The Hot Place

Lisa King gets Witchy in The Hot Place

Interview by DJ Hermès Helena  

For La Calavera Magazine



DJ: So, a lot has happened with your art and music since we last spoke back in 2015.


LK: Yeah, the past two years have been seriously epic. (laughs)


DJ: Are you comfortable with where your path has taken you?


LK: I am now. At first, I wasn't so sure. I had to take an enormous leap of faith, and also take on a lot of responsibility with the recent things that I've been doing.


DJ: You have played several Living Room Shows with David J of Bauhaus/Love and Rockets these past two years.


LK: Yes, nine shows!


DJ: That's a lot of goth! How did you start working with David? Did you organize these events?


LK: David and I have crossed paths many times in my lifetime. I was such a huge Bauhaus fan in high school, that some people probably thought it was some strange religion I followed. I was kind of obsessed. Which wasn't that unusual by today's standards, but back then, goth was something really new; kids wearing black lipstick and teasing up their hair, and wearing all black. There were only a handful of us in my school, and we were often harassed. (laughs) But, Bauhaus had long split up, and Love and Rockets were the “real-time” band that David, Daniel, and Kevin were playing in. I went to see David play solo during the “Songs from Another Season” period, and of course I saw Love and Rockets multiple times. I met the guys, and just somehow kept in touch over the years. Back in 2002 I actually opened a David J show, at the Echo Lounge, playing keyboards with The Swimming Pool Q's. I was doing this series of surrealist, word association interviews in the spirit of Andy Warhol, and after the show, I interviewed David. It was a taped interview. Since then, we have done a series of them at The Brick Store Pub and in public live at Criminal Records. You can listen to them on YouTube.


I actually recipe swap with Kevin quite a bit, as I love to cook vegan. David started a Patreon page, and I saw that he was doing these living room shows around the country. We were instant messaging one night, and he asked me if I'd like to host a show in Atlanta, and would my band like to open. And the rest, one could say, is history!


DJ: Were you nervous, playing music with one of your influences listening in from backstage?


LK: Overwhelmingly so! The night before the first show I had been showing off, drinking a lot of absinthe and partying with the goth-father, and man, did I ever regret that. At the first show I could hardly sing I was so hungover with a splitting migraine. I swore never, ever to do that again, and so far, I've been pretty good at holding off the pre-show partying, and waiting until after we are finished working. It was quite surreal at first, but after a few more shows, I started to get into the groove. The pressure has made me really rise to the occasion. To sing in that kind of stripped-down scenario, with everyone intently listening and looking at you, is really different than the punk-rock club experiences I'd had in the past, where nobody was really listening. We even started taping our dress rehearsals. There's just nowhere to hide.



DJ: Has this affected your songwriting? Have these multiple shows with David, and other musicians that have sat in with you, changed your approach? I know you are currently making your second album.


LK: Absolutely, it has influenced the whole band. We are really writing these new songs as a band, whereas the first album "The Language of Birds" was more of a grouping of songs that I had been toting around for several years, and we formed the band around them. Now, the band is creating the songs. We took one song on the little mini tour of ATL, Athens, and Savannah that we did with David, called “In the Strange Oblivion”, and it was really new. We opened all the shows with it, and it started living and breathing, and it was like it was creating itself on the road. I really love that. My singing has gone from really timid, and super-heavy vocal effected to quite clear and clean, and I think it's from getting my confidence up playing these shows. When you're playing local punk clubs, you are just kind of yelling over a wall of guitars, and I have my bass in hand, and I'm not really even paying attention to what I'm singing. That's not much help for the recording studio. So, these stripped down, semi-acoustic, quiet living room sets have helped me get some really intimate vocal takes for the new record. So, you could say that David's presence has enhanced my path, not pulled me off of it in any way. He's actually contributing some wailing harmonica to one of our new songs, "Hell, Highwater, or Sunlight". I played it for him last time he was in Atlanta, and he just heard the part and laid it down in the studio in one take!


David J recording harmonica at Electron Gardens Studio


DJ: Have people tried to pull you off your path in the past?


LK: All the time. I think that a lot of creative people fall prey to other people who might want to recruit them for their own bands or purposes, especially if you are a multi-instrumentalist. There's nothing wrong with working with a lot of different musicians on different projects, if you can multi-task. But, when you are trying to focus on a certain thing, like this new album, you can't be getting distracted every time someone wants you to play a gig, or sit in on a song, or join a cult collective of musicians playing cover songs at the local coffee bar (laughs). Not to sound arrogant, that might be great for them, and it might be a hobby or therapy, but if your path is something different, and you're serious about being a professional, and have some sort of ambition, it's great when you find people like David who can enhance that path, and walk beside you, not try to control you or direct you, or manipulate you into serving them. These Living Room shows are a lot of work. I'm basically doing everything, wearing many hats from promoter, to set designer, to mini-manager, to booker, to taxi cab driver, to shaking cocktails and tarot card reader! That's what makes it so special, but that's an immense amount of time to spend on something that is not contributing to your own path too. So, I'm very lucky that my path and David's vagabond paths seem to cross and align every so often.


DJ: How far along are you on the new album?


LK: We are very close to finishing the main recording part. We have most of the songs in the can, with guitars, bass, and we are working on vocals and drums right now. It's a very big undertaking. This album is really stretching us into new territory, and it's very ambitious. I've felt pressure in the past to try to work on some sort of imaginary timeline, which is great, but everyone has their own pace. Some bands can put out a record every year, and then some, like Kate Bush or Peter Gabriel, put out albums every decade. This one will be done, I believe, this year. We're not stalling or dragging our feet, it's just that the music is really epic! We have a really clear vision, and we won't stop shy of fulfilling that on every song. I had a lot more pressure recording my first album at Southern Tracks Recording, because that was a big, pro studio and I was working in between acts like Bruce Springsteen and Faith Hill. I have a little less pressure now, because I'm making my own recording schedule up, but we don't want to waste any time either. So, we try to record every week. Every day is just too much right now, because the other band members have jobs, and Tim Delaney, our recording engineer, is also very busy working with Puddles Pity Party, and he is a string and horn arranger, and an active bass player, so we work in between his hectic schedule at the moment too. Jeff is of course very busy with his legendary band The Swimming Pool Q's. I also do other things like paint, and I craft metaphysical tools in my Etsy shop, Wax & Wane: A Cabinet of Curiosities.


DJ: That's a proper job for a witch!


LK: Yes, (laughs.) I'm pretty serious about my witchy-ness. I am watercoloring a tarot deck right now, which has been inspired by my visions, dreams, and real life experiences these past few years. You could say I've actually LIVED the tarot, by the time I finish this deck. I'm going to pitch the deck and the accompanying book to a few professional publishers. I have plenty of indie projects in the works, so I'd like to just go mainstream with a publishing deal on the deck.


DJ: Do you read cards for other people?


LK: All the time. Especially for rock stars.


"The Hermit" by Lisa King, for The Bent Twig Tarot deck


DJ: You also just started your own indie record label, Sashimmy?


