Interview with Anton Kallmin (bass guitar) of Hot Breath
Interview by Jack Merry
We caught up with Swedish punk rock outfit and rising stars Hot Breath to talk about their upcoming debut album Rubbery Lips, ideal dinner party guests, and an exclusive premiere of their new single ‘Right Time,’ which can be found at the bottom of the interview!
Hey, and thank you so much for your time Please state your name and position in the band.
Anton Kallmin. Bass guitar and loud noises.
You’re a relatively new band hailing from Sweden, and are set to release your debut album ‘Rubbery Lips’ in April this year, can you tell me a little bit about how the band came to be?
We all knew each other from before Hot Breath. My previous band Hypnos did a lot of shows together with Honeymoon Disease, and Karl played in a band together with my old drummer from Hypnos in a band called Grand. The whole music scene in Gothenburg is just one big incest melting pot. Jimmy and Jennifer wanted to form a new band and invited Karl and myself for beers at a pub in Gothenburg. After that meeting, we set the new machine in motion.
How did the name Hot Breath come about? Have you been in bands previously?
After discussing around 324 names we finally agreed on Hot Breath, a name that suits us and our music pretty well. It can be understood as sexy, yet disgusting at the same time. We all played in bands prior to HB. Hypnos, Honeymoon Disease, Grand to name a few.
When did you first start getting into music and know you wanted to join a band?
My dad played a lot of BB King, Eric Clapton, and CCR in the car when I was young, but the band that really got me into rock music was Kiss, and this was also the reason I wanted to be in a band.
You are about to release your debut full-length studio album in March, entitled ‘Rubbery Lips.’ Can you tell me a little bit about how the album name came about, and how the recording process began?
The name is from the lyrics in “Still Not Dead” (From our debut EP). After all our planned shows for 2020 got cancelled, we spend the whole summer writing Rubbery Lips. It was fun most of the time. We put a lot of time into each song, and that’s something at least I can tell when listening to it.
How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard it before?
Sexy sounds blending with a dirty solid rhythm. Music that will make your day better!
Listening through the album, it’s clear that punk has had a huge influence on the record, with the attitude and musicality of punk being in every song, blended with the energy and rawness of pure rock n’ roll. Was this a conscious thing you set out to achieve from the very beginning?
I guess it was, and we wanted to be very open when it came to influences. Rubbery Lips will probably be called a rock album, but it wasn’t created by four people who only got their inspiration from rock albums. The dirtiness of punk was used as a base ingredient on this record, so yes you are right!
Who does your artwork? Is there anyone you’d like to collaborate with, be it an artist/photographer or producer? Even musically?
The cover art was made by Anders Muammar. It would be cool to have a photo session with Ross Halfin, a true legend of music photography.
What has been your favourite gig to date and why? Once the pandemic is over and live shows return fully, where are you looking forward to playing most?
My favourite show was when we played at the In Rock Festival in Skövde. The energy of the crowd and the band was 110% from beginning to end. When the pandemic is over, any stage anywhere is what I look forward to the most. As long as the crowd yells “hurray” I will be happy!
Which brand of equipment do you like to use when performing (either live or in the studio)?
My gear hasn’t changed that much for the past 7 years. I use a Marshall 4×12 cabinet and an Orange Tiny Terror amp for all live shows. I also like to experiment with different pedals. I’ve always found it more interesting when the bass isn’t just something that blends in with the drums. For the recording of Rubbery Lips, I borrowed an old Ampeg SVT head from The Soundtrack of Our Lives.
What was it like working with Mattias Nyberg on the album?
He quickly became someone Hot Breath will call a friend for life. The whole experience at Svenska gramofonstudion was very smooth. The main reason the album turned out the way it did, is because of the amount of joy we shared together during those weeks.
Do you have a favourite track from the new album, and if so, why? What makes it stand out for you?
That’s bit of tricky to answer. I am really happy with the whole thing. Perhaps “Who’s the One”. It sticks out and really shows that we are capable of doing more than just the obvious.
Where do you draw your influences from when it comes to producing new music/lyrics? Could you list me some bands that particularly inspire the sound of Hot Breath and why?
That list would look different depending on who in Hot Breath answers. Here’s my list: Viagra Boys, Hurriganes, ABBA, and ZZ Top!
What is the metal music scene like in Sweden? Any new bands that have caught your attention?
The scene right now is pretty quiet. For obvious reasons of course. I guess bands are either in a recording phase or splitting up phase. Hopefully the scene will be as healthy after the pandemic as it was before. A band that I really have been listening to lately is Voodus and their record “into the wild”. A black metal masterpiece.
Do you think image is important when being in a band?
Of course it is, but it can quickly become a parody if you overdo it. I think we have a collective goal on what we want to do. We are also pretty comfortable with ourselves. Those two ingredients are key to having a solid image.
What is it like touring? Do you all get on all of the time? Or do you have times you need space from each other?
We haven’t toured that much with this band. One thing is for certain. We don’t always get along and that’s okay. I wouldn’t want to be in a band where everybody agrees all the time. I also think that is totally impossible. We know each other too well to let minor bullshit get in the way. Minor bullshit can also be entertaining, and that’s never bad.
Any bands you would like to go out on tour with? Who would be your ideal tour-mates?
The Hives. It would be a challenge to break them as support. It would be impossible, but we would learn a lot from the masters.
Is the music industry how you thought it would be when first starting a band?
When I started playing in a band I had no knowledge about the industry. So I didn’t know what to expect. The more you are in it, the better you get at it.
If you could have a dinner party with 5 other musicians, either alive or dead, who would you pick and why?
Waylon Jennings, Rick Parfitt, Cisse Häkkinen, Billy Gibbons, Axel Söderberg. This dinner party would have lasted at least a whole weekend. We would probably have to have it in a house in the countryside, cause it would get loud. And messy. The main reason I chose these people is the number of stories that would be told.
What genres of music do you like to listen to personally?
I listen to a wide variety of stuff. I’ve been listening to a lot of black metal recently, but the last record I bought was George Jones “Shine On”.
You’re stranded on a desert island with only 3 records and a record player. Which 3 albums would you want with you?
Eddie Meduza – Garagetaper, Mike Oldfield – Discovery, Demon – Breakout
What advice would you give someone wanting to start a band, and were you given any advice from other bands before starting out?
Do it! It’s the longest education there is, and there is a big chance you won’t see any money. Totally worth it though. Find a normal job that lets you take time off to go on tour. Sounds good? Well, then you are set for life.
What do you like to do outside of music? Any hobbies? Have you watched any great TV lately on streaming services etc?
I enjoy running, buying records, and visiting my relatives in Dalarna. I also enjoy getting day drunk and having lunch at Tullen Majorna in Gothenburg.
What are your plans for the rest of the year? Even with Covid, are you looking to get some live shows booked up? Maybe start on some new music?
We have actually started to write some new stuff. It’s quite nice. No pressure that it has to be done soon. That’s a first! We got some new merch coming. We also hope that we can do some small shows this summer. By the looks of it, it won’t happen I’m afraid.
Thank you for your time, is there anything you’d like to say to our readers?
If whoever reads this came this far, check out the song Bodybuilding by Eddie Meduza. It’s great and should be called a classic. Also, keep on washing your hands and pre-order RUBBERY LIPS now! Thank you, tack & förlåt. Anton.
Above is the exclusive premiere of the new Hot Breath single, ‘Right Time’! What do you think? Let us know!
Hot Breath is:
Jennifer Israelsson – Vocals, Guitar
Anton Frick Kallmin – Bass
Jimmy Karlsson – Drums
Karl Edfeldt – Guitar