Volume 95, Issue 86

Friday, March 15, 2002
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Lowest of the Low begins rise back to the top

Thrilling Digressions

J. Dee's a fantastic burger voyage

Sector Seven quarantine London

Hot Water heats it up onstage

Shits and Giggles

Hot Water heats it up onstage

By Grant Donaldson
Gazette Staff

Gazette File Photo
With old man winter still breathing down our throats, many turn to a tall mug of hot chocolate to warm the soul. But the real cure to the cold weather blues may lie in a single serving of hot water – Hot Water Music that is.

The band's tunes have been dubbed as a range of things, from hardcore punk to alternative, from emo to metal. However, the band's bassist Jason Black argues finding a place within these genres isn't really necessary.

"We try not to [fit under one heading], but if I had to, I'd say rock 'n roll. I mean, when it comes down to it we're guitars, bass and drums – it's just power chords."

Regardless of what you want to call it, the band delivers stirringly-thoughtful lyrics and a sound that shows strong musical progression and a variety of styles.

The seemingly ever-changing tone of Hot Water Music can be attributed to a wide range of influences, including The Byrds, The Kinks and Pink Floyd.

Regarding the band's vast musical taste in music, Black says they simply like good music.

"To be honest," he says, "I personally have a deep-seeded hate for Pink Floyd. I don't really like hippies, but I guess a lot of those punks who are against hippies are the ones on the corner in their leather jackets looking for change, so I don't see much of a difference."

The name Hot Water Music actually comes from the title of a Charles Bukowski book, but as Black admits, "the name holds no special meaning, we just couldn't come up with a name and Chris [Wollard, guitarist/singer] just happened to be reading it at the time. We're very un-creative people."

The Gainsville, Florida quartet from is one of the newest members of the Epitaph Records family, releasing their sixth full-length album, A Flight and a Crash, in 2001. Hot Water Music has recently landed a spot touring with punk-rock legend Bad Religion, something Black says is "a big deal for the four of us.."

In the punk world, the move to a big record company can lead to both a loss of fans and the opportunity to reach even more. "I think it's been a bit of both," Black says. "It's definitely set us up to grow more than regress. Those who were going to give up on us would have once we went on the Warped Tour."

Black believes the band has not given into the corporate powers of the business. "Its not like we sold out, we were offered more money from other labels, but this seemed like the best one."

While they remain confident in their Canadian fans, Black speaks coldly of the impending weather during their upcoming visit to Canada. "It's bad, not good," he chuckles. "I like wearing T-shirts. I don't like wearing 17 layers of scarves and gloves and stuff."

Perhaps there is some meaning behind why they call themselves "Hot" Water Music after all.

Hot Water Music open for Bad Religion Saturday night at Kool Haus in Toronto. For tickets, call Ticketmaster at 1-416 870 8000.

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Copyright The Gazette 2002