LK: Yes. Sashimmy Records is a subsidiary of my main label, No Big Wheel Records, which I released my first album on. NBW has released several full-length albums, by artists like Tenguzame and The New Synthetics. But, I've always loved the idea of a 45's label. I was ordering sushi a la carte one night at my favorite restaurant, and thought, what if a little label had a order sheet like a sushi restaurant, and the whole thing revolved around your love of Pacific Rim psychedelia and your fascination with Geisha. The idea of “Sashimmy” popped up, a play on the words Sashimi and Shimmy. It was perfect. Many of my friends make experimental music, especially electronic music, as do I. So, it was the perfect outlet to put out 7” singles. Right now, I press them digitally, but the ones that prove to be popular, I want to put out physically. I didn't really expect to include The Hot Place in Sashimmy's roster of artists, but I was approached by Albert Gresens, aka “Album Gatefold”, with an instrumental of the Stooges “Little Doll”. I loved it. I wanted to sing on it, and then Jeff and Mike put guitars on the track, and the next thing you know we released it on Sashimmy. The most recent David J show a few days ago, Albert came up and played bass on it with us, and he worked out so well, he stayed for two other songs.


Albert Gresens, aka "Album Gatefold" playing with The Hot Place


DJ: You haven't really been playing bass at these shows? That's funny, because both you and David are bassists primarily. Not a bass in sight!


LK: I know, right? Two bassists with guitars and of course I play percussion. It just didn't really fit in to this living room aesthetic. But, I did play bass one time at a 2016 show, with David on “Knockin' on Heaven's Door.” I was so nervous my hands were shaking! But it was great to play bass next to my biggest bass influence.


DJ: You've been on stage with these living room shows with some major musicians.


LK: Yes, I know! I'm the snot-nose brat up there with her own indie label, next to these major label musicians like David, Jeff Calder of The Swimming Pool Q's who I've been playing with for two decades, James Hall...(laughs.) But, I've often been the new kid on the scene, and played with artists like Glenn Phillips and the SPQ's. That's how you get better. Play with the best! I really do enjoy the independent spirit and dynamic though, of the music industry right now. Instead of MTV we have YouTube, and instead of labels we have Bandcamp. It's a much more hands on and direct way to make a living. You are really a master of your own destiny. I started my own Patreon Page for The Hot Place, and we have a small network of financial support around the band because of it. It's really an amazing time for independent musicians.


DJ: So, what does the future hold? 


LK: Lots of sleep at the moment. (laughs.) No, seriously though, I'm back to the studio. Cutting vocals this week, and next week, and we have three more songs we want to get down as a band. It's just time to put our nose to the grindstone, and finish this record. I hope you'll see more from Sashimmy. I have this side band called Hexotica, and of course Album Gatefold has more things to release. So, it's exciting. I'm very grateful to be in the position I am, although I've worked really hard to arrive here as well.



Hermès Helena is a goth and industrial DJ, a vegan bakery connoisseur, and a general lover of music, life, art, and cats. Find her spining at Vinyl, and enjoying baked goods at Dulce Vegan Bakery in ATL.



Lisa King recording vocals at Electron Gardens Studio in Atlanta






Lisa King has been a veteran of the Rock-n-Roll psychic wars for quite a few years now. Her band The Hot Place were formed in Atlanta, Georgia in 2011 out of the ashes of the indie darling band The Swimming Pool Q’s. They are currently in the studio recording the follow up to their 2015 debut, “The Language of Birds”, which has seen a recent re-issue on orange vinyl (see the links at the end for information on how to order). Her output can be found on her record label ‘No Big Wheel’ as well as her singles only subsidiary label ‘Sashimmy’. She took a few minutes out of her busy schedule to speak with us at Torched about her side project Hexotica, the release of their debut digital single ‘Lunar Sea’, as well as the rest of her busy work roster….



Thank you for taking some time out to answer some questions for Torched Magazine, Lisa!

It’s my pleasure!


What was the catalyst for Hexotica? It’s quite a departure from your full time band The Hot Place. Who are you collaborating with?

Hexotica is a side project of mine. The Hot Place is the main band that I work with as a vocalist and bassist, with Jeff Calder of the notable Southeastern new-wave band The Swimming Pool Q’s, and Mike Lynn, formerly of college rock band Betty’s Not A Vitamin, who has been playing guitar with me since the days of our 90’s alt-rock band Unminded. The Hot Place is heavily influenced by 1960’s psychedelia, 1970’s classic rock, and the post-punk and new-wave sounds of the 80’s. The Hot Place has a focus on intricate guitar work, songwriting and arranging, and vocal melody in a more traditional rock format.

Hexotica is definitely a departure from that. It’s a tape-loop and experimental electronic recording project with my longtime friend Penny Courtney. I’ve been collaborating with Penny since high school in the early 80’s. We were always very interested in what I’d call “classic industrial” music, like Skinny Puppy and Ministry, and artists who pieced together tape loops and samples like Severed Heads and Pop Will Eat Itself. In fact, I met Penny, who then went by the name of David, one morning in the school hallway because he had a Pop Will Eat Itself shirt on, or maybe the logo was painted on his jacket or he was wearing a badge. We instantly became friends, and created a band with my friend Andy at the time, called Threshold. That band was another experimental electronic band, and we recorded about 3 albums on cassette, using a Tascam and Alesis 4-track, a Peavy DPM-3 and Ensoniq SQ-2 Keyboards, and drum machines like the Linn LM-2 and Alesis HR-16. Midi was kind of new, and we would hook everything up, loop it, play guitar over it, and add really odd vocals. Later on, David and I would continue the project as a duo, under the name Sampling Footstomp. We loved the Casio SK-1 sampling keyboard a lot. I still have all the master cassettes of Threshold and Sampling Footstomp in my archive! Maybe one day I’ll reissue them.

I didn’t really realize how big the early 80’s cassette culture was, until David turned me on to the Australian underground scene. In 2016, he would embark on a huge project involving the German label Vinyl on Demand, writing the extensive liner notes to the 7 x Vinyl LP Compilation titled “Magnetophonics- Australian Underground Music 1978-1984” (VOD144). It’s really more of a small book, with photographs, art, and interviews. He has always been passionate about tape loop culture, and his collection of rare cassettes is really impressive. The handmade art, and live element of the performances on some of those cassettes is amazing. Artists like The Loop Orchestra, Kurt Volentine, The Horse He’s Sick, Browning Mummery, and Severed Heads are featured on the compilation, as well as some Terse Tapes artists, which was founded by Tom Ellard in 1979. David conducted a lot of interviews with the artists involved, and engaged in a significant amount of research. My home studio, No Big Wheel Studios, transferred some of the more rare cassettes to a digital format, so that the music could appear on the boxed set. That was a real honor.

I must mention here that David (gender Male) is transitioning into Penny (gender Female). So, from this point on, I’ll refer to her as “she”. Penny is also a great DJ, and I’ve worked with her as DJ Gori in the past. In yet another side band of ours, The Von Vons, we have made some EP’s and Singles for World Goth Day. All of the funds we raised from our special WGD downloads would go to support The Sophie Lancaster Foundation, a charity which spreads awareness and promotes tolerance, concerning bullying Goth and Alternative Subcultures. Penny makes a lot of electronic music on her own, as well as some really interesting videos, which you can find on the No Big Wheel Records/Sashimmy You Tube channel.


How would you describe the sound? Ambient? Electronica? 

