About Hot Water Music
Hot Water Music is an American punk rock band formed in October 1994 and based in Gainesville, Florida. Since their formation, the group has consisted of Chuck Ragan and Chris Wollard on shared lead vocals and guitars, bass guitarist Jason Black, and drummer George Rebelo. Since 2017, the band has also included guitarist-vocalist Chris Cresswell. The band initially broke up in August 1998, but reformed by October 1998. The group split up again in 2006, but has remained active since 2008.
Ragan, Black, and Rebelo initially met while living in Sarasota. Black and Rebelo had played together in jazz bands in school. Ragan and Rebelo met while working at eateries on the same street, with the corner becoming a frequent gathering place for Sarasota musicians. As Wollard was based in Bradenton at the time, he met the other three at a storage facility which was frequently used as a rehearsal space for both Sarasota and Bradenton bands. Frustrated by the lack of musical opportunities in their respective hometowns, Black, who had been attending University of Florida for a year, recommended that the other three join him in Gainesville, a city known for its historic and contemporary music scene.
Upon moving to Gainesville and variously filling in as performers in each others' bands Fossil and Thread, the four joined together as Hot Water Music in October 1994. The band's name was taken from the collection of short stories by Charles Bukowski of the same name.
The band played its first show at the Ringling School of Art in Sarasota, Florida in the fall of 1994. After rapidly releasing a series of singles splits, and EPs, the band released their first two LPs in 1997, Fuel for the Hate Game and Forever and Counting, the latter of which was released under the temporary moniker The Hot Water Music Band due legal concerns on the part of the band's label Doghouse Records regarding an unrelated record titled Hot Water Music by Elektra Records band Hot Water that same year.
After two years of rigorous touring had exhausted the band's members and strained their relationships, they announced that they would be breaking up following a farewell show at the Hardback Cafe in Gainesville on August 28, 1998. Their intention to disband was evidently short-lived, as, during the show, Ragan announced to the audience, "I'm sure a lot of people here came a long way tonight because they heard this was our last show. I don't know what to tell you guys...we're trying to keep it going." The performance from this show was recorded and released as the live album Live at the Hardback.
On October 26, 1998, Hot Water Music announced their reformation, playing their comeback show on December 5, 1998, at the Hardback Cafe. In promotion of the band's upcoming album No Division on Some Records, scheduled for release in September 1999, Hot Water Music toured the United States with Discount, Elliott and Leatherface, from May to June 1999. A tour of Europe and the United Kingdom was then booked, originally intended to be shared with fellow Gainesville hardcore band As Friends Rust, but due to disagreements over top-billing, the two bands ended up booking separate tours. The incident also caused the cancellation of a split 7-inch vinyl the two bands had planned to release through Good Life Recordings in promotion of the tour. As Friends Rust ultimately headlined its own tour with Ensign and Ignite, while Hot Water Music invited Discount back to open for them on their European dates. They ended the year, touring the U.S. with Sick of It All, AFI, and Indecision.
The band next signed to Epitaph Records, releasing three more albums, 2001's A Flight and a Crash, their commercial breakthrough Caution in 2002, and their final record The New What Next, before disbanding in 2005. In promotion of The New What Next, Hot Water Music embarked on a six-week North American tour supported by Florida post-hardcore band Moments in Grace, which spanned from October 13 to November 21, 2004 The package tour also included Alexisonfire from October 13 to November 13; Don't Look Down from October 13–23; Planes Mistaken for Stars from October 23 to November 21; and Silverstein from November 15–21. Engine Down was initially to be on the tour but was replaced by Silverstein. The trip took the bands through the United States' West Coast, South and East Coast, followed by two dates in Canada, and finished in the American Midwest. It also included a stop to play The Fest 3 festival in Gainesville, Florida on October 31, 2004.
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