The Hotwalls owe their continued relevance to their adoration for song and a genuine work ethic. During 2005, in a dank mid-western basement, Gabriel Doman, Oliver Calhoun, and William Zech were crafting atmospheric indie rock, when Ryan Milligan filled a vacancy to lyrically round out the songs on vocals. Their music closely resembled a mutant power-pop variation of their influences combined, but it all hit a bit faster … and a hell of a lot harder. Within months, they’d become The Hotwalls, recorded a demo, and started performing to receptive audiences in their native Detroit.
Doman recorded the band’s self-titled debut, released on his start-up indie label, Detroit’s Finest Records, in February 2007. In the meantime, Zech left the band and Nathan Miller joined, with a welcomed tonal wallop gleaned from his years in Detroit’s celebrated hardcore/punk scene. Shortly after the release of The Hotwalls’ 2007 debut, Calhoun left the band, while Doman and Jarrod Champion simultaneously filled vacancies. Miller had spotted Champion, traditionally a man of steel and ivory, behind the kit at an after-hours’ jam session, and invited him to try out for The Hotwalls. In a fantastic display of aptitude, Doman relinquished the kit for lead guitar, and Champion emerged as a natural behind the kit. The Hotwalls continued performing throughout 2008-2009, including their legendary February 2008 acoustic performance on Detroit’s WDET.
Whereas their self-titled debut was recorded entirely DIY, the band opted for a professional studio recording experience for their second album. The Hotwalls’ December 2009 release, Everybody Here, captures the band in its essence, as a true collaborative, where each member’s sense and sensibility is represented part and parcel to the whole. Throw it on, play it loud, see them out, and shake it; don’t mistake it, make it right.