Probably a little of both. It’s certainly atmospheric at times, but definitely based in Electronic music. “Lunar Sea”, our recent debut single, started off with me creating a tape loop with my guitar. I used my trusty Telecaster, and ran it through my Boss Delay and Chorus Pedal, through a small Marshall practice amp, and discovered a chimey sound, which was reminiscent of a Hawaiian ukelele or something like that. I’m a big fan of Johnny Marr, and anytime I can achieve a good, chimey delay sound, I always secretly think he’d be proud of me for that. After looping the guitar, I had about 4 parts. Penny then assembled them in an arrangement she liked, and added what I call the “nautical atmospherics.” The sounds are whooshy, and sound like sea spray, or perhaps the creaking underwater sounds of the Nautilus submarine from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Then, I took the song into Electron Gardens Studio, where The Hot Place is currently recording, and with Tim Delaney as recording engineer, I added my signature 1964 Joe Maphis Mosrite bass sound on there, and recorded the vocal track. I think the vocals were influenced by Kate Bush, or perhaps Bjork or Elizabeth Fraser of The Cocteau Twins. I am also a big fan of Siouxie Sioux’s side project, The Creatures. So, all of that inspired the vocal performance. The B-side, “Obscurum per Obscurius”, which in latin means “explaining the obscure by means of the more obscure,” began with a Wurlitzer and drum tape loop I created. Penny collects interesting samples and sounds all of the time, and she had this perfect sound of a woman’s voice, coming through what’s been called “a haunted Victrola”. So, she added the atmospherics to that track, and also created the arrangement. When I hear it, I imagine that you’ve crossed the Lunar Sea, and now you are stranded in a Bermuda Triangle of sorts, trying to tune in your ship’s radio, only to pick up mermaid or siren’s song.


What are the influences for Hexotica? 

Hexotica is influenced by a love of Pacific Rim Psychedelia, like those late 50’s and early 60’s Martin Denny albums, and a bit of literary and cinematic influences such as Homer’s “The Odyssey” and “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea” by Jules Verne. We are both big vintage Science Fiction fans, and I think Hexotica reflects that slightly nautical, perhaps Victorian or Steampunky vibe, with a little bit of Tiki culture tossed in for good measure. We are both fond of Cthonic sea creatures, like Octopus and the spooky glow of the Angler Fish, so it was easy for us to let our imaginations run away with us. I’d love to make a video for the songs, and can see a Victorian paper silhouetted puppet show with denizens of the ocean.


Are there plans for a full length release? 

I would love to. Right now, we have an almost full album of songs by The Von Vons, our second electronic side project, which is more influenced by Kraftwerk and New Order. We adopt alternate persona’s as “Greta Von Greta” and “Fritz Von Fritz”…The Von Vons. It’s a bit of a nod to Sprockets, “where we dahnce”! But, as Penny and I make music in our own bands, I think we’ll file a few things under Hexotica for sure.


What are you currently working on? Isn’t The Hot Place in the studio currently? 

The Hot Place is almost finished with our second album! Our first release, “The Language of Birds” was released in 2014 on 180 Gram Orange vinyl, on my independent label No Big Wheel Records. We successfully funded a Kickstarter campaign to press the record, which was definitely a lot of work. The album was one of the last projects to be recorded at the historic analog studio, Southern Tracks in Atlanta. I was working in between artists like Mastodon, Faith Hill, and Bruce Springsteen, and just going in to the studio at odd hours doing everything I could to finish the record. It was my first time in a big, analog, professional recording studio, and it was very intimidating. I hung in there with the support of my guitarist and producer Jeff Calder, and we finished the album. We asked Richard Lloyd, one of the founding members of NYC 70’s proto-punk band Television, to appear as a guest on the album on two tracks, “Saturn Moved” and “Petals of Ruin (reprise)”. That was a huge thrill.

In 2016, I was invited to open up a series of living room shows for David J Haskins, bassist and founding member of Bauhaus/Love and Rockets. I was a teenage goth girl, and my favorite band in high school was definitely Bauhaus, so it felt like a dream of mine had come true. Eventually, in a two year period, The Hot Place would host and play nine living room shows with David J, in Atlanta, Athens, and even in a crypt inside a Victorian cemetery in Savannah, Ga. During that time, The Hot Place was writing new material, that would become our second record. Some of it was written and test-run “on the road” you could say. Unlike “The Language of Birds”, which was mostly songs I had written in the 80’s or 90’s with a very stylized post-punk sound, the new material is very dark psychedelic, and composed spontaneously with Jeff and Mike, as a band.

While doing these living room tours, I played David J one of the tracks, “Hell, Highwater, or Sunlight”, and he instantly heard a harmonica part on there. I am familiar with his harmonica playing from a few Love and Rockets songs, so I knew it would be perfect. He tracked that harmonica part at Electron Gardens with Tim Delaney, before one of our shows, and did it in one take! It sounds incredible, very spooky and haunting. The album will be out this year on No Big Wheel Records. Speaking of independent labels, I also have a subsidiary label, Sashimmy Records, which specializes in 45’s/singles only. One of my Sashimmy artists, Albert Gresens, who goes by the moniker Album Gatefold, wanted to release a very dark and dreamy version of The Stooges song, “Little Doll” on Sashimmy. When I heard what he had created, with this deep tremolo guitar and droning bass, I knew I wanted to sing on it. It has since become another track which will appear on the new record, and Albert joined us on stage playing bass at our last living room show with David J in February.


Tell us about your labels No Big Wheel and Sashimmy Records. 

No Big Wheel was started in 2014 as a vehicle to release The Hot Place’s debut album. I had always wanted to use the name, “No Big Wheel”, with a graphic of a little kid dressed as an executive flying around on a big wheel or a tricycle. The irony of the fact that there is literally no “big wheel” at the label, was an irresistible pun. But, I’ve always been a fan of artist-run or small labels, like Sub Pop, Dischord, DB Records, Bar/None, Third Man, Mute and the like. So, I embarked on the adventure. So far, No Big Wheel is mainly concerned with full-length releases, though we did put out a few EP’s. We have a catalog of 6 full-length releases, and 7 singles/EP’s. It’s getting much easier to find sources to press vinyl right now, than it was in 2014, so we hope to release some more physical wax in the future.

One night I was at my favorite sushi restaurant, and I was looking at the a la carte menu, thinking about how cool it would be to have a label with an old-school paper order form, like the ones that used to come inside LP’s, which looked like a sushi menu. Where you just tick the little boxes on the side, for pieces of Nigiri or Sashimi. You could order 45’s “a la carte” just like sushi, but it would be tasty pieces of wax or digital downloads instead. So that was a catalyst. I’ve always been fascinated by the mysterious Geisha culture- the makeup, the style, the literary and musical education of the courtesans, and equally fascinated by the gyrating go-go girls of the 60’s. So the name “Sashimmy” as a play on Sashimi and Shimmy, just embodied all of that for me. I think of the label as the “little sister” of No Big Wheel, but only focused on experimental, psychedelic, or electronic music, and only releasing singles.

Many artists I know have interesting, or odd music they have created, that just doesn’t fit on a full-length, or is too different to fit in with their main recording projects. So, I hope that Sashimmy is a place where artists feel like they can release their creative singles, or even create an alternate identity. So far we have a roster of 18 releases, including local artists from Atlanta, and international artists from the UK and Croatia, and that is very exciting. Penny and I both alternate between creating the album covers for the label, and I make all of the website and graphic design, which is a big part of the look and feel of the label’s ethos. I’m also collaborating with my friend Peter Heckman in New Zealand, an artist who designed the cover for “Little Doll”, and all of the David J/The Hot Place tour posters. I really liked how 4AD and Nettwerk created releases with a certain consistent and distinct “look” in the 80’s, and we wanted to do that sort of thing with Sashimmy. There’s an element of Kitch, Sci Fi, Tiki, and Horror-rock in the imagery, and in some of the music of our artists, and I really look forward to moving forward with Sashimmy with some Autumn releases, because frankly, it’s a whole lot of fun!


Thank you again for spending time answering my questions and all the best!

Any time!



