants US and international recognition.

Hot Kicks next play in Hollywood at The Key Club on Monday the 8th June - 10pm.
They are an act well worth catching. -

"The HOT KICKS at the Key Club"

Live Review: The HOT KICKS at the Key Club
April 10, 2009 — irom
By Devon Wendell

In rock n’ roll, it’s not a requirement to re-invent the wheel. The ends justify the means, and well delivered clichés in the name of fun and sentimentality are gleefully welcomed. At The Key Club on Monday night, March 30, Melbourne’s own band, The HOT KICKS seemed to be well aware of that notion.

The KICKS’ Sunset Strip-ready look was reliable rock and roll, a mixture of classic, punk, and Alternative, matching their sound and their stage presence.
The Trio has already received international radio and critical success this past year with their indie hit ”Kid in a Candy Store,” which kicked off their set. The song had a Led Zeppelin-meets-Jane’s-Addiction heavy, guitar riffs and percussive feel. Even the group’s starker material, like “Insane” and “Sucker,” generated gratitude and enthusiasm from their loyal audience — rock n’ roll without self-deprecating teen angst, gloom and doom.
Pete Kicks’ guitar playing was solid, with little self-indulgence. He especially locked into the group’s tight sound in “The Money,” alternating between distorted wah-wah leads and solid rhythm playing.

Kim Kicks has quickly become known as one of the best rock drummers around, with enough energy to light up a small city, fusing humor and flash with a loud, dominating stage presence. She was also the punk spirit of the band, spitting water, flailing her arms... like a female version of the Animal from “The Muppets,” with true musicianship.

The set came to a close with the crowd singing along to “Sweet Love” and “All Too Easy,” as they graciously thanked the beer swigging, head bopping audience, which had been given an extra hour of fun and kicks to conclude its weekend. Loud and captivating, the HOT KICKS provided plenty of irresistible thunder from down under.
- The International Review of Music


October 9, 2008 by PT Rothschild.

Hollywood, CA –
Just like a regular infatuation, you never know when or where you are going to see someone or some band, in my case, which excites your sensibilities and perks up your ears. Just such a thing happened to me recently while I was up in Hollywood, and away from the elections. So what is a ‘band crush’? It’s something between your Uncle Bernie’s ‘pat on the back’ to wish you ‘Good Luck’ on your music career as you head off to a different country to ‘make it big’ and a doe-eyed groupie staring back up at you with a submissive glance.

I fell into this in-between spot, drawn by the flare of long, gothic-auburn hair exploding with each head turn, flashing drum sticks, and hot licks by Kim, the female drummer of the band, HotKicks, fresh from Melbourne, Australia, who looks ‘Persian’ according to an Afghanistan friend that saw the CD cover photo. But you know how it is with me, always more than meets the eye, and it is true of this band.

The CD I received and have been playing in heavy rotation, the one with the aforementioned pic, is from a band called [The] HotKicks. I enjoyed the stage presence of the band that has that out-of-town rawness which comes from the outback down-underness of the band’s roots. The songs I heard live, especially a couple, had real potential, at least it seemed so to me that night.
The CD features the same current three person line-up as I saw onstage that night. The cover art is mean, clean, and composed of band member photos in black & white, and professionally done by Aussie CD production. Inside, the package contains a number of catchy tunes like #2, Pretty Little Face (reminded me of IPod, for my BM fans), and most songs have a one word title, like the infectious Daydream, and more somber Indy rockers, like Crave.
But the real emphasis is the unsullied craftsmanship and musicianship of the original songs, which are not heavy or Emo, nor too cerebral where you listen twenty times before you understand that the singer’s girlfriend left him brokenhearted.

In short, the songs are ‘just right’ and grow on you with each listen. Besides Kim on drums, there is a guy named Pete on guitar providing his own hot licks.
What’s not to like?
But don’t take my word for it, you can catch this next ‘break-out’ band for yourself on Monday, Columbus Day, 10/13, at the Key Club, appearing with Steel Panther, and pick up the HK CD for yourself. HK plays around 10PM. Hopefully they will play a gig here for the Temecula Music Fest happening in T-Town during May of next year at the CRC.

"Hot Kicks Live @ Esplanade Hotel"

St.Kilda - 23rd August 2008

With the amount of touring the Hot Kicks has done over the past couple of years, it is little wonder that every time they play their hometown it feels like a special event. Saturday night saw these globetrotters' head back to Melbourne's favourite rock venue The Espy. The Gershwin Room can be a daunting place to play at the best of times, mainly because it's such a massive room and with 400 people inside can still look empty. As I walked in 45 minutes before the Hot Kicks were scheduled to hit the stage, the support band was just finishing their set and there was plenty of room to move.

