Track-by-Track: Hot Fiends Ponder Their Latest EP ‘Cult Supreme’

Hardcore punk band Hot Fiends serves up a detailed and fun track-by-track rundown of their debut EP ‘Cult Supreme.’



Hot Fiends

Part of the fun with Hot Fiends is the unpredictability. The post-hardcore punk band is all over the place in the best of ways, as you will find on their debut EP, Cult Supreme. It’s a fresh interpretation of what hardcore is all about, inspired by Soul Glo, Pissed Jeans, and The Blood Brothers. No one could describe it better than the band themselves. In characterizing their music, they claim it’s like “giving a chimp a guitar and a gun and telling it to choose.”

Hailing from Brighton and South Coast, Hot Fiends has packed Cult Supreme with a helping of jarring transitions, humorous and, at times, twisted lyrics, and dark, infectious guitar riffs. It’s a massive-sounding record delivered in a rather minimalistic way. The band features Sean Duke, Ben Flowers, Leo Osbourne, and Lewis Magill, all impressive musicians who complement each other very well. They’re quickly becoming known for their hellacious live shows. Part of the charm is that it’s all geared towards having a good time, no matter how outrageous it gets.

Joining us for an exclusive track-by-track of Cult Supreme is lead singer Sean Duke. In great detail, Duke describes the meaning and significance behind each raucous track.

“Just to add a caveat, the songs are never meant to be taken seriously and are often about an interesting concept or something I thought was funny. I rarely write about personal experiences.”

1. “Massive Weakling”

“This song is about sucking at life but just getting on with it anyway. The line ‘Teach me the secrets of workplace etiquette, read out the words, and they spell death’ is about people who strive to be good employees, but are unable to actually get anything done. We’ve done enough dead-end jobs and wage slaving to know the futility of actually giving a damn about hard work. The title makes us think of a massive dude with tiny, weak little legs, which always makes us laugh.

“We usually load this up to the front of our live shows, as it’s tight and punchy. The verse is almost bouncy and happy like an indie track, but immediately undercut by the nasty chromatic phrase under screams of ‘massive weakling.’”

2. “Big Snake”

“This song is about a literal big snake, coming to your house and emasculating you. As the song progresses, you realize that it is something otherworldly that is taking over someone’s life, eating their dog, stealing their keys. They realize it can’t be killed or reasoned with, so they move out and let the snake live in their house.

“That’s literally it. I just thought it was funny. There’s no subtext. It’s not even an innuendo.

“I had a friend who kept snakes, and one got out once during the night, and it was underneath the bed I was sleeping in. We spent the day tearing his flat apart, cutting the sofa open, only to find it there, pissed off and coiled up, hissing at us. That snake didn’t have bat wings, but it could have been from hell.

“This is one of our favourite songs to play live, as the fat-hogging riff is a head-banger’s fever dream. When recording this song, we invented a new patch, ‘Scream+’ to give the chorus vocals their hellish, underworldly sound.”

Hot Fiends ‘Cult Supreme’ EP album artwork

3. “Plague Bringer”

“The song is about a fictional disease like Black Death, but it takes a more extreme approach. The line ‘Into the blight of a thousand years,’ shows the plague as an eternal being that sucks all life and is indifferent to your existence or mortality. It’s a bit grimdark and Papa Nurgle, with serious four-horseman vibes.

“The intro is as nasty as we could make it, mixed with a verse that is a throwback to classic metal and hardcore. We love to mix beefy traditional riffs with more unusual, avant-garde, or dissonant sections to keep things interesting. It’s not just straight hardcore, nor is it all horrible, unlistenable noise. We’ve had people come to our gigs who aren’t fans of heavy music come up to us and say they ‘strangely enjoyed it,’ which is the kind of half-compliment we’ll take any day.”

4. “Deep Sea Diver”

“This is about someone who runs away from their problems as fast as they can, instead of confronting them.

“The lyrics ‘Getaway driver, Deep sea diver’ are about the lengths and speed we go to get away from our problems. The rest of the song describes the metaphorical ‘car crash’ that happens when we can’t run forever, with lines like ‘It all goes up in flames, get away.’ ‘Static hissing in despair’ is a description of the scene over the radio, like police calling in the scene.

“We were unsure about this song when recording it. It’s the closest to a traditional verse-chorus-verse-chorus structure we will probably ever do. We thought it was a bit of a filler, but actually, it’s had the most radio play of any of the songs. It just goes to show, that sometimes you’ve got to let the audience decide what works and what doesn’t.”

5. “Richard and Judy Do LSD Live on Air This Morning”

“This title probably means nothing to anyone outside of the UK and under 20 years old, but we love it. The song title in our minds is part of the classic math and grindcore tradition of giving songs ridiculous names to give listeners something to remember them by, considering the unintelligible lyrics and bizarre anti-pop structures.

“Unlike the chatshow hosts Richard & Judy themselves, the whole thing is meant to be as un-radio-friendly and ‘content-friendly’ as possible. It has a lot of dark themes. From smashing someone’s head in with a hammer to mutated less-than-human creatures that live on blood. While it sounds pretty savage, I was trying to conjure up the over-the-top vibes of Hammer Horror vibes, with its tongue firmly in its cheek.

“So the title is actually on-theme at least, it’s not quite as dumb as it sounds. Just nearly as dumb.”


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