Garrett Harris 2 p.m., Dec. 12
Sound description: Dancey helium electronocorehop.
RIYL: Daughters, Secret Fun Club, Some Girls, Bitter Sober, Arab on Radar
- "Sarcastic Nerds" · April 5, 2017
- "BonkFest For Nathan Joyner" · March 1, 2013
- Jam Session: "Hot Nerds Debut at Makeout Weird" · May 17, 2011
Inception: San Diego, 2011
Influences: All Leather, Leg Lifters, Secret Fun Club, Some Girls, Christwaves, Say Wen, Kata, Bitter Sober, Tiny Telephones
Dancey helium electronocorehop duo Hot Nerds features drummer Nathan Joyner (All Leather, Leg Lifters, Secret Fun Club, Some Girls, Ese' & Zain) and keyboardist Alia Jayawook (Christwaves, Say Wen, Vaginals, Ana/Kata, Bitter Sober, Tiny Telephones). Originally known as s Das Four Eyez Kult, their debut performance was May 17, 2011, at the Whistle Stop.
"Our worst show," recalls Joyner, "was back when it was just a two piece, Alia and I. We played a show in Tijuana. We unloaded our gear and went to eat at a restaurant around the venue. When we came back to the venue, the first band was already playing, but they were playing with our gear! It was super weird and all a big misunderstanding. It's like walking into your home and seeing a stranger eating dinner with your plates and silverware at your dinner table, and then just saying 'All finished, your turn to eat dinner.'"
The group released a split 12-inch via Czech Republic label Dog Bless You Records, and then things came to halt. While walking home from work in September 2012, Joyner was hit by a car while crossing Washington Street at Cleveland in Hillcrest. His girlfriend and bandmate Alia Jyawook says the police report clocks the car at around 35 miles per hour. Joyner suffered life-threatening injuries, including a serious head wound. Several local benefits were staged to help him raise money during his lengthy recovery.
With Joyner unable to resume playing the drums for awhile, the duo enlisted Jayawook’s childhood friend, Thomas F. O’Connell (Idols Plague) to take over the drumming duties, while Joyner returned to playing his favorite instrument, guitar. "Alia and Tommy are from Hoffman Estates, a small suburb of Chicago," says Joyner. "They are actually childhood friends who went their separate ways, and then coincidentally met up here in San Diego and started playing music together with Hot Nerds."
In early 2014, the band signed with Three One G Records, who announced the May release of an EP called Self Titled, featuring tracks originally recorded for an unreleased split 7-inch with Plasticizer. A promo video was shot for the EP track “Tsk-Tsking” featuring Justin Pearson (the Locust, Retox) on vocals. "They're really ambitious sounding songs with the instrumentation, the recording, JP singing on them, and just the whole way they came to exist," says Joyner. "So, we didn't want to just waste the songs. We are extremely proud of them."
Hot Nerds was featured as one of 100 Bands You Need to Know This Year in the April 2014 issue of Alternative Press magazine. A full-length was announced by Three One G, with plans to release by the end of the year, and they played Rumble Fest in Tijuana, Mexico on May 31, along with fellow locals Innerds, featuring Bobby Bray of the Locust and Brandon Relf of Sleeping People.
They debuted new tracks from their upcoming full-length (on the Three One G label) during a west coast tour with fellow locals Retox and labelmates Doomsday Student, starting October 4 in Santa Ana and running through an October 11 date in L.A.
By the end of 2016, drummer Tommy O’Connell had moved back to the Chicago area and the remaining members worked full-time, with Jayawook teaching music to elementary school students and Joyner making music for an L.A.-based trailer production company.
Their 2017 album Tirades in a Mental Arcade was recorded with Mike Kamoo at Earthling Studios in Santee and self-released on the band's new Cereal & Soda label. Cover art was provided by L.A.-based artist Josh Freydkis, whose work has appeared on the Cartoon Network show Rick & Morty.