Hot Water Music

By bushy

“On A Flight And A Crash we were really angry. There were a lot of bad things in our lives”. Hot Water Music’s Chris Wollard is sitting at the bar before the bands headline show at the Garage. When he talks about the genesis of the band’s latest album ‘The New What Next’ you can immediately sense how important the topic is to him. “I wanted this record to be the end of the thoughts that were troubling me on A Flight And A Crash” he explains. “ A Flight And A Crash ended up being a really dark record – about searching for many things. Caution was kinda working on it. I was working my way through – but not quite through. When we started making this record we knew, just from being really good friends, that things where different. I found my way out and now it’s time to think about that. I wanted to document that myself because it’s a huge thing to me personally. To me that’s the way I think about this record and that’s why I like the title.” The title Chris likes so much actually came from an old Children’s journal with the pages ripped out. It’s clear that the band, in terms of emotions, links the three Epitaph albums together and this is something Chris confirms. “ I can’t even think about one of those records without thinking how it fits into the other two”. It appears though, that a corner has been turned. “This was where something else starts – in your mind and in your heart. So it’s very fucking important”.

It seems like Chris has good reason to be happy with his current situation. “This Year I’ve had a lot more time at home than before and strangely enough I end up getting a girlfriend and I bought a fucking home.” It is clear that this has not always been on the agenda. “When we were touring heavy – I mean really heavy, like 250 days a year, I never imagined I could have a girlfriend.”

Of course Hot Water Music are a band well renowned for their heavy touring. “We have a lot of home towns”, exclaims Chris. “Some cities we’ve played in I have more friends than where I live. That’s what comes with always being on the road and living a circus carnival life.” The small town up bringing of the band has played a large part in the touring ethos of Hot Water Music. “We’re privileged if anyone asks us to play a show. Where we come from is such a small town. There are a lot of great bands that come from there but we live in the middle of nowhere so you don’t get a lot of shows. People really care a lot man. Like in London, you guys can probably see five different shows a night but people without that are just as keen anybody to see shows”. This desire to play to everyone was showcased on their last European tour where the band performed to a host of obscure German town. “It’s important to play places we don’t normally play”, explains Chris, who goes on to talk a little more about playing in Germany. “I love Germany – we’ve been there so many times. They’re very passionate people. Everywhere we go we have great fucking friends. It just happens that we have a lot in Germany.” Hot Water Music, as we have seen though, are a band that love playing anywhere. “People think that different countries are a lot more different than they are. People we meet are always very like-minded people. Maybe the books we grew up reading are different and the records we listened to – but we all have similar worldviews, on art and politics, and we all want to go to shows. So we’re not that different.”

At the present though, Hot Water Music are in the UK to play their first gigs since they toured with their good friends Alkaline Trio. On this occasion the band are supporting New Found Glory, and Chris is well aware of the band’s responsibilities. “For a lot of people it’s their first show so you have to make them feel like I did when I went to my first show. It doesn’t matter who you are – enjoy yourself!” However, in Chris’ words: “The one show we had so far was pretty embarrassing. When you play a headlining show you play for longer and have a totally different set of songs. We had this intro thing, and this makes it embarrassing because I changed the set-list. For the NFG show it was the same intro, but we went into a different song – we cut the usual first one out. When we started I was playing the complete wrong song. And there were 2000 High school kids that don’t give a shit about our band! They’re just looking at us. They couldn’t care less, and then I go and play the wrong song. It must have sounded atrocious! It was crazy on stage and I couldn’t hear what anybody else was doing. I couldn’t find my place. It took me another minute to find where the rest of the band were, and I was supposed to be singing. It was the end of the song when I finally found my place. It was a hard thing to take and then I had to go up to the mic and say ‘Are you ready for NFG?’ and try and get them all pumped up!” All’s well that ends well though. “We ended up having a great show – with everyone dancing.”

There are sacrifices for being on the road though: “I’ve got this kid and he’s been growing up while I’m in the band. All the time I’m not able to hang out with him, I want him to read the stories of what I’ve been doing – all the stuff that’s been keeping me out here.” Chris Wollard and the rest of Hot Water Music certainly will have some stories to tell…


Try these three interviews

Interview: Greywind [Reading 2016]

Interview: Arcane Roots [Reading 2016]

Interview: Trash Boat [Reading 2016]