Helpful Links:



No Big Wheel:


No Big Wheel/Sashimmy Recs You Tube Channel:


Lunar Sea/Obscurum per Obscurius single:


The Hot Place:


Little Doll Single:




The Swimming Pool Q’s:


Electron Gardens Studio:


The Sophie Lancaster Foundation:


World Goth Day:









"The Hot Place Gets Cerebral" by Chad Radford for Creative Loafing ATL, 2018. A nice piece on the 2018 show at Little Tree Studios with David J and James Hall, and the new single, "Little Doll."

By CHAD RADFORD Wednesday February 28, 2018 02:33 pm EST

Article Originally Appears in Creative Loafing

At the beginning of the year, the Hot Place rolled out the first glimpse at a new 7-inch single, that finds the dark psychedelic rock trio teaming up with Album Gatefold for a cover of the Stooges’ 1969 classic, “Little Doll.”


Vinyl copies of the single are slated to arrive by May 1. In the meantime, “Little Doll” is posted up via Hot Place singer and bass player Lisa King’s Sashimmy Records’ Bandcamp page.


Album Gatefold is the moniker used by Albert Gresens, who plays bass on this rendition of “Little Doll.” Gresens, a former member of alternative rock bands Engine, the Jung Generation, and Chapter 24 submitted the “Little Doll” cover to Sashimmy last year. King liked it so much that she decided to sing on it. The lineup for this recording features King’s voice leading Swimming Pool Q’s singer and guitarist Jeff Calder, along with guitarist Mike Lynn, and Gresens handling bass and electronic percussion.


Here, the primitive, naïve genius of the Stooges original version of the song takes on a slow and sultry tone. Each of the song’s moving parts are rendered with darker hues, parting ways with Iggy and Co.’s reliance on the instinctive desires of the id, and embrace the more deliberate rhythms of the superego. Calder’s backward guitar solo might also be one of the most avant-garde treatments the song has ever received.


Sashimmy is a subsidiary of King’s No Big Wheel label. “I call it No Big Wheel's ‘little sister,’” she says. “I wanted to create a label that only releases 7-inch singles, and is geared toward experimental music, based in electronica, psychedelia, industrial, drone, psychobilly, horror rock, and really anything unusual.”


King has released a handful of collaborations and other offerings via Sashimmy with local artists such as Penny Courtney, Tim Delaney, and Croatian artist Juraj Vojvodi─ç who goes by the moniker Duke George. “It's amazing how many people create experimental music on the side, and somehow, the pressure is off when you are just working on one or two songs at a time,” King says.


“Little Doll” is a stand alone single, but was recorded during the sessions for the Hot Place’s upcoming full-length, which is slated to arrive later this year. The title remains TBD.


The Hot place plays Little Tree Art Studios on Thurs., March 1, opening for David J. Haskins, and special guest James Hall. $25. 7 p.m. 2834 Franklin St., Avondale Estates.



The Hot Place opened for David J (Bauhaus/Love and Rockets) on a SE leg of his "Vagabond Songs" tour, June of 2017. Some nice press was featured both online and in print. Thanks to Jim Reed and Chad Radford.

Athens Flagpole Magazine "Calendar Pick", by Chad Radford


An Article in Connect Savannah by Anna Chandler

An article in Do Savannah, and interview with Lisa King of The Hot Place, by Jim Reed.

Creative Loafing's "See and Do", article by Chad Radford.



A big thanks to Chad Radford, and Flagpole Magazine in Athens, Ga. for the support of David J's show on Tuesday, 9/20 at The World Famous, with The Hot Place as opening act. You can click here for ticketing.


Athens friends, The David J show, with The Hot Place as opening support, made the Flagpole Magazine Calendar Pick for this issue, on print page 17! (Thanks, Kenny for the photo.) I hope you'll come see us at Athens Institute for Contemporary Art on 6/14, and don't forget, David will be signing/reading from his book, "Who Killed Mister Moonlight? Bauhaus, Black Magick, and Benediction" at Avid Bookshop on 6/13.
The show is RSVP, Advance Tickets only, and $25, 7 p.m. door.



 A great interview with David J by Chad Radford for CLATL, about his new music, magick, and his return to Atlanta and Athens in June, with The Hot Place as opening support. 


A nice bit in CL's Crib Notes today by Chad Radford. The David J Atlanta Living Room show is coming up in a few weeks.  The Hot Place will be warming up the crowd with a few acoustic tunes. It's an intimate show, and sure to sell out soon, so don't forget to engage that ticketing link!

Photo by William Landers


Photo: Uncut Magazine rates Lost at Sea reissue "9 out of 10."

This Saturday, May 30,  Jeff Calder of The Swimming Pool Q's and The Hot Place will be playing a terrific and historical event with Glenn Phillips Band at the Red Clay Music Foundry in Duluth, GA.  Glenn will perform his 1974 album "Lost at Sea"  and songs from his 1976 release, "Swim in the Wind."  Cindy Wilson of the B-52's is special guest.

I had the honor of playing keyboards live with The Glenn Phillips band, between 2003-2005-ish, in the Angel Sparks album period, alongside Mike Holbrook and my current guitarist, Jeff Calder. My drummer Robert Schmid also played with Glenn during the early 00's. This Lost at Sea reissue show is sure to be a good one! - Lisa King

Read more about The Glenn Phillips Band in a recent Creative Loafing Atlanta article.
Saturday, May 30, 8 PM
3116 Main St., Duluth, GA


Lisa King of The Hot Place talks to DJ Hermès Helena about the making of the band's second full-length album, and working with Jeff Calder & Robert Schmid of the Swimming Pool Q's, along with Mike Lynn. 

The Language of Birds by The Hot Place (No Big Wheel Records) is among David Bash's Top 125 Albums, in his "Best of 2014" lists. The record was produced by The Swimming Pool Q's Jeff Calder, who also plays guitar on the album and performs live with the band. Featured both on the recording and behind the kit live, Robert Schmid of the Q's plays with The Hot Place on drums. Mike Lynn rounds out the lineup on guitar. Special Guest Richard Lloyd of Television makes an appearance on two songs from TLOB. Congrats, all!

Thanks to Ali at Buttonhead for this fantastic interview with Lisa King of The Hot Place! Ali made our pinback buttons for our LP Release Party and Kickstarter packages. Visit her shop online and on Etsy if you ever need buttons, magnets, custom temporary tattoos, and more! 

Thanks to Bobby Moore for the interview with The Hot Place in Creative Loafing's "Crib Notes", Nov. 14th 2014! 

New wavers' in-studio chemistry ignites the Hot Place

When it came time for veteran Atlanta musician and songwriter Lisa King (Unminded, Threshold) to take a batch of solo songs into Southern Tracks Recording, she rounded up some old friends, including local New Wave staple Jeff Calder (Swimming Pool Q’s). The process of bringing her ideas to life using vintage instruments in a modern recording studio found King’s recording project,the Hot Place, gelling into a proper band. The unit forged while recording its debut The Language of Birds LP makes its second live appearance at its Sat., Nov. 15 album release party at Little Tree Studios. King and Calder recently opened up about the origins of the band and how they landed a guest appearance on the album by legendary Television guitarist Richard Lloyd.


Just for clarification, did the Hot Place start out as a solo project for Lisa? If so, or if this decision came earlier in the process, how did you decide to collaborate with Jeff?

