Beginning as a noisy, synth-based combo in 1999, Victoria, British Colombia's Hot Hot Heat evolved into an aggressively catchy indie rock band two years later, when keyboardist Steve Bays took on the vocal duties, and guitarist Dante DeCaro joined their ranks.
The group's new lineup -- which also featured founding members Paul Hawley on drums and Dustin Hawthorne on bass -- brought a newfound sense of melody and witty wordplay to their music, which they debuted on their 2002 EP Knock Knock Knock. The EP, along with tours with groups like the Walkmen and the Dismemberment Plan, paved the way for the full-length Make Up the Breakdown, which arrived in the fall of that year. An album of their earlier, noisier work, Scenes One Through Thirteen was also released on Ohev. The group rounded out a busy 2002 by signing to Warner Bros. shortly after Make Up the Breakdown's release. After touring for most of 2003, Hot Hot Heat spent the following year recording; that fall, DeCaro left the group. However, his work appeared on the resulting album Elevator, which Sire released in spring 2005. The album was nominated for a 2006 Juno Award, and that spring, the band -- which now included guitarist Luke Paquin -- returned to the studio to record 2007's Happiness Ltd. with producer Rob Cavallo. Parker Bossley was brought on board to play bass, and in 2008 and 2009, the band built their own studio and began recording their next album. Collaborating with Limblifter's Ryan Dahle as producer, they experimented with disco and electro influences on 2010's Future Breeds. That year, Bossley left and was replaced by Louis Hearn. Hot Hot Heat started making their fifth album and released the song "Mayor of the City" in 2013, but soon went on hiatus. During their time off, Bays started two new projects: Mounties, which also featured Dahle and singer/songwriter Hawksley Workman, released the 2014 Polaris Music Prize-longlisted Thrash Rock Legacy; and Fur Trade, a collaboration with Bossley that issued the album Don't Get Heavy in 2013. In 2016, Hot Hot Heat returned with the Record Store Day single "Nature of Things," as well as their final, self-titled album, which they recorded with Dahle. ~ Heather Phares, Rovi