Hot Water Music: ‘We Strive For A Wide Ranging Sound’Interview
Clara Cullen gives Hot Water Music a quick interrogation about their first album in eight years.
It's been eight years since Hot Water Music's last musical offering. In the interim, the band's members explored musical stylings as diverse as punk rock and country music. Now on Rise Records Hot Water Music, known for their fusion of gritty punk, anthemic sing-alongs and technical virtuosity return with their most anticipated album to date 'Exister'. DIY sits down with the band for a quick interrogation.
‘Exister’ is Hot Water Music’s first album in eight years, and the first album since the band reformed. During the break everyone in the band was engaged in other musical projects. Do you think the break, and particularly the different musical sounds the band explored while away from Hot Water Music has influenced the new album and in what ways?
Absolutely. One thing we've always strived for is having a very wide ranging sound. Playing with other musicians is a great way to educate yourself and grow, and the more you can bring to the table when writing, the more you have to work with, and hopefully the better the end result.
Next year will be the 20th anniversary of Hot Water Music's formation. The band is renowned for its sound, which melds punk rock vocals, rock n’ roll guitars and a really complex rhythm section. How do you think the band’s sound has evolved over the last 20 years?
Well, hopefully organically and honestly... and for the better. It's hard to really describe something you're so heavily involved in objectively, but we'd all like to think the biggest evolution is the quality of what we do now.
‘Exister’ was produced by Bill Stevenson of The Descendents. What was it like working with Bill and how did the experience vary from the making of other Hot Water Music albums?
Amazing! In short, we had the most fun we've ever had recording, and it seems to have shown through onto the songs.
Hot Water Music are from Gainesville, Florida. Gainesville has produced a load of great rock n’ roll bands from Tom Petty through to Against Me! and Less Than Jake. How (if at all) has the musical community in Gainesville influenced the band’s music?
Gainesville is very locally oriented, so there was no way to not soak in the bands that we became friends with and came up. The biggest influence, however, was having a home base with no idea records.
Are you guys’ big vinyl fans? And if so, what are your earliest vinyl memories?
We definitely are. Personally, I think that's the best way to listen to not only our band, but any band that bothers to release their music that way. There just something more real about holding a peace of wax and listening to the needle hit the grooves than pressing the space bar on my computer.
Hot Water Music played a really special show at London's, Old Blue Last recently. What was the thinking behind the show, and how did it will differ from playing much bigger club shows?
We had a very short run of four shows sorted and were trying to work in something in the UK to help celebrate the release of the record. The good folks at Rocksound got involved and the rest just fell into place. Hopefully the special gig is one for the ages. We really like digging our teeth into awesome shows like this.
Were there any particular albums that you were listening to during the writing process for ‘Exister’ that influenced the direction of the album?
We actually try to stay away from listening to anything that may seep in... so unless the record sounds like Jimmy Cliff or Steve Earle, we're probably good to say "no".
Last year Hot Water Music made a triumphant return to Reading and Leeds festival. What was it like playing at the festival, and do you have any great Reading and Leeds memories?
The best part was playing with The Descendents and just being asked to play the Lockup stage again... it's the most famous festival in the world and we're happy to be a part of it.
Finally, if you were to sum up ‘Exister’ in three words, what would they be?
Direct, positive, done.
Hot Water Music's new album 'Exister' will be released on 14th May via Rise Records.