Lisa: The Hot Place started out as a nebulous collection of songs I had written between the early ‘80s and the present. But when we began working in the studio, it became clear that this was more than just a recording project — it was becoming an actual band. I wanted to bring together a group of professional musicians and record an album the way the Cure or Echo and the Bunnymen would have in about 1984. Growing up in Atlanta, I was of course familiar with the Swimming Pool Q's, and I liked the new wave styling of the group, so I knew Jeff would understand the sound I was looking for with my project. During the Q's Blue Tomorrow years, Jeff worked with the British producer Mike Howlett (who cut “I Ran” by A Flock of Seagulls), so I was confident that he could help me create an authentic post-punk experience at Southern Tracks Recording, which had the best collection of analog tape machines and vintage gear in the city. I had already worked with Jeff musically, playing keyboards with the SPQ's during their Royal Academy of Reality era in the early 2000's, so I knew it would be easy to collaborate with him both musically and as a producer for this project.


Jeff, how much had you been exposed to Lisa and her music before this project?

Jeff: I knew about Lisa’s work with her band Unminded. Later, when she was playing keyboards with the Glenn Phillips Band and the Swimming Pool Q’s, I became aware of her newer songs, which I thought had a terrific creative vision, though I felt they could benefit from the focus that comes with brushing up in the studio. She had very definite ideas about the attitude she wanted to project, and how she wanted things to sound, in line with her goth and post-punk aesthetics, which I understood pretty well, having survived the original 1980s wave of deep flanging and continuous delay. I contributed a few lyrics and guitar parts, but this was her album. She performed nearly everything except drums, which were played by Robert Schmid (Swimming Pool Q’s, Kevin Dunn). I think I was most effective as an organizer and as an intermediary between Ms. King and the engineers, helping communicate her, at times, arcane ideas and finding common ground with modern rock’s recording methodologies, which easily can become overwhelming.

The material you sent me makes this sound like a recording project that might lead to the occasional show. Are you guys going to play regularly, a few times a year, or is that still up in the air?

Lisa: We debuted at the International Pop Overthrow in September, and I believe we'll start playing out regularly, including some regional tours. In the studio, we realized it was very comfortable playing together because we had already all played with each other over the past two decades, in different combinations: Our guitarist Mike Lynn and I were in Unminded, and I played with Robert and Jeff in both the Glenn Phillips Band and the Q's. So we had a lot of live chemistry right off the bat.

The press releases you sent me already read like some of these songs took shape over time. Lisa, are you constantly working on new material? If so, is there a chance some of it might become the Hot Place songs down the line?

Lisa: Right now all of my songwriting focus is on material for the Hot Place. Unlike some of the songs on The Language of Birds, which I had been toting around from the past, we are writing new songs for a second record more as a band. I really look forward to creating collective material with Jeff and Mike, who are both strong songwriters themselves, and I’m inspired by the energy that Robert brings to the drum kit.

What I think would interest a lot of readers is the Richard Lloyd collaboration. How long had you all known Richard? How did he become part of the record? What was it like working with him?

Jeff: I was at Southern Tracks studio in Atlanta when he was recording with my friend Matthew Sweet in the late '90s. Then, in 2008, Glenn Phillips and I opened for his band in Savannah. I held on to his business card, so, when Lisa insisted that Richard play on “Saturn Moved” — given its cosmic subject matter and Richard being an “alchemical guitarist” — I called him on the spot and asked if he would like to do it. He said he “had a lot of planes on the runway,” but he liked the tune nevertheless and cut a solo for it on his own in Manhattan. At Southern Tracks, we mixed it into the song, just as you hear it. Richard was a pleasure to work with — even by mail. Very professional. A true artist. He has a tart sense of humor and is a brilliant, if unorthodox, guitar instructor.

The Hot Place plays a record release show with Kevin Dunn and DJ Gori on Sat., Nov. 15 at Little Tree Art Studios. Free. 7 p.m. 2834 Franklin St., Avondale Estates, GA 30002.

A nice piece on The Hot Place by Georgia Music Magazine, for their Fall 2014 issue.

Members of Television, Pool Q’s Converge In The Hot Place


Two members of The Swimming Pool Q’s (including group leader Jeff Calder) combine with two former members of an Atlanta-based group of the 1990s called Unminded to make up The Hot Place. The group’s ten-song debut album, The Language of Birds, is now out on tangerine-colored 12” vinyl, with a coinciding release show scheduled for Nov. 15th.

Led by singer/songwriter/bassist Lisa King, The Hot Place create striking, reflective pop-rock, dreamy and seductive with dashes of measured volatility. King is joined in The Hot Place by her onetime Unminded bandmate Mike Lynn along with Calder and his Pool’s Q’s comrade Robert Schmid. Additionally, guitarist Richard Lloyd, best known as a key member of pioneering New York City band Television, guests on two cuts.

Free to the public, a release party for The Language of Birds is being held Nov. 15th at Little Tree Art Studios, 2834 Franklin St. in Avondale Estates, just east of Atlanta. The event begins at 7 p.m. with an opening set from veteran Atlanta guitarist Kevin Dunn. Copies of The Hot Place’s record will be for sale.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Jeff Clark has spoken. You guys pick up a print copy of Stomp and Stammer magazine while you're out and about in THE ATL. The Hot Place gets a mention in this month's 18th Anniversary Issue (Nov. 14). You'll find us in the Support Our Troops section.

"The debut LP from Lisa King's long-simmering group The Hot Place is finally out in a fancy tangerine-color 12” vinyl package showcasing ten cuts of seductive, impeccably crafted pop-rock with a smudge of goth-girl eyeliner. The mood throughout The Language of Birds is largely wistful, the songwriting is top-notch and the sound, production, and musicianship are pristine, which is no surprise considering the veteran players she's enlisted (Jeff Calder and Robert Schmid from The Swimming Pool Q's, guitarist Mike Lynn from King's 90s group Unminded and ex-Television guitarist Richard Lloyd guesting on two tracks) and the time and work they've all put into this project. After only making their debut performance in September at the Star Bar, this month they're throwing a record release party at Little Tree Art Studios in Avondale Estates. The Nov. 15th event is free, BYOB and non-smoking. Copies of the vinyl will be for sale, and because there weren't enough old men already involved, Kevin Dunn will also be playing."

-Jeff Clark
Support Our Troops
Stomp and Stammer, Nov.14
18th Anniversary Issue

A very nice Creative Loafing "Crib Notes" article about The Hot Place, from September 15, the Monday after our debut at the International Pop Overthrow festival at The Star Bar, in Atlanta. 

The Hot Place sizzles on debut LP

Following the Hot Place’s Sept. 12 live debut as a part of the Star Bar’s International Pop Overthrow, the group unveiled a solid first LP with The Language of Birds (No Big Wheel Records). Comparisons to '60s loving throwback acts are unavoidable, as the overall vibe of the album evokes the slick sounds of garage mainstays Detroit Cobras, with less bite and more saccharine. Also, singer and bassist Lisa King’s voice is reminiscent of pop legend Leslie Gore. But the album does not strictly pay homage to one era. Album highlights such as “Run Away Today” and “20th Century” give an updated twist to equally catchy new wave and college radio influences, creating a sound that's both fresh and familiar.

The recording project-turned performing band is the creative vision of King and producer and guitarist Jeff Calder, best known as a founding member of new wave rockers the Swimming Pool Q’s. Rounding out the lineup for the LP is guitarist Mike Lynn and original Swimming Pool Q’s drummer Robert Schmid. Further adding to the group’s legitimacy Television guitarist Richard Lloyd makes a guest appearance on the song “Saturn Moved.”

You can now stream the recent 2 part extensive interview with Lisa King of The Hot Place with DJ Hermes Helena in real time on YouTube! Looking for something interesting to listen to over coffee? Just hit the play button! LK talks about recording her debut album The Language of Birds at Southern Tracks studio in Atlanta with Jeff Calder of The Swimming Pool Q's, her vintage Joe Maphis Mosrite and Fender VI Basses, her artist-owned label No Big Wheel Records, how to make vinyl in 2014, and her philosophy of art rock.

