"Timing. It's always been a matter of timing," says a re-energized vocalist/guitarist Chuck Ragan about what was the obstacle that stood in the way of HOT WATER MUSIC's
return to recording as a band. "We've wanted to get it together but have all been full steam ahead in our own directions that it's taken this long to do it." Luckily for their fans, time has been on their side long enough to record two new songs for release next month - their first recordings in seven years. "The Fire, The Steel, The Tread / Adds Up To Nothing" EP will be released digitally on August 2, 2011 and available for pre-order beginning on August 15 in limited edition packages (physical release: August 29).
With one song ("Adds Up To Nothing") recorded in the band's original hometown of Gainesville, FL by Ryan Williams and the other ("The Fire, The Steel, The Tread") in Grass Valley, CA by renowned folk engineer Bruce Wheelock (Chuck Ragan, Bob Bradshaw, Alasdair Fraser), the EP presents two blistering post-hardcore tracks that marks a return to Hot Water Music's early punk glory while taking into account the years of growth apart. "I think the most positive effect [of having that time off] is that after being away from writing together for so long, it feels very fresh and invigorating," says bassist Jason Black. The songs were recorded in stages without all four members being in the same studio at the same time. "We're still four moving parts in a moving world and have been sending ideas back and forth as well as recordings," explains Chuck. "So it's extremely exciting to us to see what we accomplish in the same room soon after seeing what we were able to do over the lines."
While the two songs will be released nationally through digital retailers on August 2, the pre-sale will begin on August 15 for vinyl 7" copies will be available from three separate outlets (No Idea Records, Chunksaah Records, and Hot Water Music's webstore) - each outlet carrying different colored vinyl, bundled with a special edition t-shirt limited to just 1,000 copies. Standard 7" copies will be available via retail on August 29.
7" artwork Click for hi-res Encouraged by the spark that fueled this recording, the four members of the band are excited to return to the studio together again. "I've yet to be in the studio with everyone, but if it's even close to the way soundcheck and our shows have been over the last few years, I'm not worried one bit. Everything comes full circle and if you believe in what you're doing and how you're living, everything will fall into place," says Chuck. Adds Jason, "Everything fell into place very quickly, I'd say. We've been a band for a long time now, so it really is second nature to make music together."
Hot Water Music first formed in 1993 in Gainesville, FL and quickly rose to the top of the post-hardcore punk scene. After releasing seven studio albums, two compilations, one live album and countless numbers of 7"s, EPs and splits, the band took an indefinite hiatus in 2005 but reunited in 2008 and have been playing numerous festivals, quick tour runs, and one-off shows ever since. "Next up is a European tour in August, Riot Fest East in Philadelphia [September 24, 2011] and The Fest in Gainesville in October," lists Jason. "Aside from those shows, we're going to be writing and getting ready to record the new album in the Winter of next year."
"I feel like we accomplished more than we'd ever dreamed years ago. So from those points on, it all feels like a blessing," concludes Chuck. "Granted, it is hard work and we do make sacrifices to do what we love, but at the end of the day, if we can hang onto the bond and the reasons that HWM began in the first place and what drove us all those years, then we've done our job. If we can continue playing our hearts out, smiling while doing it and continue to grow as friends and as musicians close to 20 years later, then we've succeeded beyond all of my hopes and expectations."
Hot Water Music is Chuck Ragan (vocals, guitar), Chris Wollard (vocals, guitar), Jason Black (bass), and George Rebelo (drums).