With all the hype and fans this Melbourne rock band has built up over the last three years I was somewhat surprised there wasn't a massive queue stretching down the street. Little did I need to worry as within the next 30 minutes the crowd built up enormously, timing it to perfection so that when the Hot Kicks walked on stage, they were greeted by a packed room. Launching into the raucous 'Kid in a Candy Store', the excitement and enthusiasm displayed by the band members was mirrored by the crowd. Without any respite, they kicked into the frantic 'Insane', followed by crowd favourite 'The Money'.

Engaging in constant banter throughout the show, Pete (guitar) involved the audience at every opportunity. When they mentioned, somewhat tongue in cheek that tonight was "ladies night", the girls dancing up a storm in the front row erupted in applause. It was also a nice segue into the catchy single "Pretty Little Face".

It has been quite a while since I last saw this band play and I must confess, I had forgotten just how tight they are live. For a three piece to pull this type of sound, which can only be described as BIG, they still maintain a very raw, organic feel. While the Hot Kicks has built a reputation on a phenomenal stage show (it's easy to get hypnotized by Kim's crazy antic's on the drums!) what is not always discussed is the quality of their songs. Tonight they indulged the audience with a number of new one's and after hearing these, it appears that a constant touring schedule has actually enhanced their ability to write great music. While debut album 'Kid in a Candy Store' was a brilliant introduction to this band, one can't help but feel their next recording may catapult them to another level entirely.

The Hot Kicks finished the set with another new song called 'Sweet, Sweet Love'. While the audience didn't need any encouragement, Pete instructed everyone to put their hands above their heads and clap along with the Band. I must say it's the first time I've seen the Gershwin Room rock like this! With more international tours planned for later this year, let's hope Melbourne doesn't have to wait too long to show this band some more 'sweet, sweet love!' -


by Kevin Bronson on March 19, 2009

The Hot Kicks (at the Troubadour Saloon) — “This band has incredible pants,” music writer and honcho Jeff Miller told me upon seeing the Hot Kicks. Indeed, and they were probably borrowed too. The Melbourne three-piece’s tight, glammed-up pop-punk may be the stuff of rock ‘n’ roll cliche, but they are good at it. They brought plenty of signage, energy drinks bearing their image and an old-school rock spirit to the Give More Love Showcase; axeman Pete’s solos almost gave me a guitar face. Is there a Sunset Strip is in Melbourne? This trio should rule it. - Kevin Bronson -


Still working on that hot first release.



What They Are Saying…....

"I f*cking love them… The chick drummer kicks ass!" – Evan Matthew Klinger, Star Magazine....

"They know what they want to do -- and they're great at doing it." Jeff Miller, Thrillist LA....

"Axeman Pete’s solos almost gave me a guitar face... Is there a Sunset Strip in Melbourne? They should rule it.” – Kevin Bronson,

"The hottest show on Thursday night in Austin" - DJ BDoe, KLBJ 93.7FM Austin

"In six years doing this show at SXSW I've never ever seen a band hold the attention of an audience, not just onstage, but for two hours after." - Paul Bodlovich, WAM SXSW

"Kim Kicks has quickly become known as one of the best rock drummers around, with enough energy to light up a small city, fusing humor and flash with a loud, dominating stage presence… like a female version of the Animal from ‘The Muppets’, with true musicianship.” - Devon Wendell, International Review of Music

"Raw and complex. Sex and sweat. Emotive energy and musical synergy. This, ladies and gentlemen, is Rock'n'Roll." - DaveT@Roam Free
On Kim:

"Arguably the greatest female drummer on the planet... like the rolling thunder from a gathering storm. Unbridled, electrifying. Also the illegitimate lovechild of Animal from the Muppets!"

On Pete:

"The mercurial, mad, and often incendiary guitarist that continually creates melodic mayhem! He is 'Pete Townshend on Uppers!'"

The HOT KICKS continue to tear up the World's rock venues!

Providing audiences with high energy, dynamic stage performances, They maintain a steady touring regime, both internationally and locally, continually increasing their already significant fan-base. While currently working on their debut album, the Band kicked off 2009 with performances at South By South West in Austin, Texas.

The HOT KICKS have completed five international tours and a number of Australian tours over the last two years. Highlights include performing at Canadian Music Week 2008 and exclusive showcases in Los Angeles (Viper Room, Key Club), New York (Arlene's Grocery), London (Borderline) and Berlin (Wild at Heart)

The Band has established a significant media profile with live performances on television (including 'Good Morning San Diego'), Their E.P Kid in a Candy Store has also gained continued radio support at both national and international levels, including L.A's legendary KROQ DJ Rodney Bingenheimer, Q104.3 New York's Classic Rock (USA), X-FM (UK), and Triple J (Aus).

Armed with a captivating, high-energy stage show, The HOT KICKS generate a buzz that continues to gain momentum long after the feedback dies away.

"Welcome to the finest indie-rock Australia has produced to date!" Andy Garibaldi, Dead Earnest U.K.

For further information on the band, check out