Part One:

Part Two:



Blog Talk Radio-Arts Talk Interview #104 with Lisa King and Jeff Calder of The Hot Place

With hosts Dennis and Duane Johnson-5/19/2013


 Arts Talk with the Johnson Brothers is a weekly online live blog talk radio program where the brothers interview artists, musicians, actors, dancers and other creative people.

***Listen to this interview with Lisa King and Jeff Calder streaming on demand, or download a free mp3 from the iTunes Music Store and listen using the media player of your choice!


Arts Talk: Today our guests are musicians Lisa King and Jeff Calder. Welcome to the show Lisa and Jeff.

LK: Hi, how's it going Dennis and Duane. Nice to be here!

JC: Hello!

Arts Talk: So Lisa, give us a little background into how you got started in music, and when...and all of that.

LK: Well, I have a long history of writing songs that actually started in my teens in high school. I started playing piano when I was around five, and even as a small child I wrote little ditties on the piano and on my xylophone which I both adored. When I was about 13 one day my Dad came home from work with an Ovation acoustic guitar, and I thought, “Wow, okay, here's my chance. I'll get to learn to play guitar and I can rock out with all my punk rock friends in garage bands!” So, I did like a lot of musicians, and I got myself a Mel Bay Chord Book and I learned all the first position chords that I could and I started writing songs immediately.

Actually two of the songs on my new album, The Language of Birds, Run Away Today” and “Two Steps Ahead” were some of the more sophisticated songs [that I put together in high school], I guess if you can call three chord rock and roll “sophisticated!”

I went quickly from acoustic guitar to electric guitar, because I decided I wanted to play at Cop Calling Volumes! My first rig was a Telecaster blasted through a Fender Twin amp, so I wanted to play really, really loud. So, I started playing in garage bands in high school. My first band was a punk band called Grave Shift. I played with my friends Travis Kotler and Rob Knight. Travis went on to play with an Atlanta band called Pineal Ventana, and he recorded with Steve Askew at Microgroove Studios. My friend Rob is now a really popular tattoo artist (Rob Knight Ink) and a drummer [who played with The Blacktop Rockets in Atlanta.] 

Grave Shift, 1988-Rob Knight, 2nd from left, Travis Kotler, Far Right-photo by Lisa King

So, I rocked out in those garage bands, and moving on through there I started realizing there were a lot of guitar players around, and if I really wanted to stick around I needed to learn how to play bass. I was always attracted to bass, and bass lines, and the grooves of most songs, so I picked up a bass, and actually I didn't have a bass rig. So, I just plugged in to my Marantz stereo speakers, and I still don't know how I didn't blow those. But I started rocking out the bass and playing along with a lot of post-punk bands like The Cure, The Jesus and Mary Chain, and The Church, and I started playing bass that way.

Arts Talk: You went to college and studied Prinkmaking there, right?

LK: I did. First, right out of high school I went to SCAD, I went down to Savannah, at the Savannah College of Art & Design. Then, I came back from Savannah back to Atlanta, and I studied with Larry Thomas [at Georgia State University], and I fell in love with Etching. So, I earned my BFA in Printmaking and Painting, and studied with painter Ralph Gilbert. I went up to Canada for a while, and I learned a lot of non-toxic etching techniques with Keith Howard, up in Peace River, Alberta, Canada. Etching, especially in a home studio, can be really toxic because you are dealing with stuff like nitric acid, and toxic grounds on your plate, so I started focusing in on non-toxic etching and went from there.

Shall We? - Electrik Engraving by Lisa King, 2005

Arts Talk: What was it that guided you towards Printmaking instead of Music as a study during school?

LK: Actually, while I was in college I did play. I played with a band called Unminded. I played with my friend Andy King on drums, and my current guitar player, Mike Lynn. Mike was in a band called Betty's Not A Vitamin in the late 80's and early 90's with Ivan Ruyle [on bass]. So we were all rocking and rolling [as Unminded] in college. So I was kind of working in tandem with painting and printmaking, and playing in Unminded. So, actually I did them both at the same time.

But I was always attracted to handmade books and bookbinding, and there was just something about etching . I love to draw, and there was just something about the process, because you really don't see what you are doing until you pull that first print. And I always found that really intriguing. You're working on the plate and you are manipulating this [metal] plate with acids or directly engraving. I do a lot of electric engraving right on the plate. I saw a lot of similarities between that process of building a song and making a print. So, they worked really well for me, to work in tandem.

Unminded-1995, Vic Richard, Andy King, Lisa King and Mike Lynn, photo by Peter Heckman

Arts Talk: Are you still doing a lot of artwork?

 LK: I haven't been doing a lot of stuff, I have been doing some drawing and painting. But, I'm really immersed right now in The Hot Place working on some live rehearsals. Robert Schmid, who was the Swimming Pool Q's original drummer plays drums with us, and again, Mike Lynn, who has been playing guitar with me for over a decade [is playing with us], and Jeff, we are all working on getting our live show together with the band. So that's what I have really been focusing more on. Just getting ready to play live, and working with The Hot Place.

Arts Talk: Talk about your new album a little bit. How long did it take you to work on this, or how long have you been working on it?

LK: We went into Southern Tracks Recording around 2008-2009. During the “early 00's” I played keyboards with The Glenn Phillips Band. Glenn Phillips is a well know Atlanta guitar player, who played with The Hampton Grease Band in the '70's. And I've always been a fan of the new-wave scene in Atlanta, Pylon, R.E.M., the B-52's, and The Swimming Pool Q's, and I started playing keyboards with the Q's, when they released [their album] The Royal Academy of Reality. And so I started working musically with Jeff around that time. I presented him some songs, he listened to some of the demos that I had been recording in my home project studio, and I asked him, “Would you like to make a record? Would you like to produce it?” And he said “Yes,” so we went into Southern Tracks in 2008 with Robert and with Mike, and we started laying down the tracks that would become The Language of Birds.

Jeff Calder and Lisa King, beginning The Language of Birds in 2008-Photo by Lisa King

Arts Talk: Jeff, give us a little bit of your background.

JC: Well, I started the Swimming Pool Q's in 1978, and we put out a record in 1980-81 called The Deep End, it was our first album that was on DB Records which was a pioneering Atlanta based new-wave independent label who put out The B-52's first single, Pylon, Love Tractor, and many records from the Atlanta and Athens music scene. The Swimming Pool Q's have continued into the present day. We had two records in the mid-eighties on A&M Records, which that is a forthcoming reissue later in June. We have made records in the intervening years. And I have a background as a writer before that in the 70's.

I've been a”rat” for a long time. I helped manage Southern Tracks Studios for many years. And that was a lot of fun. I love being around recording, whether I am the one doing it, or someone else. I just love the studio.

The Swimming Pool Q's-1980, photo by Richard Perez

Arts Talk: Jeff, have you worked with Matthew Sweet?

JC: Matthew and I are close friends. I haven't worked with him, but I did fairly extensive liner notes for his album To Understand, it was a compilation of all of his early recordings. So we are good friends, and I like him quite a bit. I was in Southern Tracks whenever he made two albums in the 90's, Blue Sky on Mars and 100% Fun.

