HOTSALT is an indie rock band from Greenwood, South Carolina. Their music is edgy, full, and very motivated. I had a chance to sit down with with the band's co-founder, Eli Harrell, and chat about all things HOTSALT.
Andrew: Tell me a little bit about HOTSALT, how the band started, and what the motivation is behind what you do.
HOTSALT: Originally, our bassist Caleb Hall and I formed the band in Orlando, FL back in 2012. It was an extension of an old band we were playing with at the time. After moving to South Carolina I found myself performing solo for a while until we found our drummer, Ryan Doolittle. After that, things kind of took off. We’ve been playing a lot of shows, writing, and recording. Everything kind of fell into place.
Andrew: What made you choose the name HOTSALT?
HOTSALT: We had a bunch of ideas in mind at the time. But the idea of the name HOTSALT comes from, well, number one, it was hot in Florida. And number two, salt is something that preserves things. A lot of our music has religious undertones. Jesus claimed to be the salt of the earth. We liked that positive take. We wanted to be something positive in the music industry, something that actually has purpose. Not just music. A lot of our songs, especially now, are written to have a real impact on people. It’s also just a name (laughs).
“I try my best to take on topics that push buttons and make people think. I’ve never been someone to have a problem with anyone’s faith. But I think everyone should question what they believe.” - Eli Harrell, HOTSALT
Andrew: Let’s talk about KONCHO, a hard rocking, but diversely well-rounded collection of songs (and very well-produced at that). What were you guys trying to say to your listeners with this EP?
HOTSALT: The reason we picked those three songs was largely because they’re so varied in style. It helped us to decide which route to take moving forward. As far as the moral of each song and how they coincide together, I think it’s about being okay with things when things are not okay. Getting over stuff and moving on.
Andrew: Where did the name KONCHO come from?
HOTSALT: Honestly, we really liked the way it sounded and how it looked in ALL CAPS. But really, we chose the name because if you google it and read the definition, it’s pretty ridiculous…We thought it’d be funny if someone happened to look it up and got taken by surprise. It’s more of just an inside joke kind of thing I guess (laughs). Again, the album is kind of about how sometimes life sucks, just like how sometimes someone rams their fingers up your butt, but that’s life. You move on (laughs).
Andrew: Is the government trying to bring you down? (Hence, your song “Government”)
HOTSALT: It’s more like they’re not out for my interests. They’re out for the big pockets. I actually wrote it before all the Trump stuff. Anyone who does their research knows that the people with the money call the shots. It’s not about us. It’s about the money.
Andrew: What can you tell me about the track “That’s Life”? It had a sort of nostalgic Franz Ferdinand vibe to it, which I loved.
HOTSALT: That song was actually something I wrote when I was going through a breakup with my fiancé—it was kind of a coming to grips for me. Music has always been my outlet. I wrote several songs during that time, but this one stood out.
Andrew: What’s next for you guys? Any plans for a full-length record?
HOTSALT: We just started recording for a 10 track full-length record. We’re recording with Ken Lanyon in Atlanta (Shinedown, Need To Breathe, and more), which is always a great experience. We’re shooting for the release to be sometime this fall.
Andrew: Any final thoughts?
HOTSALT: We’re playing at T.W. Boons in Greenwood, SC with Brother Oliver this Friday (6/23/17), which honestly, is going to be a great show for the scene here. We’re trying to build up a renewed appreciation for original music in Greenwood and this show will be another great step towards that goal.
Andrew: Any final thoughts?
HOTSALT: I’m really excited for what we’ve got in the works. It feels like we’ve really come into ourselves as a band. Keep an eye out for our full-length record later this year.
Andrew: Thanks for your time, Eli.
HOTSALT: Thanks for having us!