Gainesville, Florida is mainly a college town. It’s home to the University of Florida, but there’s something cooler than that from Gainesville, punk rockers Hot Water Music. With a unique dual vocalist approach, strong song structures and a jazzy influenced rhythm section, Hot Water Music has become one of the most influential punk bands of the last 20 years. They’re currently on tour in support of two recent releases. Exister, which is their first album released in several years and a live album aptly titled, Live in Chicago.
Today, I’m joined by George Rebelo. George is the drummer in the band Hot Water Music. First off, thank you for taking a few minutes to chat with us and welcome to the Unsung Melody family. Lets talk about your newest album, Exister. It had been several years since your last record, was this record written over several years or was it just the fact that the timing felt right?
Well, it actually came together very fast. We have all been doing other projects and been learning new ways to write songs over the past few years. So when we got together we all had different tricks up out sleeves and everything felt very fresh. We would email each other song ideas and really only had a few days all together before we got to preproduction with Bill Stevenson at the blasting room.
You have a new video up for Drag My Body. Tell us a but about the story behind it. It’s very powerful.
Well it was shot in Burbank, CA in the middle of a Rise Against tour. Our managment brought us a bunch of treatments from different directors and this one, everyone agreed would make the most sense with the song. It’s pretty powerful stuff. We were only there for 2/3 hours but had a blast making it. The director was so fired up the whole time he would be air drumming in your face and jumping around. He had so much energy it was infectious.
The album is your highest ranking on the Billboard charts to date. So congrats on that. Was it weird to see that happen this far along or was it about damn time? (laughter)
Ha, well we don’t really pay to much attention to that sort of thing but it sure was cool to tell my mom.
You also just released the mother of all live albums, this thing is massive!! Tell us about what all went into the thought process and just how much bang for the buck people get.
There really wasn’t that much thought into it. It was basically Var, No Idea Records, offering to get a film crew out to the Chicago shows to film and if it turned out cool we would use it later. Also the metro is one of our favorite clubs to play. The people in Chicago rule and why not commemorate that.
You’re currently touring in support of both of those releases. How much of the record is in the setlist and how long have the sets been averaging on this tour?
The shows are about an hour and fifteen minutes long. And we probably play 5 new tunes. But we’ve been busting out some oldies.
Looking back over your career, you guys have been influential to a ton of bands. Is it just as much fun for you guys today, as it was in the beginning?
For sure man. Everyday I get to play drums is a gift. We’re all having a blast. Some days are better than others, but it’s like that for everyone.
Can we expect more Hot Water Music sooner, rather than later this time around?
Hopefully sooner, but you can never tell with everyone’s schedule. We are trying to write this year and record though.
Alright, I always try to end on a random question. My Great-Grandfather lived in Ocala on the lake for years, which is near Gainesville. There was an old Jai alai stadium near his place. Is that a sport you’ve ever taken in around the area? If so, are you any good at it?
No, I haven’t but I’ve had friends that used to go for the $1 beers and $.50 hot dogs.
(laughter) Thanks so much for taking a few minutes with us. The site and myself wish you and the band nothing but the best. Be safe out there!
Check out the video for Drag My Body by Hot Water Music below: