HotBed is an energetic rock and roll band from Birmingham, AL that began in November 2015. In the span of a year, they booked and played 62 dates in 16 different states. Through touring, the band financed their first full length record, Heart Beats Strange. HotBed is focusing on touring as much as possible in 2017 to promote the album. 

Members: Michael Messina, James Vance, and Jack Kish 



Jack, John, Vance, and I are endeavoring a career in music. March 18, 2016 marks the last day any of of us work a conventional job for the foreseeable future. In other words, we are quitting our day jobs and putting all of our energy into music.

I have grappled with how to express this to myself and others close to me for quite some time now. I decided to write a letter to myself, in order to make sense of what we are about to do. Moreover, I chose to make this letter public – not to grandstand, boast, or brag about it, but rather, to tell our story with a sincere hope that it will be remembered and inspire others to make strides towards their own dream.

I distinctly remember the first feeling I got from playing shows—I loved it. I have loved playing music for people more than anything I had ever done. From that moment, I remember wanting to make it big. I still don’t know what that really means and I knew that was a lofty idea from the get-go, but this idea has helped me put my all into every aspect of the process—making/recording music, screen printing posters and CDs, putting out flyers, and playing shows.

I thought to myself for a long time what it would take for me to make a living playing music. Not that I ever waited around for things to happen for me, but I recognized that I was doing music part-time. After careful consideration, I came to the conclusion that I needed to take a risk. The only way I can see myself making a living playing music is if I made music my living now, full time.

The next thing I did was begin a conversation with my girlfriend (now wife) about how I could go about actually doing this. We came to the agreement that after she finished school and got a full time job in her career path, that would enable me to endeavor in music full time. My wife understands that this is what I want to do with my life.  I am truly grateful I have a partner who is willing to support my dream in such a real way.  

Once I knew that I actually could give music a real go, I spoke with Jack. Jack and I have been playing music since we were fifteen, and we have had a shared vision for just as long. I knew I wanted to end Giants and Toys, not because it was a bad band. In fact, I loved playing in Giants and Toys – it was immensely formative to who I am as a musician, but it was time for things to change.

Jack and I knew we could not do this alone so we asked our bandmates John and Vance to come along with us. To our absolute joy they both agreed to forego their occupations and endeavor in music—that was the beginning of HotBed.

We started the conversation of going full time as a band, as HotBed, in May of 2015. We all recognized that what we set out to do is risky, so we wanted to make sure we all got our affairs in order as best as we could in preparation for the unknown. We all have bills to pay, among other responsibilities, so we spent the last 10 months getting ready.

I have had my fair share of anxiety attacks these past ten months, but one thing that has not changed is my resolve to move forward with Jack, John, and Vance. I am not sure if I can shake the feeling that I have not done enough to prepare for our adventure ahead. In some respect we will be starting at square one on March 18th.

The only thing I know moving ahead is that I don’t know what the future holds. I do know I will be broke as hell. I know my back is going to hurt from sleeping on the floor of my van. But I also take solace in knowing that I have three of my best friends at my side holding on to the same dream. In close, I can’t wait to get started.



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