Hot Water Music

All this talk about Rumbleseat and Hot Water Music made me really think.

For those who don’t know (or don’t care, but should) Hot Water Music, while not my number-one-all-time-favorite-band, has been one of the bands I have respected the most over my young career as “Music Listener.” Hot Water Music has unapologetically played their balls off every show I’ve seen and have put every ounce of their energy into their music, all the time. There is no such thing as a Hot Water Music “throwaway” piece – it’s all made to be listened to at full volume with all the energy you can muster.

Hot Water Music entered my life in two ways – a compilation CD and a good friend. No Idea released the compilation, Bread: The Edible Napkin, in a No Idea fanzine. I bought the fanzine and listened to the CD for the first time at my friend Jim’s house. I latched onto a band by the name of Christie Front Drive, while the good friend, Eric, latched onto the Hot Water Music song.

Hot Water Music then took over Eric’s CD player and, thanks to some well timed birthday presents, made its way into mine. From there they became one of my favorite groups – based on their energy and style alone – and I hold them very dear to my heart to this day.

So, upon buying the new Rumbleseat CD, I thought about what someone had recently told me – a vicious rumor that I had heard before but never wanted to accept: Hot Water Music had broken up.

It couldn’t be true. Chuck (singer number one) had reconstructed his hand due to a mix of drinking and broken glass and the band still trudged on. I’ve seen them play with broken legs, sitting on stools. This band was indestructible. They had nearly broken up once before, but decided against it in front of their home town crowd during what was supposed to be their last show – a show that was recorded and released as Live at the Hardback. There’s no way they could ever pull the trigger, right?

Well, sort of. I finally got around to checking the website and found this.

MAY 10, 2005

Hey, all, how’s life? Apologies for the lack of news lately, but there were some things that needed sorting out around the HWM camp. Things are sorted, so here’s your news—

First of all, Hot Water Music is not breaking up. For better or worse, it’s pretty damn doubtful that we ever will end the band. We will, however, be taking an extended break due to the fact that Chuck has decided to concentrate on life off of the road for an as-of-yet undetermined amount of time. Although it would admittedly be more exciting if there had been some grandiose blowout between the four of us over who drank the last Corona, there was no such incident, so we gotta go with the boring old excuse of family. If you’ll remember from physics that for each action there is and equal and opposite reaction, then you should read on…

As for Chris, George, and myself, we just can’t get enough of driving across Texas on I-10 so we’re going to keep fighting the good fight. New songs, new name, new band. And man are we fucking stoked about it. We’ve already written almost an entire album’s worth of material and we’re not slowing down at all. We’ll keep you posted when things start getting off the ground a bit more.

Well, that’s it for now, and that was a lot. Wollard, George, and myself are really looking forward to bringing the new rock to everyone just as soon as we possibly can and we hope that you’ll all be at the shows. They’re going to be sick.

Peace, enjoy the spring weather,

Whew. They haven’t broken up. Technically.

I still can’t help but think I may never see a new Hot Water Music album again. I know bands need to move on at some point in their lives. Good bands, however, make good records, and good records make people forget what they actually are: a record of an event – the event of making music. It’s not a fluid piece of history that disappears when the band does – or for that matter an item that guarantees as long as the record is around, the band is as well.

Someday all of my favorite bands will have broken up, or gotten old, or died away. I don’t like to think of it, though, so I hold tight to the idea that every band I’ve ever liked is still together and is still willing to make great music for our enjoyment. That’s not the case.

I know I should let it go, but sometimes I just don’t want to.

Because if I let it go, what is there to look forward to?

This was lovingly handwritten on August 14th, 2005