LK: And guitar player Richard Lloyd [of Television] has worked a lot with Matthew. And Richard is actually playing on a song on our album, a track called “Saturn Moved”. We met Richard both at Southern Tracks, and The Glenn Phillips Band was opening up for Richard Lloyd in Savannah. In 2007 Richard put out an record called The Radiant Monkey, so we met Richard and talked to him, and we thought that he would be perfect to play the solo on “Saturn Moved”, which is kind of angular. [It was influenced by] a show I had just seen, Robert Fripp, he had just played a show and I think I was the only girl in the Variety Playhouse at that show. He had a Q&A section and I raised my hand to ask a question, and Fripp goes, “Oh my god, it's a girl!” But, Richard and Matthew have a history of working together, so they were both at Southern Tracks at different times, and so we had both met Richard Lloyd that way.

Southern Tracks Recording, in Atlanta, 2012- making The Language of Birds by The Hot Place, Photo by Lisa King

Arts Talk: Outside of Alternative Rock, who are some of your biggest influences?

LK: Well, my early influences were [from] listening to my parent's record collections as a child. I loved The Doors, Pink Floyd, The Eagles, Jimi Hendrix. Probably the most obvious influences for me are the post-punk, goth, and new-wave bands like The Cure, The Church, Siouxsie and the Banshees, and The Jesus and Mary Chain. I still listen to a lot of that. There are a lot of new records out right now by a lot of those bands. Skinny Puppy just put out a new record that sounds absolutely fantastic. I've been listening a lot to the new S.W.A.N.S. record. David J of Bauhaus/Love & Rockets has a new album out that I've been listening to a lot. The new Johnny Marr record, The Messenger, I've been listening to that and “Upstarts” is a really incredible single off of that album. One of my favorite things right now is by a friend's band, Ian Webber. He is an English musician living in L.A., and he has a band called The Idyllists. His new album has a great title, The Grave and Unfortunate Life of Lord Hoffway and his Magnificent Piano. Ian was in a band called The Tender Idols in the 90's here in Atlanta. But it's a beautifully recorded album, with really fantastic songs. It has a Euro-pop new-wave feel. Also a friend of mine, Tiare Helberg has a new EP called Black Unicorn, which features one of my favorite guitar players, Marty Willson Piper and some other members of The Church and the Brian Jonestown Massacre. Our recording engineer Steven Morrison, who recorded and mixed most of my album, he played on a track [ on The Language of Birds ]called “Nighttime Summerman”-a beautiful piano solo, some vibes and 12-string-he has a band called Six Shot Revival, which I would call “a whiskey fueled apocalypse of Southern Rock!” They are a great band. They are playing on my birthday, on May 31st here at The Masquerade at the Georgia Music Awards Showcase, which is going on. So, I've been listening to a lot of Steven's stuff. So it's really diverse. I listen to a lot of different things. A lot of jazz. A lot of punk and new-wave. A lot of indie and power-pop. A pretty wide selection of things.

Arts Talk: Let's go ahead and play one of the songs off of your album The Language of Birds. Then we can talk more about the production of it. This is “Petals of Ruin.”

LK: All right! That would be great!

(Listen to Petals of Ruin streaming for free here)

Arts Talk: Very nice!

LK: Thanks! That's the song that we've currently recently officially partnered with World Goth Day, and we're giving away a free download of “Petals of Ruin” right now at You can go there and follow the links, or go to and you can check that out if you'd like to download a free copy of “Petals of Ruin.”

Arts Talk: Do you have a website where people can go to check out your music and art?

LK: Yes. Currently the entire album The Language of Birds was released May 1st digitally. You can go to to download the record. We also have an official website at And for information on The Swimming Pool Q's you can go to

Official World Goth Day poster-May 2013-Designed by Lisa King, photo by Jason O'Donnell

We are really excited about our partnership with World Goth Day this month. A lot of people don't know that World Goth Day is actually a National Awareness Day that is celebrated every year on May 22nd. It's a really cool event that was started back in the UK in 2009. BBC Radio 6 was spotlighting a number of musical subcultures like darkwave, post-punk, and goth, and if you are familiar with BBC Radio, and especially I think of John Peel and the Peel Sessions. The BBC has always had a long legacy of supporting bands like The Fall and the Joy Division, and The Cure did some John Peel Sessions. So, in 2009 DJ's Cruel Britannia and Martin OldGoth started World Goth Day, which helps raise awareness of [the problem of bullying] and supports tolerance towards alternative subcultures. World Goth Day supports several charities, one is the Sophie Lancaster Foundation. Its a brutal story, but Sophie and her boyfriend were actually murdered in a park in Lancanshire, UK in 2007. And the police believe the attack was provoked because the couple were wearing gothic clothing, and they were pretty outspoken members of the goth subculture. So, if you are interested in that [charity] you can visit and for more information. So, this Wednesday, May 22nd, we're asking everybody to join us and “get your goth on!” Pull out your eyeliner and go to your local goth night at your local club and rock out!

Arts Talk: And go download your free song!

LK: Yes! It's a free download, and it's up right now and it will be up until the end of the month (May 31st.) It's on our Bandcamp page, and if you just go to you'll see the World Goth Day logo, the little smiley face wearing Siouxsie and the Banshees makeup. Right now our whole album is downloadable with artwork in its entirety for $10, and we have a pre-order in place, because we're going to be pressing heavy audiophile vinyl of our album in Tangerine Orange, so you can go pre-order that, it will be $29.99 on our Bandcamp site. So, if you want to spin The Language of Birds on vinyl, you can go there to do that.

DJ's Cruel Britannia and Martin OldGoth-The Founders of World Goth Day in conjunction with BBC 6, 2009

Arts Talk: The artwork for the album looks really great.

LK: Thank you! I worked with an Atlanta graphic designer, Ash Arnett, we collaborated on that. The photograph was taken by a guitar player that was in an Atlanta band The Sightseers, who Jeff worked with, Jason O'Donnell. He did the cover photo for that. Ash did the graphic design for the Swimming Pool Q's double CD reissue The A&M Years that will be coming out on Bar-None Records on June 25th. While we are talking about the Q's, they will be playing Smith's Olde Bar in Atlanta on June 15th. They will be celebrating their Jade Anniversary, their 35th Anniversary.

The Language of Birds-Album Cover-Design by Lisa King/Ash Arnett, photo by Jason O'Donnell

Arts Talk: So you'll be having a busy birthday coming up.

LK: Absolutely! And The Hot Place will be playing some shows this Summer and Fall in Atlanta, and in Athens, and some dates around the Southeast, so you can check our website and we'll have all of that information up on there. And we'll have CD's and T-Shirts and hopefully some Orange Vinyl with us as well.

Arts Talk: When you are talking about music, and the different areas that music is real popular in, or there is a lot of music being made, Atlanta is not always one of the biggest areas that comes up. But there are a lot of good musicians and singer/songwriters out of Atlanta.

LK: Atlanta has always had a very diverse music scene. Right now we have retro-lounge acts like Kingsized, who kind of remind me of Brian Setzer, they are a rock and roll orchestra and they play a lot in conjunction with Dames-A-Flame Dancers. We have some great bands here. There's a lot of garage rock, like some friends of mine called The 45's. They are kind of a throwback to like, Lenny Kaye's Nuggets Collection, and they are a lot of fun. They play a lot of festivals. We have a lot of [bands in Atlanta such as:] Mastodon, The Manchester Orchestra, The Black Lips, Deerhunter, and there are bands like Sugarland, which would be more like pop-country. So, it's really a diverse music scene in Atlanta. It has a really rich history, like we mentioned R.E.M., Pylon, The B-52's...there is still a real active music scene here, through the 50's, 60's, 70's, 80's and beyond. It's a really exciting place to be, and there's a lot of great clubs, and a really positive, supportive scene.

