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Hot Hot Heat Hate Friendster

“‘Paul Doesn’t Like Friendster Because It Involves Putting In An Effort’ there, there you go, that’s your headline!” says Paul Hawey, drummer of one of Canada’s most loveable and danceable bands, Hot Hot Heat.

Hawey offers me the teaser line to this story because he and his mates, consisting of singer Steve Bays, guitarist Dante DeCaro and bassist Dustin Hawthorne, have been way too busy to concern themselves with that uber-popular online community for friend-making.

There is a reason for that, actually there are many reasons keeping the Victoria, B.C. natives occupied and one of them has to do with world domination – a feat that seems almost within their reach.

You see, Hot Hot Heat have been on a tear this year and listing their accomplishments would be a pretty involved process, but even so, we’ll uncover as many as we can. You might even be surprised at some of the things they’ve pulled off since starting the tour for their Sub Pop debut, Make Up The Breakdown, but given their exceptional talent – maybe you won’t.

“I mean it was really gradual,” says Hawey of the band’s current success, “Our first show of the tour was in Boise, Idaho and there was, like, nine people there and there was nine people at our next show in Salt Lake City. We’ve really been through every up and down, maybe not as up as some bands and maybe not as down as some but it’s all relative to yourself.”

HHH would wake up after a slow start to their tour to find themselves in some favourable positions. Not only would their debut inch its way up the college charts, but they would also enjoy performances to sell out crowds and even more special gigs like late night stints on David Letterman and Conan O’Brien.

“It’s weird,” says Hawey of the Letterman experience, “You’re in the Ed Sullivan Theatre and you know The Beatles played there and everyone else that played there. It was kinda cool ‘cause Paul [Schaffer] was there and we were chatting with him about Canada. The actual theatre is a lot smaller than they make it look on television because they use all sorts of camera and light tricks to make it look huge.

“We shook hands with him and asked like, ‘We want to meet Dave’ and they were like, ‘Dave doesn’t meet the bands.’ But, um, overall it was a good experience and we had some really nice sandwiches backstage.”

And what sort of delectable sandwiches did they offer? Were they so good that the band would consider changing the song title “Bandages” to “Sandwiches?”

“That’s classified!” screams Hawey, “No, no, no, nothing like that. They had some turkey ones and such. We were really taken care of, they take care of you there.”

Hawey and the rest of HHH are overwhelmed at possibly their most amazing feat of last year: gracing the covers of both Filter and Maclean’s magazine.

“To think that Jean Chretien probably looked at that is pretty whacked out,” says Hawey, “A magazine like Maclean’s is about doctors and people fighting for social rights and to be in there with them was pretty cool and I felt really honoured. To be on the cover was a different story, I mean, that magazine is an institution you know? It’s in dentist offices and old people read it, and it’s not even a music magazine and that was totally unexpected, totally unpredicted and totally amazing.”

“It was the image of Canada possibly being cool that is changing the world rather than, like, you know, ‘Bandages’ – that’s not really changing the world as much as Canada being a legitimate place for music. I mean that concept is still new.”

As we told you last week HHH are preparing for a bunch of tour dates in Canada and Europe, which will keep them away from the Internet for awhile. It’s something that Hawey isn’t too concerned about especially when it comes to adding any new buddies to his Friendster lists.

“I just I don’t like maintaining relationships over email,” says Hawey. “I rarely use my email unless it’s for my plane reservations or to say hi to my parents. I mean I count my friends like people I can relate to on social levels – that’s how my friends add up and I’d like to be able to be near those people physically. I don’t know if that’s old-fashioned or what it is but it’s seems like Friendster should be called ‘acquaintance-ster’ or ‘buddy-ster,’ something like that, you know? Maybe I’m taking it too seriously.”

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