Interview mit Hot Water Music

 

I was really excited about the fact that Hot Water Music would play a show very close to Regensburg. So I took the chance to talk to Chuck. Thanks a lot to my friend Dave for inspiring me with some questions! You rule!




Ploedi:

Would you first like to introduce yourself?

Chuck:

Yes, I'm Chuck Ragan and I play in Hot Water Music. There is also George Rebelo who plays drums, Chris Wollard who plays guitar and sings as well and Jason Black who plays bass.

Ploedi:

How do you feel about the new album "No Division"? Like, it's out for a pretty while now and you've toured with it?

Chuck:

I think it's the best of I feel, we've ever done. This is pretty much the end of the touring for that record. We have like 30 more shows left and then we head back home. I think it has really opened up a lot's of doors for us in a lot of ways: musically and I think we've learned a lot through writing those songs and recording them as well. Just for music and for our relationships and friendships as well.

Ploedi:

What was the idea behind calling it "No Division"?

Chuck:

Just the fact that we've been on a numerous of tours all over the states, this is our third time in Europe so we've been all over. And one thing that we've noticed especially within the, I hate to categorize, Punkrock scene or hardcore scene or whatever you wanna call it...this alternative community that we've all built for ourselves there is always some sort of separation in one form or another and that's always been the most absurd thing in the world to us, it's absurd when you go to a place or a space that is hosting a show or and event of alternative ideas, like a different approach to live a life, where you are surrounded by all these likeminded people and yet there is still lines drawn, if you know what I mean. Either someone doesn't do enough for the scene or someone doesn't speak enough when they play or someone doesn't sell their stuff for cheap enough or whatever. Or there are these little cliques that form or they are not Straight Edge or they are not punk enough or they are not hard enough or they are not this enough, you know. And there are all these lines drawn and to us it's just like an almost stagnant battle. Within a community of people who if they would just open up their ears a little bit, open up their eyes they would recognize that most of the people that they surround themselves with and take part into associating with believe in the same thing and have the same goals and a lot of the same outlooks. And so I mean that was just a big reason for us to call it "No Division", we are either one or we are nothing.

Ploedi:

What's behind the song "Free Radio Gainesville"?

Chuck:

That's more or less a solute or like just props given to our good friends. The ones back home who have been fighting for pirate radio their right of freedom of speech for many years. Right now the battle has been going on with the FCC (Federal Communications Committee). And the job that the FCC has is to monitor and scan all these micro broadcast radio stations or airwaves in general. And if anyone is broadcasting theses signals without a license which costs thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars to obtain, even for a short wave like 5 - 10 miles radius it is literally thousands and thousands of dollars they proceed to search them out, hunt them out and shut them down. And people have been jailed people have been fined, equipment has been confiscated. And I have been speaking of "Free Radio Gainesville"...there has been over 6000 - 7000 Dollars of equipment that has been confiscated and the station almost continually moves from house to house to house. It actually started in my bedroom before I lived in the house it started in years ago...(laughs) it was in the room that I slept in and then it moved to this place right next door. It's been all over town at so many different places and the song is just a tribute to our brothers and sisters that have fought and put up with all the bullshit from the Feds and continued to stand their ground for right of freedom of speech. Just fearlessly knowing that they could be jailed or fined or that anything could happen. And they just continued to refuse to stop. And that to me is just the most beautiful thing. Their all heart, their integrity and they are doing something to better our community and our society and our world as a whole just by spreading a message of truth. In mainstream media there is such a heavy blanket that is thrown over daily issues in whatever business/politics that the American public sometimes are even numb and dumb to know what's going on around them or don't have a clue or don't even need to care. The one thing that free radio does and has always done and will always do is to spread a word of truth like an unblanketed coverage of media and reports on about what is going on in this world. And it's true and it's straight it's factual things that are not covered up or spiced up or sugared up. But anyway the song is namely for them, for all of them. The crazy thing is now you're able to purchase a license for a 3 - 5 mile radius of micro broadcast. That license costs 10 000 Dollars and that's just for like 3 - 5 miles, that's nothing and the other fucked up thing is that all the people that have been caught, fine cannot have to do in any part of any type of broadcasting or whatsoever. Be it mainstream or underground because they've been deemed untrustworthy by the courts. So fuck the courts, fuck the FCC. This song is for them.