Lisa King (far left) & Tim Delaney (Second from left- Owner of Electron Gardens Studio) playing with The Swimming Pool Q's-2004 at The 40 Watt Club, Athens, Georgia. Jeff Calder, Bob Elsey, and Anne Boston pictured. Bill Burton on drums. Photo by Andy King

Arts Talk: Talking about positive supportive scenes, you're a member of the Theme Music Group that Dennis and I are a part of. Has that had any sort of big influence on what you are doing now musically?

LK: Well, for the listeners who might not be aware of what Theme Music is, I think the best description I could give is that it is a closed Facebook group started by singer/songwriter Matt Brown. I would call it an “artists collective” really. It's musicians from both U.S. Coasts who post weekly videos and songs, and now originals, and covers, based on a weekly Theme. But my involvement was very early on last summer, I had just finished recording The Language of Birds, so for me it was a lot of fun to take some time off and learn some cover tunes that I had always wanted to figure out. I think the thing that makes the biggest impression is that it's really inspiring to meet a group of people who just really, really love music. I've met you guys, I've met some lifelong friends in the group, and I think it's just full of loving, beautiful people who really just shine. I think it's inspiring to meet people who are so positive and supportive about music, and supportive of each other.

And for the people listening, it's a closed Facebook group that is kind of a “safe place” where singer/songwriters can go to and receive positive influences and input about their performances, so I think the best way to learn about the group is to [listen to] the interview you guys did with Matt Brown, I think it was #73 in your back catalog, and the group did a live event here last October called “Themestock,” and I believe this October they are going to do “Themestock II.” So, I think if people Google “Themestock” and kind of keep their eye out, I think you'll see the group have more of a “public face” leading up to that event. But, what was lifechanging for me was just meeting some of the beautiful people that are involved with the group, and the support, and the overwhelmingly positive vibe that the group has.

Arts Talk: So Jeff, are you a member of the Theme Music Group?

JC: Um, no, I'm not...

LK: Jeff made some appearances in the early days! (laughter). Mike and Jeff both [did a few things with me.] The Hot Place actually did a few things. We did an XTC song, and some Cure, I think we did [Motorhead's] “The Ace of Spades.” I think Jeff and I had a highlight, when we did “She Sells Sanctuary” by The Cult. I was next to Jeff with a whip. Learning that guitar part; He did a fantastic job on that.

JC: Yeah, I nearly had to go back to college to learn that...(laughter)

 Video still of Lisa, Mike, and Jeff from The Hot Place performing for Theme Music, Photo by Lisa King

LK: He did a great job. But you know, it's amazing how time consuming it is to learn some songs that you go into it thinking, “This is going to be really simple” and then it turns out being a lot more complicated than you think. And, Jeff, I know you're really busy with The Swimming Pool Q's, and with The Hot Place, and with The Glenn Phillips Band, so Jeff plays with three bands, and I've also been in that similar situation. When we came out of the studio last summer we started rehearsing together as a band, but when we went into the studio it was myself with a lot of songs from my project studio, and those songs really evolved and they started to breathe, and get a life of their own as we worked together as a band. So, I think when you are working that hard on a record, and then you're pushing that into a live act, it takes a lot of time. Your best friends become your band and your engineers. I think Miles Davis once mentioned how your world becomes your band and your engineers and the people that you are working with, and the studio. Jeff did an extremely fantastic job as a producer for this album. This was my first experience working in a large studio, and having somebody there that can communicate with you, and with your engineers, and with other band members and keep things moving forward...someone who can tell you when to stop and when to push yourself...that kind of experience when you're working alone in your own project don't get that kind of experience. So, Jeff did a really fantastic job and really stepped up to the place as the producer for my project.

Jeff Calder and Robert Schmid reviewing drum takes for The Language of Birds by The Hot Place at Southern Tracks Recording in Atlanta, photo by Lisa King

Arts Talk: When you're setting up your playlist for your live show, obviously you're going to cover The Language of Birds, roughly how many songs to you plan on playing? Do you do a lot of covers as well?

LK: In Grave Shift and Threshold, my two high school bands, we did about half and half. We did some covers because we were just learning our instruments. So we were learning how to play by learning songs. Unminded, in the 90's, we played all original material. The Hot Place is the same way. As far as putting a set list together it would depend on how much time you have onstage, but really right now we are going through the album in the order of the way the songs are presented on the record. Because we put a lot of time into ordering those songs. I was really interested in trying to make the whole project feel like an album, instead of a collection of singles. I really like classic albums like Dark Side of the Moon or Disintegration by The Cure, so I really wanted it to have an album feel. And there's a real trend right now for bands touring to play an album in its entirety. And I love that. Concrete Blonde just came to Atlanta a few years back and played Bloodletting, and The Church came and played Starfish in its entirety. And I know Peter Murphy was touring the west coast playing Deep in its entirety, so I kind of like that feel of presenting a whole album. But I think that if you're in an opening slot you have to be prepared to play about six songs. The record is ten songs, and I really liked that length, although we have a bunch of bonus material that we will be releasing on CD. But I really liked ten songs was a really great classic album length. You have a Side A and a Side B, and when I ordered the songs on the record I was really thinking in terms of Side A and Side B. I think every band has a few cover songs that they like to default to. That's when it's really fun for the band. Sometimes your audience [with a new band such as ourselves] are not as familiar with the material, and it's fun to throw in a cover song here and there because the crowd really enjoys that. They get to rock along with it, and it's a song that they recognize.

Robert and Mike of The Hot Place-Live Rehearsals Summer 2013 at Electron Gardens Studio, photo by Lisa King

Should we play another song from The Language of Birds?

Arts Talk: Yes, let's do “Begin the Fall.”

LK: Great!

(Listen to "Begin the Fall" streaming for free here!)

Arts Talk: Very Nice. You guys did a great job on the production [of the album.]

LK: Well, thank you! We worked with some fantastic recording engineers [at Southern Tracks], Tom Tapley and Steven Morrison, and Greg “Fern” Quesnel, who has worked also with The Swimming Pool Q's. [We also worked with audio editor Tim Delaney at Electron Gardens studio in Avondale, Georgia.] And a lot of that is the also the wonderful production skills of Mr. Jeff Calder.

Arts Talk: Great job, Jeff!

JC: Thank you sir! Thank you very much.

Arts Talk: Jeff, we're going to have to get you back on for your own show, so you can talk about your work in The Swimming Pool Q's.

JC: You can count on me. Anytime. I'm at your service!

Arts Talk: Well, Lisa, we're almost out of time. Are there any last things you want to talk about? Any other events coming up?

LK: The main thing is that I just hope everybody comes out and helps us celebrate World Goth Day this Wednesday, May 22nd. And if you want to see The Swimming Pool Q's they will be playing June 15th here in Atlanta at Smith's Olde Bar. You can visit all of our websites at and you can get that free download of “Petals of Ruin” at And, you can keep in touch with the Swimming Pool Q's and their release on Bar-None coming up on June 25th at We really enjoyed talking with you Dennis and Duane. Hope you guys have a fantastic day!

Jeff Calder at Southern Tracks Recording, Atlanta (third from left) with Stone Temple Pilots DeLeo Brothers, photo by Tom Tapley


2013 Press: 

Very special thanks to NOCTURNE MAGAZINE in Belgrade, Serbia for the feature today on my band The Hot Place, and our special Halloween single release in conjunction with World Goth Day

Visit Nocturne Music Magazine online at: 

Download the FREE single by The Hot Place here: