Hot Mulligan, a band that not only caught but kept our attention. With a discography that stretches back to 2014, their continuous strewn of music has kept pop-punk alive and well. Really well. The MI-based group consisting of members Tades Sanville, Chris Freeman, Ryan Malicsi, and Brandon Blakeley, have created music that has found permanent homes in the hearts of emos across the world.
Allowing their songs to be used as an outcry of growth from a generation in desperate need of hope, they have secured a solid spot in the ever-growing scene. Delivering a killer LP, You’ll Be Fine in 2020, but being unable to tour, the boys occupied the time making even more music to rock our worlds. And that it did. I Won’t Reach Out To You, the band’s most recent release, comes from Wax Bodega, a new-to-the-scene record label based out of Philadelphia. The band produced a compilation of massively emotional, energetic tunes (check out our full review of the EP here!) while Wax Bodega paired the production with a collection of absolutely incredible vinyl EPs.
With a band as brilliant as this one, we can’t help but hope for even more content. Luckily for us, we’ve got it! #1 Hot New Band, Hot Mulligan, took some time to answer some of our burning questions in a THP Exclusive Q&A. Fall in love even further, below:
Sifting Through The Static
With the recently dropped EP I Won’t Reach Out To You, you’ve also delivered super slick singles, ‘Pop Shuvit (Hall Of Meat, Duh)’ being the first. Why was this selected as the debut single?
Tades – ‘Pop Shuv‘ was one of the more experimental songs we wrote for the EP. We’ve played around with the poppy/synthy sort of sound before, but with this song, it feels like we’re starting to hit a groove. I think it made a decent single because it shows that we’re playing with our sound and stretching in different directions. It’s always cool when a band can play between genres and release a variety of different tunes.
After releasing an LP as groundbreaking as You’ll Be Fine, one you referred to as some of your best work yet, you often find that fans hold onto that particular style. In what ways have you grown away from it? What classic Hot Mulligan qualities can we look forward to? In what ways has your style evolved?
Tades – It doesn’t feel to me like we’ve grown away from our older work as much as it feels like we’ve just gotten better at writing. We started HM when we were real young, so we’re bound to understand what we’re doing a little better over time. The classic qualities are still gonna be there—a little twinkly here, some yelling there. The difference is that we know what we’re doing. Sometimes.
You guys are storming the new-age pop-punk era pretty hard. The toxicity of the genre gets pretty intense sometimes. How do you deal?
Tades – The toxic shit seems to only get worse with time. There’s a lot of good and bad in the scene, but it gets an A for effort for at least trying to do good things. I don’t know about the rest of the band, but I just use distance. I stay away from the scene online and in person. Makes it easier to sift through the static. And I have pet rats. Their names are Betty and Doc, and I love them, and if they were too cold, I would slice open my guts and let them sleep inside like Luke in The Empire Strikes Back.
Ryan – I always like to take a step back and remember I’m an entire person outside of ‘guy in band.’ Like Tades said, sometimes it’s just all static. Close the app. Don’t read the things. Go outside.
Speaking of, who are some of your influences and favorites in the genre? Both new-age and OG.
Brandon – So many to choose from. Fall Out Boy, Transit, and Motion City Soundtrack, to name a few. I’m into the new Teenage Wrist record.
Ryan – On tour drives, we tend to default to the bands that we’ve always jammed together – Tigers Jaw, Joyce Manor, Free Throw, that sort of stuff. Our individual influences vary a lot, but we always seem to come to a consensus with the group ‘favorites.’
Our Favorite Band’s Favorite Bands
It’s been a long year, and some change that live shows have been on a standstill. Where are you most excited to hit as touring begins to pick back up? And often, bands are asked what their favorite show they’ve ever played was. But we’re thinking smaller. What is the best DIY venue you’ve ever played? And would you play it again given the opportunity?
Tades – Playing at home is always wicked. Michigan goes hard. Venues just need to survive a little longer, then we can proceed to absolutely burn them down. Everyone has been waiting for shows, and the moment the hometown crowd shows up, it’s gonna breathe new life into the world. It’s gonna be sick. If I could go back to Macs Bar in Lansing, I’d be living the dream. It’s rickety, and the floors are sticky, and the bathrooms are always at least kind of trashed. I love that place with all my heart.
Hot Mulligan Does DIY
Twitter Trolling & Future Features
You are big on Twitter trolling, which we find equally hilarious and entertaining. How do you keep it a fun and positive space for fans to interact? And you guys have a war with fans on not playing the song ‘Shayle, Shanel’ live. Is it really because it’s a simp song? Or has the joke just gone too far?
Chris – Memes have just become a part of our lives, and I think we just set ourselves up for having that kind of community with the song titles and the ‘Equip Sunglasses‘ music video. We just keep it positive by interacting with fans who share the same energy, I guess, and there’s a lot of that energy on Twitter.
We don’t necessarily avoid it just because it’s a simp song, but it just wasn’t fun to play and didn’t make sense in a lot of our sets because it’s like 4-5 minutes long. I will say the joke has kind of run its course, but it’s fun to throw out there from time to time.
You guys are known for having insanely unique track titles. The EP has a song called ‘Featuring Mark Hoppus.’ So, other than the king himself, who are some artists that you’re dying to collaborate with?
Chris – We’ve talked about doing collaborations a lot, but we just haven’t written a song where we feel like it needs a feature. I’ve talked to Guardin about collaborating before, and we’ve written a few songs together that haven’t come out yet. I’d just like to crossover genres and do something a little out of the ordinary for us.
While we totally agree and think that Hot Mulligan does it fine all by themselves, the thought of potential genre-crossed collaborations has our headspace super occupied. Sorry for interrupting, back to it.
Getting down with raw, relatable lyrics, you guys have covered some heavy-hitting topics. What advice can you give to fans struggling with the same issues of depression, self-worth, and relationships?
Tades – I don’t know why people would want my advice on mental health. I struggle to get out of bed almost every day. I guess I’d say that we’re in the same boat. I don’t think it’s gonna get any better, but hey. We’re all f*cked together. So I guess it’s alright.
Speaking of killer lyricism, can you tell us more about your writing process?
Tades – My writing process is super hot or cold. I’m a shower singer, so I like to soak for a little while when I don’t have any ideas. For me, it’s all about finding syllables and saying as much as I can with what space I have. It’s getting more and more difficult, but that just makes it more rewarding when the lines and ideas finally fit together.
You’ve been referred to as emo punk, pop-punk, indie, and math rock. What do YOU define your style as?
Chris – Post-pop-punk revival 1 pre mainstream revival Midwest 5th wave adjacent
What can we look forward to from Hot Mulligan in the future, post EP release?
Chris – We have a headlining tour this fall with support from Prince Daddy & The Hyena, Sincere Engineer, and Super American. I’d like to write more songs while we still have a little downtime and maybe do something else before we do another album.
Another EP? Acoustic album? Some singles? Who knows, but whatever it is, we know it’s destined greatness. As Chris said, you can catch them on their headling tour this fall, but grab them quick. Some dates have already sold out!
Featured Image Source(s): Michael Herrick | The Honey Pop’s Graphic Team