Ploedi:

How do you see the internet as a platform for freedom of speech, for spreading some independent opinions?

Chuck:

I have no idea, I think it will constantly change. I don't have a computer by myself, I almost feared them, you know that was something that was catching up so fast and I was just afraid and curious what the outcome could be. I almost wanted to stay a caveman, you know (laughs). But I mean, I look at it, it's just a tool. And any tool can be used in a negative and positive way. The cool thing about the internet is that there is more of an opportunity for freedom of speech and freedom of expression as well whereas pirate radio for instance. It almost impossible to get a nationwide broadcast under pirated airwaves, you know. With the internet you can do it like that...and it's worldwide. So I mean that there is lot's of positive aspects, there is pros and cons like with anything else. But who knows, I don't know enough about computers to tell you what's up (laughs). I'm just trying to adapt and involve myself.

Ploedi:

Who are those Cheerleaders that appear on "No Division"?

Chuck:

That's the Gainesville Radical Cheerleaders and it's a lot of just amazing women of Gainesville just compiled into one bad ass cheerleading squad. There was a time where it seemed that they are very active, they go to demonstrations and protests and stuff and whatever the issue was they would have a cheer. And they were colthed like a cheerleading squad: Pom Poms and skirts and sweaters and the whole thing. The cool thing was that they were a bunch of Punkrockers they drew a lot of attention and you couldn't miss them: They were loud, they had an amazing area about them. My neighbour Jessica Mills and my wife Samantha are both involved and I asked them if they could do a cheer for "Southeast first" and gave them the lyrics to the song and we told them what it's about, the hardback and what went on there. So they wrote it and recorded it in the bedroom on a four track and that's it (laughs).

Ploedi:

They don't cheer for the University Of Florida (Notation: this university is in Gainesville)?

Chuck:

(After some big laughter by everyone) Not at all (everybody laughs again)

Plödi:

What where the reasons for rereleasing the "Alachua" 7''?

Chuck:

John from Allied is the one who released it to begin with and he is kind of moving on to different things and so that record would have gone out of print if No Idea didn't take it over. We still wanted this record to be out and didn't want it to go out of print. That's why.

Ploedi:

Where do you see the reasons that there are so many cool, upcoming bands from Gainesville...it's a pretty small town, isn't it?

Chuck:

I don't know, it's just like that. It is a small town and I think it's just compiled of a lot of really active imagative people that truly care about music. Just playing. There is a lot of heart, there is a lot of energy there. A lot of bullshit, too as anywhere else. But I mean I don't know, it seems that every other person in Gainesville is either playing in a band or has played in a band. Since there is so many people that play music it seems impossible for there not to be amazing bands coming out all the time. There is constantly always amazing bands just forming and then braking up and then forming another band. There is just a coming and going. I feel lucky to be there. I mean I'm not even there as much as I want to. But when I go home and see the shows and go to these house parties and see all these bands that put their heart and soul into it .... it makes me feel lucky to be a part of that. So, I don't know. It's a good place.

Ploedi:

Whats up in the future with Hot Water Music?

Chuck:

We're gonna do another record. Right now we have about nine songs. And when we get back from this tour we got about six weeks off and then we're on the Warped Tour for seven weeks and then after that we're taking six months off not doing much. Eventually we're doing a small like east coast trip and maybe play some shows in Florida with Leatherface when they come over. But other than that we're just gonna be writing and trying to finish this new record. That's our focus. So that's what we're putting all our energy into.

Ploedi:

Some final words?

Chuck:

Thank you for taking this time, I appreciate it...yeah.






Thanks to Chuck as well. I really liked his explanations on Free Radio Gainessville and his way to do the interview. After each question he took a bit of time thinking what to say and then said lot's of great interesting stuff.