Hot Water Music – Retrospective Vol. 2

Posted in Spotlight by unartignyc on 2009/09/04

The second edition of our Hot Water Music retrospective focuses on the year 2000 “No Division Tour” in Europe which had the Gainesville, FL outfit team up with Germany’s Muff Potter. No disrespect to pre and post eras, but as far as I am concerned the 1999 release of “No Division” marked Hot Water Music’s artistic peak, both studio-wise and in terms of live energy. While many consider “Forever and Counting” their strongest offering, I beg to differ and give my vote to its successor. It was when “No Division” hit the streets that everything about this band was smoking hot, resulting in sold out and completely nuts live shows across the country. Even if it sounds cliché, in 2000 there was a certain honesty in their performances and songs that seemed not so staged, but real. These shows were not just a routine that repeats itself night after night. I am not the type known for living in the past, but I kind of wish I could turn back time for a night or two because the way that these boys delivered remains unmatched to this very day. It was one of those moments in time that you wish would never change and last forever. Below are impressions from said tour including a few thoughts and memories by Nagel of Muff Potter and Joe Readel.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

[Nagel | Muff Potter]
I remember Brami and me coming back from our South of France and Spain holiday in the summer of 1999, crashing on a couch of someone I hardly knew near Saarbrücken, Germany. We were completely broke, because we were robbed on the beach in Barcelona. I guess everybody has to experience that once in a lifetime. I´m glad I´ve crossed that off my to-do list.
I saw that this band that my roommate used to listen to all the time was playing around the corner, in a small town named Blieskastel. Their name was Hot Water Music, opening for them was a band called Discount. We went to see the show and it was crazy. I liked them so much more than on their records. All of a sudden I had a new favorite band.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

One year later, it was my band,  Muff Potter, playing with HWM and Discount at that same club in Blieskastel. It was the last date of the tour that we and HWM  had done together in Germany. Meanwhile,  I had come to love all of their records, especially the new one, “No Division”. I couldn’t help it, I had to jump on-stage every night and sing along. I didn’t miss a single song they played on that tour. All  of the shows were a blast. Every night everybody was going wild and so were we.
(Except for Brami, our drummer, he started liking the band AFTER the tour was over. Poor Brami…)

Vodpod videos no longer available.

The first night in Hamburg, two weeks before, had been one of those rare occasions where one walks into a room, sees some people and knows  immediately, that these strangers will be their friends for a very long time.
I´ll never forget being forced to rub off a “HOT POTTER MUSIC” graffiti, that I had sprayed onto a wall in the women´s bathroom in Wiesbaden the night before. I really tried, but couldn’t get it off. At some point one of the club owners came and said, “aah, fuck it”, and now every time we´re playing at that club we have to laugh about it.
At the show in Berlin, we had to use Jason´s bass because we partied so hard the night before that we just forgot our bass guitar in the club and didn’t even notice until soundcheck in Berlin. We weren’t always exactly sober when it came to loading the van after the show. Needless to say we didn’t even know how to spell the word “roadcrew”.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

I sat outside the venue in Blieskastel and wrote my diary. I had written “Fuel for the Hate hame” on the cover of the journal. Chris Wollard came by and said that he once also named his diary “Fuel for the Hate Game”. I didn’t know that, but it was just more proof of how close I felt to these guys. And I´m really not that much of an esoteric guy.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

HWM and MP played a lot of shows together after this tour. Last year we had Chuck Ragan open up for Muff Potter in Germany. We also did a split 7″ where we covered each other’s songs, and  I also wrote and recorded a 7″ with him. This year, Chris Wollard and the Ship Thieves will join us for a couple dates on our farewell tour.
Friends for a very long time, as you see. The ability to recognize and embrace good people right away, I must have gotten that from my mum.
Hot Water Music, may Satan be with you.

Nagel, September 2009.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

[Joe Readel]
Hot Water Music are one of those bands, aren’t they? One of those bands that you never hear on the radio or see on tv. You never see cardboard cut outs of them at the record store. The best place to hear about them has always been from a sticker on the back of an old shitty car, or from the mouth of a guy wearing a Jawbreaker shirt at the bar. The first time I heard them was in a bmx video when I was 14 or so. From the first thirty seconds of Just Don’t Say You Lost It, I was hooked. It’s hard to pinpoint what it is that I like about them so much. It’s not just the gravely voices or endlessly tight rhythm section, it’s something more. Something about the idea of a group of four working class friends getting together on the weekends to play songs about being true to yourself will always make me smile.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Knowing that there are people in the world who just want to make music and be happy with what they’ve made should be a lesson to us all. If you ever got a chance to see Hot Water Music live, you’ve no doubt noticed the way that they can draw the audience in without really trying. They’re not putting on an act up there, it’s just the way they are. Career musicians are always a strange lot, yet HWM always had the ability to pull off being relatable while still conveying the feeling that they know something you don’t. Maybe that’s why I keep coming back. Maybe that’s why I’ve spent hours and hours of my life pouring over every chord change and harmony. While I was stressing about work and school and girls and friends, Chris, Jason, Chuck and George were always in the back of my head, playing those trusty chords and just reminding me to take on every day standing up, standing tall.
Joe | 09/2009

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Volume 1: Europe 1998 & 1999 w/Liner Notes by Daniel of Lay Screaming
Volume 3: US 2000 & Europe 2001 w/Liner Notes by Walter Schreifels of Quicksand and Gorilla Biscuits
Volume 4: Europe 2001 & USA 2008 w/Liner Notes by Scott Stimac of Wallside and David Lee Burdon & Andrew Lainey, both of Leatherface fame

3 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. sister of my brother said, on 2010/10/06 at 22:55

    Really good, happy to read it.

  2. mls mn said, on 2010/04/27 at 08:19

    I love Chuck Ragan!!!! You are amazing!

  3. Keithus said, on 2009/10/07 at 23:08

    At the end of ‘Never Ender’ they play an early version of ‘Instrumental’ from A Flight and a Crash.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: