Live / CD review-
Review by Jacqie
Hot Water Music never ceases to amaze me. In the past year I have been fortunate enough to see Hot Water Music perform on three seperate occassions. All of which quenched my need for some straight up rock with a pinch of punk to add flavor. Since the last time I had seen HWM they have released their new album "The New What Next" (Epitaph) which created an immense amount of buzz around the music scene. Just before HWM took the stage, I got to converse with bassist Jason Black about the new album and what I was to except from their live show. Jason explained that HWM experimented with different effects a lot on the new album and claimed it was their effort yet. Of course, this made me even more eager for HWM to take the stage. My anticipation turned to bliss as the guys took the stage and blasted out some of their new tunes as well as older jams. Their new smash hit "Poison" is nothing short of brilliant as is the rest of the new album. There is nothing more entertaining than hearing sounds of perfection while being able to match it with the sight of a band who plays their hearts out. A HWM show is best summed up as sheer butt-kicking energy all the way through. After ten years of playing together HWM continues to bring us beautifully performed and written lyrics, bone-rattling bass lines, guitar riffs that define rock and roll and drum beats that in one word "shred". Pick up "The New What Next" and go check out HWM when they rock and roll through your town.
Hot Water Music's Jason Black
Interview by Jacqie
I was lucky enough to sit down with Jason Black, bass player extraordinarie of Hot Water Music. Jason explains what it takes to be in a successful touring band and the secrets to earning well deserved longevity.
Jacquie: Each and every year your fanbase continues to grow and grow. What's the secret to doing so while remaining true to yourseld and while keeping a strong credibility as a band?
Jason Black: I think the key is to always be yourself and stay true to what you are doing. We have always done our own thing and never worried about mainstream and those types of things. I think that people can see that in our music and performances and feel like they can relate to us. Doing our own thing has allowed us to be content as a band and has allowed us to keep reaching more and more people.
Jacquie: Hot Water music has been around since 1994 so you've definitely witnessed many changes in the music scene. Which aspects from when do you first started out do you miss? on the flip side, what do you think has prgressed in the scene?
Jason Black: One of the major things that I definitely miss are the basement shows. I love the small shows where kids are just packed in, those are some of the best.
Jacquie: What can the fans excpet from Hot Water Music in the near future?
Jason Black: Well we are going to finish up this tour and promote the new album, then I think we are going to try and jump on another tour with a bigger act. (Hot Water Music supporting)
Jacquie: I actually have been to quite a few HWM shows, the last one I attended was the last date on your last headlinging tour while promoting 'Caution'. One thing I distinctly remember you saying to the Palo Alto crowd was "Congratulations you have a really cool scene." In your opinion what aspects of a scene make it fun to play for?
Jason Black: It's always really cool to play for a scence that apprectiates what your putting out there for them. A crowd that is really into the music and sings along is always really fun to play for. I think also, that the community aspect of that cetain scene is really important. When we played for Palo Alto, it was really memorable because that was one of the most fun dates on that tour, the crowd made the show.
Jacquie: If you had to construct a tour of your choice, who would be on the bill?
Jason Black: That's tough, but I'm going to go with us, Alkaline Trio, and AFI.
Jacquie: HWM is known for being total road-hogs. Last September I had a chance to interview Chris and he was telling me all about your tour schedule. I couldn't believe how long you guys go out on the road for, out of all the places you stop which states/citites are craziest for you?
Jason Black: Oh man, California KILLS us. We have a lot of friends here so whenever we come through everyone wants to hang out. Our days are always packed but so much fun. The whole tour isn't like that though, for instance if we are somehwere like Albuqueque it's a more of a relaxing time. California though, California kills us.
Jacquie: In making your new album I read that you guys changed it up and experimented with new things like different tunings and whatnot, these were things that you said you never thought you'd do on an album, why not?
Jason Black: Basically we let our producer take control in adding different effects and all those kind of things. We wanted to do something new and different. We don't want to keep making the same album over and over so we decided to add things we never thought we would add before. The reason being, before we didnt want to have stuff on the album that we couldn't manage to pull off on stage, but this time around we just went for it.
Jacquie: Was that always a fear? Not being able to mimick the effects on the album in your live performance?
Jason Black: Definitely, we didn't want people to have listened to the album then come to the show and be dissapointed. That's why we stuck to whatever we could pull off on stage so what you hear on the album is what your are going to here at our shows, no surprises. But now I think that our fans and people that come to the show will notice the effects aren't there but I don't think they will think too much about it.
Jacquie: On a completely random note. Halloweens coming up,what's on the agenda? Are you the dressing up kind of guy?
Jason Black: We actually have a show in our hometown on Halloween. We haven't had a Halloween show in a long time, I'm not sure if we are going to dress up or not. The last time we has a Hallowwen show we dressed up as big babies. We try to think of the most disgusting things to see us in on stage. We all wore these big adult diapers, it was gross.
Jacquie: Not many bands can say they have been established as long as HWM. What advice do you have for newer bands that pray they can be around as long as HWM, while still making killer tunes as yourselves?
Jason Black: I would say that to be in a successful band you really have to do your own thing. You can't start out by saying "this is what kind of band we are going to be" because of what's "in" at the time. You have to make music that is something you enjoy and the music has to evolve with how you change and grow as a person. The bands that I know that have gotten very successful have always done their own thing. That would be my advice.
Jacquie: Lastly, for all the dedicated HWM fans, do you have any messages you'd like to express to them?
Jason Black: I would like to tell them all thank you. Thank you for coming to our shows and supporting us for as long as you have, we all really appreciate it.
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