There are quite a few covers on the comp, like a Bruce Springsteen cover and a Clash cover… are you gonna play any of them live?

No way! The Clash cover’s so awful! It came out on a tribute comp to The Clash, but it’s real bad. The Bruce Springsteen cover’s not too bad, but no, at this point we’re just sticking to our songs. We’re learning and kind of re-learning a lot of songs. It’s been a lot easier than I thought; we’ve played them for so long, so it’s not super hard to get ’em back together. We’re trying not to short anyone on playing songs we’re not too together on, but I don’t know what off the compilation we’ll play live. There’s a couple seven inches on it that I’m sure we’ll play some of, but overall, it’s a lot of covers and weird stuff that I definitely don’t want to learn to play live at all!

I know you guys originally planned to do an online vote of what songs you would play live. What happened with that?

We kind of opted out of that. When we found out that people would get to see the results, no one wanted to do it anymore because there’s a very high likelihood that the number one song everyone wanted to hear we just wouldn’t play. If it was a way for us to gather information without sharing it with everyone, it seemed okay, but I think we’re pretty well aware of what people want to hear, and what we’re not gonna play (chuckles), so it’s just gonna be what it is. We’ve done a pretty good job narrowing the list down; we’re learning enough songs so every show has a different set, and we’re playing way more songs than we used to, so I think everyone will be happy. I hope.

Avail were originally gonna be your support for the Jersey show, but The Lawrence Arms are on the bill. How did that come about?

We asked Avail to do it, they’ve been friends of ours forever, and I haven’t talked to the guys to find out why they couldn’t, but I’m assuming Tim [Barry, singer] was busy doing his solo stuff. I mean, those guys are also not on the super active list. (laughs) But we wanted to make sure that we had friends for each show, while trying not to make it too predictable. Also, trying to get the four of us to agree on a band is impossible, so that had a lot to do with how we ended up deciding. We asked Lawrence Arms and I’m really glad they decided to do it. And Static Radio— for the first band, we just wanted to get a small band that never really gets breaks in each of those cities, because the shows are gonna sell well, and we definitely would rather give someone a really awesome opportunity than have another band that everyone already knows.

What made you decide on which cities and states you’d revisit?

We knew we wanted to do something in Florida, and Orlando has always been really good for us. Chicago was always great for us, and Jersey’s always been really great too.

Why Jersey and not New York?

For years we would play the hall shows in Jersey and never play the city; it’s just super awesome to play there, far superior to New York. We’re looking forward to doing it for sure. It’s just so much more expensive playing New York, and it’s a total nightmare trying to park a van.

Jersey’s much more easy to deal with. It’s three of our best spots and three of our favorite spots. And we are doing a show at South By South West in March too. Hopefully we’ll get something on the West Coast soon, but we’re not really dying to play too many other places at this point.

At press time, a lot of what this means for the future of HWM wasn’t all figured out. Any further insight?

I think a lot of it’s going to depend on how the shows go. I mean, the four of us haven’t even really been in the same room yet! We start rehearsals next week, so then we’ll know what’s going on. I can definitely see us playing more shows; for things to continue along the lines of a weekend here and there. I don’t know how long that would go on before we felt like we had to do a record, and then I don’t know if we’d actually do that.

Once you play everywhere, then you have to put out a new record; you can’t be on this unending reunion forever. And a lot of it really depends on everyone’s schedule. We’re open to doing more, but it takes a long time to work out, so it’s definitely not gonna be anything too intensive. I think everyone’s putting their other stuff as more of the focus than Hot Water at this point, too. I know Chuck’s got a new record coming out—so he’s gonna be really busy this year, and the three of us have been really busy with The Draft and trying to get a little less busy and be off the road for a bit, so basically I have no more answers than we did at press time. (laughs)

Hot Water Music will be playing the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, NJ, on Jan. 25. For more info visit hotwatermusic.com

Photo Credit: Mark Beemer

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