Hotline TNT‘s hard work is paying off. After years of touring behind their 2021 debut album Nineteen In Love, the band’s buzziness proves the shoegaze genre is anything but dead. The New York-based four-piece, fronted by musician Will Anderson, became one of the most talked about indie acts this year with their stand-out sophomore project Cartwheel, and they of course landed a spot on our Best Albums of 2023 list.
The album leans on its genre’s fuzzy chords and warped guitars, but its central message is one of heartbreak and loss. Anderson’s lyrics on songs like “I Thought You’d Change” and “Protocol” push through the haze to deliver wise sentiments on unrequited love and taking defeat on the chin. To celebrate the success of Cartwheel, Anderson sits down with Uproxx to talk Bob Mould, snakes, and bad tattoos in our latest Q&A.
What are four words you would use to describe your music?
Presbyterian, thermal, awesome, emotional.
It’s 2050 and the world hasn’t ended and people are still listening to your music. How would you like it to be remembered?
We did everything we could to look cool on stage and I hope when you watch the YouTube videos that still comes across in 2050.
Who’s the person who has most inspired your work, and why?
It’s hard to pick just one person but for this article I’ll say Bob Mould because he has a streak that spans decades of not being afraid to try new things and reinvent himself. Besides his songwriting chops I like his attitude and way of moving through the world.
Where did you eat the best meal of your life and what was it?
The first time I went to Brasserie Zédel sticks out in my memory. It’s a French restaurant in London and it’s a really fancy but affordable gem in Soho. Either that or the first time I went to Shake Shack at its original location and you had to stand in a line outside for 45 minutes.
Tell us about the best concert you’ve ever attended.
Drake and Future is probably the most exciting concert I’ve ever seen, pretty sure it was at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, nonstop hits from two masters of the entertainment industry.
What song never fails to make you emotional?
“Fast Car” by Tracy Chapman is the most beautiful song ever played on Top 40 radio if you ask me. My 8th grade English teacher played it for us and made us study the lyrics and I’m still very sentimental about it.
What’s the last thing you Googled?
“Peter Griffin Fortnite.” Can’t believe it’s real.
Where’s the weirdest place you’ve ever crashed while on tour?
These teenage kids offered a house after a Courtneys show in New Haven. We pull up and it’s a big mansion. They show us up to the third floor and start saying “yeah make yourself comfortable, no rules, ice cream for dinner!” and then seconds later one of their parents says “come downstairs we need to talk to you” and they leave us up there. While we are unpacking our sleeping bags we notice the discussion downstairs getting louder and finally climaxes with the mother screaming at her son “BECAUSE I DON’T WANT THEM HERE.” So we immediately rolled the sleeping bags back up and tiptoed our way back to the van. Started driving to a hotel but then realized a car was behind us honking and flashing its headlights at us… so we pull over and it’s the two kids. I roll down my window and they’re like “are you guys ok?” We’re like… ummm… we were until you forced us off the road? Kinda thought they had a pistol or something. But we drove on to a hotel and it was fine. Odd!
What’s your favorite city in the world to perform and what’s the city you hope to perform in for the first time?
I love playing in Vancouver BC because I have so many friends there and the city is paradise to me. I’d love to play in Tokyo!
What’s one piece of advice you’d go back in time to give to your 18-year-old self?
Be gentle with your friends and don’t be afraid to let them know you love them.
What’s one of your hidden talents?
My mid-range jumper is pretty good.
If you had a million dollars to donate to charity, what cause would you support and why?
I’d say something that benefits the Minneapolis Public Schools, I spent a lot of years working there and I saw the inequity even within the district, school to school, up close and I know throwing a bunch of money at some of its problems would help, if it was allocated properly.
What are your thoughts about AI and the future of music?
A little scary because artists might be the first to die but still having fun with it making SpongeBob and Patrick sing Hotline songs.
You are throwing a music festival. Give us the dream lineup of 5 artists that will perform with you and the location it would be held.
Teenage Fanclub (with original lineup), Slipknot, Rosalía, My Bloody Valentine, SWV at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Florida.
Who’s your favorite person to follow on social media?
Gotta give a shoutout to my favorite social media-ist Eric Rahill, he makes me laugh every time he posts.
What’s the story behind your first or favorite tattoo?
I deeply hate my first tattoos, got them when I was 19 living in Raleigh North Carolina. Reminds me of a bad time in my life and I’d like to get them removed someday. Too big and colorful, I didn’t know shit about shit.
What is your pre-show ritual?
I try to remind my bandmates and myself to appreciate every moment that we spend on stage and really soak it all in because it’s a special thing that a lot of people wish they were doing.
Who was your first celebrity crush?
Dixie Kong. It started early that I tended to like ladies who have cool hair and Dixie Kong has amazing hair.
You have a month off and the resources to take a dream vacation. Where are you going and who is coming with you?
I’m definitely still trying to tick Japan off my bucket list of places to go, beyond going there with my bandmates who I love all of, it would be great if I could somehow have my chihuahua with me for the ride.
What is your biggest fear?
Cartwheel is out now via Third Man Records. Find more information here.