They’ve been featured on radio stations, such as 102.5 The Bone and 88.5 WMNF.
They’ve performed gigs at major venues, including The Orpheum and State Theatre.
Now, they’re poised to release their first EP.
Not too shabby for a two-year-old band made of three local high school graduates, all still under the legal drinking age.
The band is called Sick Hot.
It features a pair of Land O’ Lakes High School graduates — guitarist and vocalist Nik Wilson and bassist Chris Erickson— along with Carrollwood Day School graduate Cory Bernardi, who’s on the drums.
For the past six months they’ve been perfecting a three-song EP, titled “House of Delight.” It will be unveiled during a release party on March 1 from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m., at Crowbar in Tampa.
There, Sick Hot will perform an hourlong set of originals and covers. Other local bands slated to perform include Cannibal Kids, The Raine, and Up From Here.
The young trio is described as “classic rock, with a little modern tinge on it,” by Jim Chambers, the band’s manager and founder.
“You’re going to see a young band that performs well beyond their years,” said Chambers, a longtime music industry executive who now operates Jim Chambers Music Box in Carrollwood.
“They’re fantastic, accomplished players, and at such a young age, the music sounds very mature.”
Wilson and Erickson are both 19. Bernardi is 20.
Shaped by their parents’ love of music — and mainly classic rock — each have been playing various instruments since grade school.
That passion for creating music has stayed with them since.
“I just like playing, especially with (Nik and Cory) because they’re always challenging me to be better and keep it interesting,” Erickson said. “We’re always bouncing stuff off each other, but I think the three of us enjoy playing more than anything.”
“We’re always kind of force each other to be better than we could,” Bernardi said.
Wilson undoubtedly stands out, as Sick Hot’s lead guitarist and vocalist.
So does his long, wavy hair, slender frame, and tattoo of Led Zeppelin founder Jimmy Page on his left wrist.
The bandleader doesn’t read music. Instead, he’s able to play back virtually any record after hearing it a few times, keying in on different tones and so forth.
“I can read tabs, but I can’t read like actual music,” Wilson said. “I have a musician’s ear, I guess.”
However Wilson does it, Chambers describes him as “kind of a wunderkind.”
Bernardi and Erickson, meanwhile, mostly let their instruments do the talking.
Aside from Led Zeppelin, of course, Sick Hot draws influences from Rush, Aerosmith and Ted Nugent. They also twist in their own “technical, funky vibes.”
The band swears their sound isn’t just another ’70s rock band clone.
“That’s the one thing we’re trying to avoid,” Erickson said. “No one wants to hear the same thing over and over.”
Added Wilson: “It’s like keeping the spirit of classic rock, like in our generation.”
Sick Hot’s lyrics, meanwhile, have a “kind of psychedelic” feel in the mold of Jimi Hendrix and Cream, band members agreed.
Some of the band’s songs are based on a historical narrative. One track, for instance, revolves around the Prohibition Era.
“I think the idea is we’re kind of like telling a story, rather than singing about a personal thing or something that happened in your life,” Erickson explained. “Kind of telling a story from the outset.”
Whatever they are, Chambers sees a bright future for Sick Hot.
He noted recent Grammy Award-winning Greta Van Fleet has opened the door for other bands to bring classic rock “back into the fray.”
Chambers would know. He won three Grammys with Maroon 5, the Dave Matthews Band and Flyleaf, as a record executive.
“I see classic rock coming back into the modicum of everything, and so with that, they’re poised to be shopped (to record labels),” Chambers said. “I have no doubt I’ll be shopping this record personally to New York City, trying to get them a deal.”
In the meantime, Sick Hot plans to flood the local market with their sound, then take a small summer tour somewhere out of state.
They’re currently shooting a music video for one of their EP tracks, titled “Lost and Forever Gone,” which is set to be released later this month.
A full-length album is also being considered by the up-and-coming band.
“We definitely have enough material to make a whole other album, a full LP,” Bernardi said. “That’s definitely an idea we’ve thought of before.”
Sick Hot’s “House of Delight” EP release party
When: March 1, 8 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Where: Crowbar, 1812 N. 17th St., Ybor City
What: Celebration of Sick Hot’s debut EP, “House of Delight,” with live music performances from several local bands
Cost: $10, all ages
Tickets: Visit Eventbrite.com, and search “Sick Hot”
Published February 20, 2019