HOT WATER MUSIC | The Interview


Hot Water Music

Words by Nowak

I couldn’t think of a snappy introduction paragraph for this Hot Water Music Interview. My deadline has come and gone. Twice. The magazine is due to the printer tomorrow, and finally I had the chance to transcribe this interview done on Christmas Eve Eve, two weeks later. Ah, the holiday shitstorm of family, friends, traveling, barely sleeping, and far too much celebrating… Sweet Jesus McGee, I’m glad it’s over. I will say this, though: Hot Water Music is a rad band hailing from Gainesville, Florida that I’ve been listening to for many years now, and I was stoked to get a chance to chat with their bass player, Jason Black. Here it is, now I’m gonna go catch up on some sleep.

How’s it going? Is Hot Water Music home now enjoying some time between tours?
We’re off until the beginning of February; just kinda getting ready for the holidays.

Are you having a good time with the holidays, or are you a scrooge like me?
I don’t mind it. I get along with my family, and they’re fairly functional, so it’s a pretty easy trip for me.

Are you stoked about Hot Water Music hitting Germany in February?
Yeah, absolutely. I’m very excited about getting back over to Europe. We haven’t been over yet since the new record came out. Should be a lot of fun.

What are the raddest things and the biggest hassles about Hot Water Music playing overseas?
The biggest hassle is flying, and not having your own gear. Even when you’re there for a really long time it’s such a “temporary” situation – you’re renting gear, and renting a van. Obviously everything’s different. It’s like, you’re on the road here [in the U.S.], you’re just not at your home, but you’re afforded the same sort of conveniences across the country. There’s always a 7-11 or whatever. Or, eh, we’re gonna go get a drink, and there’s someplace to go. Europe, they have much less of like a chain-oriented infrastructure of convenience that we have here. I mean, you can find it in the major cities but it’s all still kind of relatively locally owned there. So, I’d say the widespread convenience and the widespread… you know, like a nice hotel over there, you’re still only getting 3 channels of German TV. So you’re like, “Awesome, we got a hotel tonight – but I can’t watch shit because I can’t understand anything.” And if you happen to find an American program, it’s dubbed, so then you’re watching The Simpsons in German.

In doing my meager Hot Water Music research for this interview, I read about [guitarist/vocalist] Chuck’s accident and the surgery on his hand. That’s a crazy story!
It’s pretty intense. It was a little touch-and-go there for most of the summer.

So he just like accidentally put his hand down on a wine glass and the stem went right through his hand?!
That’s exactly it. Yeah, it was a very sober evening for us, too. Like, of course, things like that never happen when you’re drunk.

He’s all better now, right?
Yeah, he’s not totally healed, but he’s totally capable of playing and doesn’t have to do too much physical therapy.

With the hurricanes, shark attacks, humidity, alligators, giant insects, and now Shaquille O’Neal, what is a good reason for Hot Water Music to be in Florida?
Well, it doesn’t snow. And you are surrounded by the beaches. If I moved anywhere, it would be to California. It would be here or there. You know, you grow up in that kind of environment, and you kinda stick with it for the rest of your life.

Yeah, I moved back to Virginia from San Diego a year ago, and I’m hating the weather right now.
Yeah, totally. It’s like, for all the expensive parts of San Diego, and all the over-zealous jock guys, the weather’s real nice.

Back when I first started listening to Hot Water Music and I wasn’t all that familiar with your back catalog yet, I picked up a CD by a band called Hot Water, and the album was called Hot Water Music; I’m sure you know about that one. What was the deal with that? Was there any kind of copyright infringement going on?
Yeah, they tried to like sue us to change our name. We basically just refused. Luckily for us they didn’t really do anything, and it has resulted in a very minor confusion for the most part.

Have you actually heard the Hot Water Music album?
No. I’ve heard parts of it. It’s definitely not us.

Definitely not; it’s like southern rock kinda stuff. One last thing, do you have any thoughts on nightclub security in light of the murder of Dimebag Darrell?
I’m waiting to see how that works out when we go out on tour. Like the whole Great White thing changed everything pretty drastically. Every club has had to cut back their capacity, you can’t fly backdrops without a fire certificate. I’m not surprised that happened at all, I mean outside the actual insanity of the act, like security guards seem to spend most of their time beating people up in the crowd than actually making sure that [people are safe]. I don’t mean to make a generalization – but to go ahead and make one – security guards tend to feel like everyone on tour is working for them, and it’s their club, and that’s how things are gonna be that night or whatever. But, actually, you’re working for us that night, and this is how we want things to run, and it’s far more important to us that nobody gets hurt, and nobody walks backstage and steals all of our stuff, and nobody comes on stage for no reason. So hopefully, they’ll have to redefine their job description a little bit, and do what they’ve been hired to do in the first place.

Yeah, the only time I’ve ever been searched or anything is at hip-hop shows. Like they don’t even bother at rock shows.
To me, I don’t think searching anybody is a bad idea. What’s the problem? What do you have that you’re not supposed to have? I understand if you’re trying to smuggle weed in or sneak a flask in or whatever, but if they’re gonna search you, you’re not gonna do that anymore. That sucks that you have to pay these exorbitant drink prices and whatnot, but at the same time, that’s better that someone coming in and – even if nothing happens the artist, anybody coming in with a weapon at all is a danger to everybody at the show. That’s not what it’s about, for us, anyway.


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