Band of the Week: Heatwarmer

Recommended if you like: Herbie Hancock, Michael McDonald, Nirvana

By Gwendolyn Elliott


January 16, 2017

With so much happening in Seattle’s bustling music scene these days, how do you even know where to start? Allow the highly trained culture curators of to help with Band of the Week. This week, we catch up with indie jazz jammers Heatwarmer, an eclectic three-piece ensemble comprised of Luke Bergman (bass, vocals), Aaron Otheim (keys, vocals) and Evan Woodle (drums, vocals), inexhaustible players who also rotate through many other Seattle rock, indie, blues and jazz outfits, from Thousands and Lonesome Shack to Chemical Clock. Heatwarmer plays Barboza this Thursday (1/19); here, Bergman tells us what else is new.  

In three sentences, tell us the story of your band: Luke recorded a handful of songs and put them up on his Myspace page called, “Heatwarmer.” Luke and Aaron met in college and began collaborating and Heatwarmer the real band started. Luke and Aaron became big fans of Evan from his work in local band Chemical Clock and other bands, and when Heatwarmer’s original drummer left, they asked Evan to join and he said “yes.”

What have you been working on these days? We have been fine tuning a collection of new songs and are now only one iota away from finishing an album of said songs which we are very excited about! For this set of stuff we pulled a lot of inspiration from things like commercial music from the ’70s (there’s so much good stuff on YouTube) as well as Steven Spielberg-style movie soundtrack stuff. You might hear some Michael McDonald or Herbie Hancock references in there too. There’s also a couple of bratty rock songs. Hopefully there’s a little something for everybody. The theme that connects it together is just whatever feels good to play and makes us giggle which is always changing. The record also features several very excellent horn and string players that make the music sound way better than what the three of us could do alone. You can expect the album to arrive in the next year, and there will be a few little extra presents leading up until that. 

What does being an artist/musician/band in Seattle mean to you?
It means whatever kinda music you make, just call it grunge! Just kidding. We’ve all been very lucky to be able to do music for a living in one way or another. There are lots of musicians in Seattle and so there’s always stuff to go see. It’s a bummer that a lot of the cool DIY spaces have such a hard time staying open, both because it’s a labor of love for the people who run them and because it’s so expensive to rent a place. It would be nice if the people who create these cool spaces for art to happen could be helped out by the city or some rich people or something! But Seattle is great overall. There is lots of good music happening here! My new years resolution is to jam more with new people.

What BIG question should we ask, and what’s the answer? Will we expland the band with a big horn section this year? Yes!

What’s next? January 19th at Barboza with two of our favorite local bands, Invisible Hand and Just Chatting. We will be playing some of our new songs!

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