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Interview: Hot Dolphin from Richmond, Virginia

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While shooting the recent Larchmont Trash show at the Norfolk Taphouse, I was able to catch Richmond band, Hot Dolphin, one of the four bands playing that night. Their set was the kind you walk away from saying, “ Whoa, what the...what just happened? That...was... killer!”

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The energy of the band, especially front woman Lindsey Spurrier, was over the top and non stop. Sound wise, I heard everything from The Stooges, Patti Smith, and The Runaways with a hint of surf, psychedelia and Bo Diddley. Layers baby, layers.

As for Spurrier, she took to the stage and immediately turned into a rock and roll tornado. A dancing, twirling, jumping, crouching, screaming, growling, powerhouse. Basically, if Patti Smith, Kathleen Hannah, and local Bottle Babies front man, Todd Owens, were all smushed together, that might begin to describe her.

Yeah, I didn’t see that one coming.

Midway through the set, enthusiastic crowd participation ensued, at which point, I had to shoot with both eyes open due to bodies and beers headed my way. I would say that Hot Dolphin definitely got the Taphouse seal of approval.

So if this sounds like your kind of thing (and why in the world wouldn’t it be?!), be sure to catch them next time they’re in town. Or take a trip to Richmond, it’s not that far, I mean really.

Intrigued, I shot them over a few questions.

Beth Austin: Who is Hot Dolphin?

Alison Hancock: Lindsey Spurrier-vocals, Robert Barrow-guitar, Tim Falen -drums, and I’m on bass.

Beth: How did you get together?

Alison: Robert wanted to play music loud. Tim wanted to play drums sitting down. I wanted to play bass. And Lindsey wanted to hang out and yell at everyone.

Beth: How did you come up with Hot Dolphin?

Alison: It is a Venture Brothers reference. Lindsey used to live with Robert and me. We watched a lot of Venture Brothers at the time.

Beth: Who writes the songs and what inspires them?

Alison: Robert and I receive instruction from aliens and space kittens that tell us how to write the basic frameworks. We then collaborate as a group to finish things. The songs are mostly inspired by animals, historical figures, mythology - really almost anything. They’re stories we tell ourselves to keep us from hurling into the abyss. It’s the stories of our people.

Beth: How would you describe your sound? It’s killer rock and roll, but there are definite layers. I heard everything from The Stooges, The Runaways, to Bo Diddley.

Alison: I think we started out wanting to have that sort of Stooges proto-punk feel. But I think we tend to write just based on how we’re feeling or what we’ve been listening to. At least sort of, maybe, kind of. I usually just tell people we’re rock and roll. They usually agree.

Tim Falen: Space sharks from renegade planets.

Lindsey Spurrier: LET’S DAAAAAAANCE!!!

Robert Barrow: It’s a mystery, wrapped in an enigma, on a sesame seed bun.

Beth: (smiles) Okay so, who do you listen to?

Robert: Billy Childish, Little Richard, The Mummies.

Tim: Hawkwind and Saves the Day, but only the Lemmy songs on both. Shut up dad!

Alison: I’ll try anything once . . .

Lindsey: I’m a try-sexual as well.

Beth: (smiles) “Try-sexual,” nice. So where are you favorite places to play and why?

Alison: We love Strange Matter and house shows in Richmond. We haven’t been to a whole lot of other places, but everywhere we’ve played has been pretty awesome. We love adventures and playing music for people, so it’s pretty hard for us not to have a great time.

Lindsey: Nobody smokes more weed than Tennessee. So that was funny.

Tim: Bar mitzvahs, quinceañeras, and anywhere with free food!

Robert: House shows. Also, that show at Taphouse was RAD!

Beth: Do you have any music available?

Alison: We have three tapes. They came out last April. The tape is also available on our bandcamp, pay what you will. We also have a 7-inch coming out on Negative Fun Records this year as part of their singles club.

Beth: Great, I want one. Keep me posted!

“The Quick Six.”

Beth: The Fan or Downtown?

Alison: Fan.

Lindsey: Downtown is for bros.

Beth: Mean Girls or Heathers?

Alison: Mean Girls.

Lindsey: Stop trying to make Hot Dolphin happen, it’s NOT going to happen!!

Robert: “I LOVE MY DEAD GAY SON!”

Tim: 7.

Beth: High Tops or Low Tops?

Alison: Low Tops.

Lindsey: Chucks.

Robert: Mids for ankle support.

Beth: Mac or PC?

Alison: As long as it works . . .

Lindsey: Can you repeat the question?

Tim: PC Worship.

Robert: Whatever is handy, because its all the same.

Beth: Bacon or “Facon”?

Alison: Eggplant;

Lindsey: Cheese, please.

Robert: How is sausage not an option?

Tim: 12.

Beth: Book or Nook?

Alison: It depends on whether or not there are pictures. Book – pictures. Nook – just words.

Tim: What the f**k is a nook?

Robert: Print is dead.

Lindsey: Book in a nook.

To keep up with Hot Dolphin, check out their Facebook page.
To get some Hot Dolphin music, go to their bandcamp page.
And to keep on eye out for their 7”, go to Negative Fun Records

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