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Honouring Your Vows With JASON BLACK From HOT WATER MUSIC

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“We don’t ever want to make a record for no reason.”

Jason Black

After three decades of servitude to punk rock music, American miscreants Hot Water Music could be forgiven for phoning in new albums, but despite their reputation for flouting the rules, even these seasoned veterans still feel as if they have a point or two to prove.

Returning to acclaimed producer and hardcore legend Brian McTernan – who worked with the band on 2001’s A Flight And A Crash, 2002’s Caution and 2004’s The New What Next, from a period thought by many to be the band’s classic era – Hot Water Music have harnessed everything learnt over three decades and focussed on internal growth for their new album VOWS which is out May 10.

Billed as both an anniversary album and a coming of age of sorts, VOWS is a reflection of the past, present and future of a band that refuse to grow up, grow old, or give in.

Bass player Jason Black sat down with HEAVY to discuss the album and the band’s history. We start by asking how he feels about the impending release so far into a decorated career.

Definitely anxious and nervous,” he mused. “If I don’t give a shit we’ve made a bad record (laughs). It’s a lot of… It always kind of changes. This is the first time we’ve put out two records so close together in a long time, so that’s been pretty cool. Even then, the landscape of releasing albums is constantly changing. Not meaning to sound like a super Gen X here, but day-to-day different things need to be done, so there’s that weird level of anxious that’s in the new landscape of whatever we all do here. It wasn’t the same as before. Before it was, like, I hope we get some good reviews and hopefully this store picks it up, and now it’s a case of I hope it doesn’t get buried five minutes after it comes out under a flood of other posts. It’s so weird sometimes (laughs).”

The press release calls VOWS Hot Water Music’s most ambitious album to date, so we ask Black if he agrees.

“I think so,” he measured. “I feel like we’ve definitely… yeah, I think it is. There’s some stuff on here that we would not have made – I don’t want to say we wouldn’t have made on any other records, because it’s not a quality issue – but I think there’s some stylistic variance this time around. A little more so than usual for us. I think it only happened because of the specific songs working as well as they did.”

In the full interview, Jason talks more about the musical direction on VOWS, how it celebrates the band’s 30 years in music, if it becomes easier or harder to come up with new material the more you write, reuniting with McTernal and how that contributed to the finished product, the guest artists on the album and why they were chosen, the early days of the band and where they fit in, keeping to their own path over thirty years, touring plans and more.

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