By Mandy Craig.
Look out Wollongong! If your cup of tea is an acoustic duo with heart felt music infused with crude comedy songs, then look no further than Lucy Mills and Hayley Neal – also known as The Hot Teas.
With Lucy on acoustic guitar and Hayley on acoustic bass, originally known as The Pretty Plain, they have been performing as a duo for three years, playing comedic mash-up covers, making audiences wherever they perform roar with laughter. Now under the name, The Hot Teas they have a combination of more serious songs, like ‘Mountains’, and ‘Stars’ and their comical song called ‘Stalk to me’.
Talking to The Hot Teas in the park across from Belmore Basin in Wollongong, they revealed more about their new music, plans for an EP in the future and their recent gig at Wollongong Comedy.
Q: Hayley and Lucy, you’ve been a duo for a while now and previously played under the name ‘Pretty Plain.’ What made you change to ‘The Hot Teas?’
Hayley: “Well our thing was if we come out on stage introduced as Pretty Plain and we just played covers, people are going to be like “This isn’t funny what’s going on here?” We’re trying to separate from being a comedy band into being just a regular band for hire. Comedy doesn’t really work everywhere and not many people want comedy bands at family gigs and stuff like that so that’s pretty much why we changed our name.”
Lucy: “I think a new name so we could incorporate serious music…but now we do both. (Laughs) – as The Hot Teas we do comedy and serious music.”
Q: As The Hot Teas, how would you describe your music and yourselves as a music duo?
Lucy: “Well we’re indie – indie comes in a wide range of things, because we write originals. We’re acoustic; it’s just two of us – acoustic guitar, acoustic bass so I think that our originals are kind of quirky. They’re kind of amusing but at the same time it gets stuck in people’s heads; so we’re annoying as well.”
Q: You’ve also recorded new music recently. Can we expect an EP from you very soon?
Hayley: “We have a demo so far…”
Lucy: “It’s got five tracks on it, just a demo of what we sound like…We thought about doing a single first, focusing on getting an awesome song out and paying for it properly, and then after that will be an EP.”
Q: What song are you thinking of using as the single?
Lucy: “I don’t know, well I think that ‘Mountains’ is one of the originals that always gets mentioned when people come and talk to us, they say, “Was that yours? That was really good,” or ‘Stars’ …”
Hayley: “Something catchy that will catch on any way. We haven’t discussed it properly, but I reckon ‘Mountains’ is going to end up being it.”
Q: How would you describe your new music? What are some of your new songs about?
Lucy: “Well ‘Mountains’ is about getting out of a place that’s slowly killing you. We met in a small country town, it wasn’t a really good spot for both of us, and its about just kind of losing yourself there, but then getting out of it and being set free.”
Hayley: “I always end up writing love songs…”
Lucy: “It’s all sweet and romantic…”
Q: You also played at Wollongong Comedy back in May; what was that like?
Lucy: “That was really good.”
Hayley: “We were on first which was a tough spot…”
Lucy: “No-one’s drunk enough yet…was a bit scary – but because we had gone away, had singing lessons and been performing other music, we’ve built up a lot of confidence. We were fine with how we were going to sound; it was more how people were going to respond to our comedy now. We wrote some new dialogue and it went really well. It made me feel a lot better about comedy and would like to write more of it.”
Hayley: “I think we know more about stage reactions, like we chose tamer songs to start with, where as once before we’ve put a really explicit song first and it didn’t go well. We don’t do it like that any more, we have to warm them up into being, ‘Ah yeah they’re a bit funny’ and then get cruder and cruder as we go on.”
Q: What do you love most about playing live?
Lucy: “I think we have so much fun together on stage. I think it’s a lot to do with our connection. Just having so much fun and being able to share music with people we don’t know. Seeing their reaction is my favourite part.”
Hayley: “I really like that I’m up there with someone else; it’s not as much fun by yourself I don’t think. I like when people start singing along – that’s awesome! That feels so good.”
Want to go see The Hot Teas live? Their next gig is at KISS Unearthed, 28th June, 55 North Steyne, Manly.
Copyright © Music Mayhem with Mandy 2013
Check out The Hot Teas on the following links:
Triple J Unearthed: http://www.triplejunearthed.com/TheHotTeas
Also, check out The Hot Teas video for their song ‘Stars’ and live footage from their Wollongong Comedy Performance below!!