hot mulligan 2020
[Photo by: Jake Weber]

Emo-tinged pop-punk act Hot Mulligan are days away from releasing you’ll be fine, marking the follow-up to 2018’s Pilot. However, fans don’t have to wait until Friday to get a preview as the band team up with AltPress for an exclusive track by track. 

With “Feal Like Crab,” “BCKYRD” and latest “*Equip Sunglasses*” already pumping through your speakers, the band are diving deeper into those tracks and beyond. Frontman Nathan “Tades” Sanville and guitarist/vocalist Chris Freeman took us through you’ll be fine, touching on fears, anger and why their song names will never be serious. Check it out below, and preorder the new album here.

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1. “OG Bule Sky”

TADES SANVILLE: I moved away from home when I was 18 or 19. Chris was heading to college, and we both still wanted to have the band. “OG Bule Sky” is a grab bag of old friends I’ve lost and family who’ve died back home without me noticing. It doesn’t really help with coping in the long run. Stuff like this aches forever, but screaming about it for a minute feels all right. [I] hope others want to scream about it with us. 

2. “*Equip Sunglasses*”

SANVILLE: Having a lot of eyes on you is scary. How is it not scary to have a lot of eyes on you? One of the more common fears is public speaking. There’s a lot of pressure to fuck up, and a lot of people want to see you fuck up. When I’m onstage, I can quit caring as much and do what I’ve been practicing. When I’m not onstage, I have no idea what to do. This song doesn’t relate to overcoming that onstage.

3. “Feal Like Crab”

SANVILLE: I have almost nothing worthwhile on my resume, and that’s not dope. With college being as unaffordable as ever, I figured it’d be a common issue. “Feal Like Crab” is an upbeat, chipper tune about how my life most likely ends [with] dead-end jobs and garbage apartments. The name holds no significance. Almost none of the titles are significant in any way to the track. They’re just dumb inside jokes that we think make good song titles. 

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4. “Green Squirrel In Pretty Bad Shape”

CHRIS FREEMAN: This one is about realizing you haven’t been the best version of yourself for someone you care about and then actively deciding to be stronger moving forward. I can’t say I wrote it with a message in mind. I just like to tell stories with songs, so if someone listens to this song and it takes them to a place or creates a narrative in their head, then it did its job.

5. “Dirty Office Bongos”

SANVILLE: I’m not sure if calling home feels the same way for most people, but it’s always been uncomfortable at best for me. This is like a prequel to [2016 track] “Something About A Bunch Of Dead Dogs,” where I wish I could pick up the phone and call my grandma, but something in my head says I’m bad so I shouldn’t. It seems like a lot of people have this kind of aversion to phone calls. It sucks. I miss you, Nana. 

6. “Analog Fade (New Bule Sky)”

SANVILLE: After my now-fiancé wrapped up with college, I didn’t know where she was planning on going for grad school. I also didn’t know if she wanted me to come with [her]. It left me in a weird spot where I’m supporting the person I love when they might be leaving me. “Analog Fade” is just helping her move, giving her my stuff and then being alone again. Oh, she didn’t bail without me. We talked about it for a while and figured we’d stick together wherever we end up. This song is hypothetical. Writing these lyrics was an organized way to put my thoughts together. Rather than anxieties zipping through my head like flies on a corpse, I could put a concrete feeling down on paper. Still doesn’t help so much with dealing with that feeling, but I guess knowing what I’m afraid of is a start. 

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7. “We’re Gonna Make It To Kilby!”

SANVILLE: “Kilby” is the same issue as “Analog Fade.” I lived with most of my local friends, so when they finished college and left for grad school, our house felt dead and empty. This track is named after the luxurious Kilby Court in Salt Lake City. The place is falling apart, but the shows there are wicked. We blew a tire out on the way there once, and our friend Mark [Duhaime] from Forest Green was filling in on guitar. It was miserable and freezing. We finished swapping the tire out, and he screams, “We’re gonna make it to Kilby, boys!” Mark is a good boy. And those same feelings were there for my friends Tyler, Omid, Dan, Sam, Clark, Blake and Ian. Also good boys. I watched them go through college almost from start to finish, and then they were taking off. I felt like an old couple with an empty nest.

8. “Digging In”

SANVILLE: This one should have some kind of trigger warning. It’s about hearing that someone I love has been raped. I knew the rapist. I’m still angry every day that he’s alive. The effect this had on me isn’t going to get in the way of what I do. Even secondhand, it fucks with your head, but I figure others have it worse, so I’ll stay level for their sake. That might be the wrong way to deal with it, but it’s going all right so far. 

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9. “SPS”

SANVILLE: I think I was a bad roommate. That was such a specific guilt that I hadn’t felt before. Like when you forget your laundry in the machine and someone else has to clean their work clothes, and it becomes your fault that they’re late. Dealing with that feeling of seeing that person every day and knowing they know that you’ve fucked up. “SPS” is what they might’ve thought of me. 

10. “BCKYRD”

SANVILLE: Our parents would always say “it would get better” or “you’ll be fine.” And then it got even harder. It left me with the impression that growing up meant things would inherently make more sense. That was wrong. Life is super difficult, and the only time we could actually not care about anything and just send it was when we were kids. Playing in the backyard. Fuck. 

11. “The Song Formerly Known As Intro”

FREEMAN: Well, it was supposed to be the intro track. Now it’s not. It’s about knowing someone toxic is going to try to connect with you at the worst possible moment. Like Tades said earlier, our song titles pretty much don’t relate to the track in any way. Sometimes I wish they had, but we started the band as a means of having fun, and naming our songs something outlandish was how we did that. Maybe someday we’ll grow out of it but not yet. If anything, I feel like it’s almost a staple to Hot Mulligan. When we were talking about the tracklist, this one just didn’t fit as the intro. It didn’t kick in hard enough from the get-go. By [the] time we tracked the lead guitar during the outro, we knew that it was going to be the last song on the album. It just has a more anthemic and soaring outro than anything else, and honestly, it’s the only spot on the record it made sense to put the song. It’s the only one that’s not in the key of Eb major.

If you or someone you know is struggling, there is help to be found. Please consider the following resources:

Confidential Hotlines:

National Rape Crisis Hotline (24/7): 1-800-656-HOPE (4673)
National Domestic Violence Hotline (24/7): 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
GLBTQ Domestic Violence Project (24/7): 1-800-832-1901
Anti-Violence Helpline (24/7): 1-212-714-1141
Planned Parenthood: 1-800-230-752

Organizations:

RAINN (Rape, Abuse And Incest National Network)
SARC (Sexual Assault Resource Center)
Joyful Heart Foundation (Mariska Hargitay’s foundation to end domestic violence and sexual assault)
Men Can Stop Rape (allied men and male victims of sexual assault)