White Hot Ferrari
Levi Lobo – Guitar
Adam Sherlock – Bass, Vox
Andy Patterson – Drums
The beginning of White Hot Ferrari’s “War Childe” sounds like a Peruvian ahuyascan-induced séance set deep in the green of the Amazon. There’s tinker-tot guitar melody, triangle chimes, religious flute, and deep-thrombosis jungle drumming all set to a lugubrious, languorous syncopation. As it turns out, this isn’t the principal sound of WHF, but rather, it’s the band simply “utilizing shit found in the studio”, and, as WHF drummer, Andy Patterson explains, “ embracing the ridiculous.” However, it doesn’t sound ridiculous; the tribal-like introduction is poised with incredible stealth and grace, which fronts a façade of seriousness regardless of whether or not Adam Sherlock, the band’s bassist and vocalist, insists on—jokingly or otherwise—White Hot Ferrari’s penchant for “bay-area new-age.”
It’s impossible to situate WHF and its members; when asked about “War Childe”, Levi Lobo, WHF’s guitarist, insisted with uncompromising lips and a stern stare that I look to Don Johnson and Tubs for inspiration in reading the song. This same determination of obfuscation plays out when the principal sound in “War Childe” finally does emerge, unwittingly of course, in the midst of the meditative daze as a heavy head-banging riff rips through and gut-torn vocals machete the peaceful scene to shit.
This duality—of the serious and the ridiculous—is a major component of White Hot Ferrari. Or, to think of this in more practical, metaphorical, and post-industrial terms, White Hot Ferrari, and its drivers—Levi, Andy, and Adam—is/are a hybrid. It’s impossible to know whether their fuel is predominantly gas (ridiculous) or electric (serious) based, or when one is put to more use, but that’s not the point. The point is that they’re moving. Not only are WHF moving, but also they’re saving the environment with their sexy sex machine. Furthermore, White Hot Ferrari keeps things simple and practical with only two gears: leisurely cruising and balls to the pedal blazing. Their rock transfers in and out of this duality without residue; they’ll slump to a slow dance of self-reflection then peak with speed and intensity within the drop of a high-hat. With such a strong two-speed, White Hot Ferrari confidently insists there’s no need for the in-between. They blur lines become detail and vice versa.
At the start White Hot Ferrari set out to make “a really heavy, bitching rock n’ roll band,” says Levi. They wanted a “manly band”, albeit that Andy admits he’s the “least manly guys he knows.” “Regardless,” Andy continues, “we wanted something kinda knuckle-head rock” with an “aggressive sound,” but that was ultimately “simple and fun.” “A bar band that plays party music,” is what Levi describes as his initial goal of the project. As far as the composition and attack, WHF said, “we weren’t going to over think it; if a riff was bitchin,’ and fit with the next, we were going to stay with it.”
Now, a year later, White Hot Ferrari has kept those adjectives and drives alive with their loud and long head banger of a track, “Wild Childe.” The song title is a tip of the hat to the character ‘Wild Childe’ in the movie Point Break (WHF are totally 80s TV and movie aficionados), and, according to Adam, is “somewhat political.” But for all intents and purposes, it’s a heavy and bitching ride without the hang-ups of a clunky transmission. In addition, they have an album that’s more or less finished—they’re just waiting for GG Allin to resurrect and piss out the details, or, more realistically, they need some dedicated fans to pressure it out of them. The album will include all the fresh little ditties, similar to the beginning of “Wild Childe,” that are interspersed between tracks. These sprinklings that break up the straightforwardness of the songs is what helps remind the WHF members that the band is and was created first and foremost as “a fun side-project, “ wherein “we could play loud and fun music.”
White Hot Ferrari is a serious band that’s serious about not being so serious. In other words, they’re some of the more amicable dudes I’ve ever met who would otherwise look and sound like they belong on motorcycles and in bar fights, or both—in bar fights while on motorcycles. They have enough collective beard hair to cover a small child, however, like their white-hot car, they too have a soft side, or shall I say, a more sympathetic and compassionate relationship to those around them. Before I sat down to interview them they were having their pictures taken for this publication. At first they were acting a little awkward and annoyed, but after a minute or so they were sticking their noses in each other’s ears and caressing beards. White Hot Ferrari is both bitching and endearing. –Spencer Young