HOT MULLIGAN

TOURDATES
Datum Stadt Location Land Ticket
02/07/24 Karlsruhe Stadtmitte DE Buy Tickets
03/07/24 Frankfurt Das Bett DE Buy Tickets

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Like many bands last year, Lansing, Michigan’s Hot Mulligan—the #1 Hot New Band per their
Facebook page—put out an LP in 2020 that they didn’t get to tour. This year, they’ll release I
Won’t Reach Out To You, a six-track EP that operates as a response to their 2020 full-length
You’ll Be Fine. The EP is bookended on the first and last tracks by a resounding glance-back at
a world that simply doesn’t exist anymore: “Stay home, stay home/You said it wouldn’t make a
difference whether we could be together or not.”
On opener “One For The Boy,” those words are a serene, mournful observation, but by “Please
Don’t Cry, You Have Swag,” they’re a volatile explosion, a group-yelled diagnosis set to
thundering guitars, bass, and drums. These facts also explain Hot Mulligan: a group of
shitposting gamers from far reaches of Michigan (and one from Iowa) who became best friends
at college and started making music that works through the endless weirdness of growing up in
this moment. The result of these things is earnest, affecting emo punk, presented with a song
title created by typing into autocorrect with eyes closed.
“Nothing is black and white,” says rhythm guitarist and backing vocalist Chris Freeman. “I like to
think that we challenge each other mentally and as friends to do better and grow together. We’re
also just shitposters and trolls.”
Freeman and lead vocalist Nathan “Tades” Sanville came up together playing in local punk
bands in rural Michigan before moving to Lansing in search of greater opportunity, where they
met lead guitarist Ryan “Spicy” Malicsi and drummer Brandon Blakeley. “When the music just
becomes a reflection of life and growing up, then when we’re bonding over music, we’re
bonding over our lives together,” says Freeman.
That intimacy and interdependence works in extremes. “You see your friends in their lowest
places,” says Freeman. “But you also see them when they’re doing everything they wanted to
do.”
The band recorded I Won’t Reach Out To You in Pilesgrove, New Jersey with producer Gary
Cioni (Grayscale, Free Throw) at his Sound Acres Studio. Freeman, Cioni and Dash Williams
shared engineering duties. The majority of the record was written in studio over the course of a
two-week period.
The EP details the first major dying-off of connections and relationships in a life. It’s an
experience that’s familiar but always jarring. You spend your youth hearing your parents talk
about friends they haven’t seen in years, and you think how ridiculous that sounds. Then
suddenly, you’re 25, and realize you haven’t spoken with your old best pal since high school
graduation. It happens fast, and it’s weird.
“It’s not always about not reaching out to someone because they’re toxic,” says Freeman. “It’s
just because people grow apart.”
I Won’t Reach Out To You is an exploration of this process that constantly reproduces itself
across our lives, which forces us to square two facts: those times and the people we knew were
awesome, and they’re over now, forever. Freeman says it’s about “reminiscing on people you
knew in the past, but acknowledging that the past is the past.”
“One For The Boy” introduces this over a gentle wash of guitar and ghostly vocals as Sanville
laments, “Hey, I feel us growing apart/Could we just talk or is it not the right time?” A snare drum
rolls in the distance and goes quiet, and in bursts earworm pop punk blast “Featuring Mark
Hoppus” on compressed, crunchy guitars and Sanville’s full-tilt belt: “I kinda miss you/Back in
highschool/25 and I still think about your drawings that you made.”
“Losing Days” follows with acoustic guitar and Sanville’s breathless vocals: “Losing days
because it’s hard to reason leaving the bed/Debt’s been building since we got here/Staying the
same/Forget it!” It’s a tight 90 seconds that give way to “Pop Shuvit (hall of meat, duh),” a
perfect slice of pounding, Taking Back Sunday-style emo pop that tracks the tiring
relentlessness of growing up while realizing that no one at the top is looking out for you.
“Please Don’t Cry, You Have Swag” closes on nostalgia and a cruel coming-to-terms with the
passage of time, as clear finger-picking broods and Sanville’s vocals long for a return to an
impossible before: “You think I matter less than politics/When all I want is fresh paint, before we
ever would’ve talked like this.” The final minute crescendos into a shattering breakdown while
Sanville repeats the first song’s remarks to a backing chorus of, “Stay home, stay home.”
Hot Mulligan are just as likely to write a beautiful, devastating treatise on growing apart—both
literally and spiritually, from your friends and your old self—as they are to make a song and
video about putting on sunglasses (which they have done). This is the Hot Mulligan way: life is
serious and scary, but you just gotta make a meme about it with your buds.

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