Hot Water Music is definitely one of the most respected, hard working bands on the rock/punk scene today. Hailing from Gainesville, Florida, this heart and soul driven quartet give 100% more of themselves to the crowd nearly every night of the week than most bands do in a decade of performances. It apparently pays off well, too; I can't think of a better paycheck than having a sea of frantic fans belting out the lyrics to your set list loud enough to compete with the house sound. In record and live show alike, both energy and good intention spill from this collaboration. Thankfully, even after nearly ten years of travel and hard work, there seems to be no end in sight..........
These responses are coming straight from Chuck (singer/guitarist) and Jason (bass), and the venue is La Zona Rosa. It's a damn good thing I could even decipher this interview, being as it was conducted curbside directly behind an idling R.V. I suppose it's better than intruding into someone's home away from home, but I'm sure I could have thought my way into a better place to stand if I weren't wading through a sea of A.F.I. shirts and punk hungry kids foaming at the mouth at the very sight of Davey Havoc. Eh, you take it as it comes....
LAB- So, you guys are on the road an awful lot-are you getting tired yet?
HWM-Oh, of course, but it's all about the shows. Even with the living out of a bag, and all the driving, and all the shitty places to sleep, it's still very much worth it. It's just like any other job, but....it's what we love, so....And if it weren't for all the people that support us, you know. We wouldn't be able to do this without them. Plus, we've been at it for so long, I (Chuck) get bored if I'm in one place for too long, you know what I mean?(laughter)
LAB- Right, right- I gotcha. (Not really!)With all this touring, do you have any favorite bands to tour with, and preferences developed along the way?
HWM- No, not really, I don't think. We had a great time touring with the Bouncing Souls-they're a really great band, great people, and like-everything that could've gone wrong along the way that could have did, and things still worked out all right. It was a great time, and we learned a lot playing with those guys every night. We also had a lot of fun touring with the Alkaline Trio; they're really good friends of ours as well, and they're just a bunch of great guys, so I guess it just depends on who we're with at the time. I think we just get along with pretty much anybody, so I couldn't really state a preference.
LAB-What would you consider your biggest influences when your writing?
HWM- Really our friends, mostly, but, whomever we're touring with, also. Since, they normally are your friends when you're out on the road.
LAB- Is there any specific way each song evolves as it works its way to the record? Do you write in any specific order is what I mean. Do you write words and then put music to it, or do you come up with guitar ideas first, and then put in the lyrics, or what?
HWM- Well, I think most things get started with the guitar/bass, music end of things, but we're always writing while we're on the road, scribbling things down here and there pretty much constantly. So, I guess it's a combination of both, depending on what the inspiration of the day was.
LAB-What kind of stuff (other than the other bands you're touring with) do you usually listen to when you're out on the road? What's in your c.d. player right now?
HWM- Mainly a lot of mellow stuff, since in the shows every night it's just rock, rock, rock. A lot of indie stuff, some Bob Marley-actually, a lot of world beat music, just whatever is relaxing or inspiring to hear.
LAB- Awesome, I can certainly dig upon some Bob Marley. Your band name is the same as the title of a Charles Bukowski novel, a collection of short stories; is that just a coincidence, or are you guys into Bukowski's works, or what's the deal?
HWM- Well, it's no coincidence-that's where the name comes from, but no, there's no relevance other than we liked the name, and it stuck. We just put it on a flyer and it kind of grew on us.
LAB- Did you read the book?
HWM- Yeah, but I don't really remember all of the stories too well. It's been a long time, and a lot's happened since then.
LAB-I can understand that. I'm a Bukowski fan, and I haven't even had the chance to read the book yet. What about your album cover art, I assume you guys know the artist personally, right? I've never seen his work aside from your records, so is he a friend of yours or what?
HWM- Yeah, yeah, like-he's in the band. I mean, not one of us, but he's like a member of the band to us. His names in the sleeves somewhere I'm pretty sure, but it's Scott Sinclair, he's our friend from Florida, who currently lives in Boston.
LAB-Ah yes, I ask in fact, because I was too damn lazy to open up and read the sleeve!
No, I am just joking, but I am an art fan, and I needed to know specifics.
HWM-Yeah, that's cool. He's a great guy. We let him hear the music, and talk about ideas and stuff. He's totally open to our suggestions, and we really just like everything he puts together, so it's an excellent relationship.
LAB- Yeah, that's great. I would imagine it's certainly helped him acquire a larger fan base as well, seeing as how much I've come to enjoy buying art with his art on it. Well guys, thanks a bunch for the time, and I look forward to the show, and I hope everything keeps going well for you until the next time we hook up at Emo's in November.
HWM- Yeah, thanks a lot, and we hope you enjoy the show.
LAB- Absolutely-no question about that.
Well, I can tell you that the show immediately following was excellent, and I can almost say the same for the venue (they were a little inhospitable). The place was pretty nice, but the drinks we're too damn much and they didn't tell me shit at the press window, so I was apparently winging it against the wind, if you follow me. Be sure to check out the bands website for tour information and a discography, and then go and purchase something so these guys can continue to eat on a regular basis. For now, so long, and thanks for all the shoes...