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Interview
Hot Water Music

Hot Water Music

date
Thursday 30th September, 2010 12:42PM

Floridian punks Hot Water Music are in the third phase of their existence, having spent time apart from 96-97 and 06-08. Since their latest reunion, the band has toured sporadically around the U.S. and Europe and now there is talk of a new album, provided all of the member’s can find the time. In December, Hot Water Music will be making a beeline for New Zealand, playing shows in Wellington and Auckland with good friends and tour mates The Bouncing Souls along for the ride. Cameron from 95bFM's The Mind Set had a chat with Hot Water Music bassist Jason Black after a recent trip around Europe to find out how the band (despite myriad other musical projects) manages to stick together and what NZ audiences are in for when they arrive.

So you’ve just done a European tour?

Yeah we just finished that at the end of June so we’ve been home for a couple of months. But yeah that’s been the last tour that we’ve tackled.

And what have you been doing back in the States?

We all play in a bunch of different bands so everyone’s been kind of busy going around doing that stuff for the last couple of months.

So are you recording new material with Hot Water Music?

Not yet. One thing we’re doing is a split 7-inch with The Bouncing Souls for the tour and that’s the only thing that we’ve been able to get under control at this point. We’re planning on it but as to when; it’s still undecided at this point.

Have you chosen a drummer?

It’ll be George [Rebelo] for that.

Ah ok, but you’re playing with Dave Raun for the NZ/Aus tour?

Yeah he’s just filling in on tour while George is busy but as far as recording goes it’ll be George for sure.

What can we expect from the New Zealand tour?

Hopefully a really good show [laughs]. The set list has been good, it’s been pretty varied, over the course of all the releases. I think with us and The Bouncing Souls we try to do a couple of songs together and just try and mix it up a little bit every night, do a little bit of guest appearances in each other’s spots and all that sort of thing so it should be a little bit more exciting than just your regular show for either of the bands. I think it’s a really good package, I think everyone should be there, a pretty exciting night hopefully.

Have you found much of a difference before and after your 2005 split?

Not really, we’ve been friends for so long and been in this band for so long that I don’t think there’s ever going to be an insane difference one way or the other, which is good I guess. I think if anything it’s a little bit more relaxed but overall it’s still a very comfortable, homely feeling.

The other side projects you were talking about, is that with The Draft as well?

No, I play in this other band called Senses Fail. George is busy with Against Me and Chris and Chuck do solo stuff all the time so it’s just a matter of shuffling everyone’s schedules to make everything work.

How did you go from playing jazz with George to playing in a punk band?

He and I had always been playing different kinds of music and I don’t know, I guess it was just the one that kind of stuck as far as getting anything together. There’s a point really for us where we grew up and where we lived where there wasn’t necessarily much of a jazz scene to make a go of that. I mean maybe there was but I don’t think either he or I were interested in that point, we were more interested in being kind of a rock band so it’s just sort of the path we went down.

And are you happy with where you’ve come from, from 15 years ago?

Yeah for sure, absolutely, I think we both count ourselves as very lucky to be where we’re at.

What’s been the biggest compliment from a fan?

I don’t know, I don’t really take any of them lightly. I think just the fact that someone will spend their money and their time, paying attention to something you’ve done is a big pretty compliment honestly. I find myself deciding not to do that pretty often and when I do make that choice it’s because I’m actually really excited and generally enjoy whatever band or movie, I think that that alone is a pretty hefty compliment. I can’t think of one in particular, it’s been about 15, 20 years since I started touring and talking to people [laughs] so there’s not one that’s sticking out right now.

How come you moved from Epitaph to No Idea?

We didn’t really. Our first records were all out on No Idea and we actually moved from No Idea to Epitaph and the last singles collection that we released was going to be released via No Idea anyway so it just made sense to put it out with them. There were a few songs that were b-sides from the Epitaph records, so we just asked if they minded if we put those out through No Idea and they didn’t care. Since it was just singles and it wasn’t any new material and them being b-sides and whatnot, we didn’t really want to necessarily make it this huge production, we just kind of wanted to put it out there and have something to play some shows around and whatnot, so that was kind of the thought process behind that one.

Have you found much of a change from recording, and just music in general from say, 10 years ago?

Yeah the internet pretty much flipped everything, and I think that’s still developing and will continue to affect the whole industry, recording and music in a number of ways, both good and bad. That’s obviously the catalyst for the main changes between now and 10 years ago, other than that it’s just the normal scenes come and go, and bands come and go, and trends come and go. You kind of try and weather it and just try and stay as relevant as you can through it all.

And how do you do that?

Just do your own thing and hope that people like it.

So how do you reckon Hot Water Music has stayed together for so long for?

I think it’s because we really love doing it, and we’re friends before we’re a band so I think that helps a lot too, I think if we didn’t really like doing it we wouldn’t bother. We don’t live anywhere near each other, it’s a pretty big hassle for us to be together, I think it’s just the genuine love of what we do.

Is there anywhere in the world you’d like to play but haven’t yet?

Umm, China. Well, we’ve never done Hawaii or Alaska which is weird, I’d like to go to both states and play there, and I’ve never been to Africa, it’d be real cool to play some shows there for sure, Indonesia as well. There are a lot of places which are off the beaten path as far as touring goes, we’ve been lucky enough to be able to go to a lot of places and play a lot of shows and see a lot of stuff, but yeah there are always a few places left, for sure.

Where do you get your musical inspiration from?

All kinds of stuff really, always trying to find new bands and things. We all listen to all different kinds of music, and that’s kind of lent itself to how the band developed and the sound of the band and whatnot. We do really have pretty varying musical influences that go all over the map, so it’s impossible to pin it down to one particular thing.

What’s been your favourite release under Hot Water Music?

I don’t know, I’d have to say ‘No Division’ or ‘Caution’, probably ‘Caution’. I think that’s the record that I think we all feel the most. We did a really good job and its super complete, and the circumstances, I think everything around that time of the band was really good and things were really cohesive and I think everything just kind of hit the mark well. That was a good run for sure on that record.

How do you think your new recording will go?

I don’t know, I mean every record for us is so different and it’s such a different writing process every time around that it’s really hard to predict. I’d like to think that it’ll be pretty smooth. Since we haven’t done it in a while I think that everybody will have a lot of ideas to bring to the table and it should be pretty exciting, it should stay pretty fresh. Hopefully it’ll be good and productive.

How was it touring with The Bouncing Souls, because you’ve played with them before in 2002?

Yeah we’ve done a bunch of shows with them. We’re really good friends, we’ve been friends for a long time now and it’s awesome, it’s a great time, a lot of fun.

Where do you see Hot Water Music in the future?

Umm, I have no idea. I mean hopefully still just kind of doing our thing in whatever way we can. We haven’t really put any kind of limitations or a schedule or anything like that on it, I would imagine that we’ll be around in one form or another as long as we all feel like doing it, for sure.

Interview thanks to Cameron Adams from 95bFM's The Mindset and Gareth Meade (intro and editing).

HOT WATER MUSIC & THE BOUNCING SOULS

Thursday 2nd Dec San Francisco Bath House, Wellington
Friday 3rd Dec Kings Arms, Auckland

Tickets on sale now from HERE at UTR.



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