SXSW Profiles

Thursday Night

SXSW Profiles

Hotwheels Jr., Blind Pig Pub, 8pm Thursday

If they're ever in the mood for a little rock opera, Hotwheels Jr. might consider the story of Job. The amount of patience demonstrated by the Austin quartet certainly ought to qualify them for the Chicago Cubs Forbearance Society, though co-founders Adam Farina (voice/ guitar) and Krissy Recla (bass) might opt for their hometown Red Sox. Drummer No. 4, Will Plumb, spins a yarn about one Lubbock gig gone awry.

"That show was so funny, because we drove up and we see a huge line. We're like, 'Yes!' Then we realize it's two clubs put together, and it's GWAR playing next door. We're like, 'Fuck it. Why are we even playing?'"

Sometimes they had to wonder. At least it wasn't the Bizkit-luving fans of Bleed, who proved Tulsa most inhospitable, or a Jersey club owner who quite colorfully told the band, "I don't want any of youse walkin' around with ya thumb up ya ass. No offense." No, the Lubbock story has a happy ending.

"The bar gave us a keg to take home," co-founding guitarist Mark Bradley recalls. "It was too late to buy beer, so the guy said, 'I know the other bands, so why don't you take the keg and make sure it gets back here tomorrow morning? He even had to pull out some tools and make a tap for us."

Five years after starting from scratch, Hotwheels are revving at full throttle. With an all-new live set accompanying the arrival of Plumb in January 1999, songs loaded with pummeling sheets of guitar and steel-bonded by deceptive melodic affinity, new material is coming harder and faster than ever. "Just about every time we've played in Austin [recently], we've had a new song to play," Bradley notes. "I think we've got two more."

Judging by his audition, it looks like they'll hang onto Plumb, now inundated with requests for Hotwheels CDs by his junior-high students.

"Mark gave me the disc, and he's like, 'Learn it,'" recalls the drummer. "I took it home and started listening to it and I was gripped. I was like, 'This is good. Even if I don't get in, I'm gonna listen to this shit all the time!'"

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