With The New What Next, Hot Water Music builds on its legacy and defies easy categorization by unveiling a twelve-song arsenal that's sure to please long-time disciples and recent converts alike. And that was the band's motivation all along. "Basically, the thing we wanted to do was bridge the gap between our older and newer fans," *Black* explains.
Jason Black took time out to talk to us about life on the road and staying true to your roots...
Band Hammer: First of all what have you been up to lately?
Jason Black: Lately, we've been taking some time off and just getting ready for this tour. And voting.
BH: You guys are now considered crafty veterans, any words of advice for rookie musicians?
JB: Do your own thing...above all else.
BH: The new record, The New What Next, is amazing. New tempos and some different tunings. What inspired the change?
JB: Writing songs and being a band for so long, you really want to get into new things for sure. Also, we really like to challenge ourselves as musicians as much as possible, so it's a very natural thing for us to push the envelopes of what we can play and write.
BH: You have worked with producer Brian Mcternan before. Is it easier for you to work with a familiar producer?
JB: At this point, yes. We've developed a great relationship with Brian over the past few years both professionally and as friends. At this point, we feel knows us better and pushes us harder to live up to our potential than any other producer we've encountered.
BH: When you first got signed, did it live up to your expectations of being a signed act?
JB: Well, we've been signed to one label or another ever since we started working with Doghouse, so it's kind of a non-issue for us at this point.
BH: You have been on many a tour. Who have you seen on the road that really impressed you?
JB: Hands down, one of the best live shows we've ever seen is Calexico.
BH: Hot Water has always had a very unique sound, what bands would you say influenced your sound?
JB: We're much more influenced by music in general than any specific bands, which is why we've been able to maintain such an original sound. We definitely have had our influences over the years, but these days we find more creative sparks from our friends and our experiences than any particular band.
BH: If you could create the ideal tour, comprised of bands living or dead, who would you take on your tour?
JB: HWM, Alkaline Trio, Avail, Bouncing Souls, F-Minus, Thrice.
BH: If you could change anything about Hot Water's past, what would it be?
JB: Absolutely nothing, although I think we all wish we'd not been such road dogs for so long. However, without that experience, we wouldn't be able to maintain our current work ethic.
BH: How would you say that HWM maintains its level of credibility in the current music scene where all bands seem to be disposable?
JB: Well, I'd have to say that's due to our basic ignorance of any current trends. By doing what at least you consider to be your own thing, you avoid catering to short-lived trends and build a foundation that outlasts the "flavor-of-the-week" curse.
BH: Give us your best road story. Spare no details, the names will be changed to protect the innocent.
JB: The first story that comes to mind is the time that one of us took ectasy in Prague and managed to get lost for about 9 hours while looking for a place to by smokes.
BH: Name 3 things that you cant live without on the road.
JB: Cell phone, sidekick, Ipod.
BH: Make up a new catch phrase to define your style of music. (such as screamo emo post adolescent harcore indie oi punk) Cant use any of those...
BH: What is the scene like in Florida as compared to the rest of the country?
JB: Florida is a very isolated place as far as not that many touring bands come down due to the geographical inconvenience of it. So, it's always had more of a "make your own scene, start your own band" vibe than a lot of the major places we play.
BH: My favorite track on the new record has to be POISON, what inspired this explosive anthem?
JB: That was actually one of the first songs we started working on for this record, and it just kind of came together fairly easily. The vocals have been reworked countless times, but the end result was definitely worth the effort. As far as inspiration goes, we wrote that when we were on the road with Alkaline Trio in the UK, so I'm sure that had something to do with it.
BH: If you were not in HWM what would you be doing?
JB: Playing bass in another band.
BH: Where do you see HWM heading in the next year?
JB: On tour everywhere, then at home resting.
BH: Have you gotten the chance to meet any musical idols that turned out to be assholes?
JB: Luckily enough, no. Everyone I've ever been lucky enough to meet has been very cool, for sure.
BH: Insert shameless self promotion here...
JB: we rule your ass!
Many thanks to Jason and Hot Water Music for giving us his interview.