Equal Vision Records and acclaimed punk band Hot Water Music are excited to present “Lock Up,” the newest single to be lifted from the Friday, March 18 release of the band’s brand new studio album, Feel The Void (pre-order HERE). Recalling an old European tour memory, vocalist/guitarist Chris Wollard remembers the demeanor of members of his touring party being one of extreme mental and physical exhaustion. Finding it within themselves to carry on, “Lock Up” reveals this continued need to persevere in all aspects of life during those moments when it becomes the most challenging. “The pressure is immense to keep moving forward no matter what, so you have to develop a sort of tunnel vision and just try not to think about it,” Wollard says. “But there will be a point, no doubt about it, where you feel yourself slipping. Total exhaustion and delirium set in. I think we have all hit that wall in our band at different points. And like I said, it’s a very difficult place to be.” Stream “Lock Up” on YouTube HERE and on all platforms HERE.
Inspired by the band’s affinity for watching skate videos during their youth — along with the vibrant relationship between music and skating in general — the music video for “Collect Your Things And Run” was created with the help of Andrew Canon at Santa Cruz Skateboards. Canon, Joe Perrin, and Eric Palozzolo (also of Santa Cruz) enlisted pro skaters such as Steve “Salba” Alba, Emmanuel Guzman, Jereme Knibbs and Kevin Braun to lend footage to the entertaining clip alongside the members of Hot Water Music themselves skating, singing and having fun in their respective locales. Watch the music video for “Collect Your Things And Run” HERE.
In 2017, Hot Water Music vocalist/guitarist Chris Wollard stepped away from playing live with the band in order to focus on his mental health. While the other members – Chuck Ragan (vocals/guitar), Jason Black (bass) and George Rebelo (drums) – understood and supported his decision, it did nevertheless bring the future of the band into question. After a chance encounter between Rebelo and The Flatliners’ Chris Cresswell, Cresswell ended up stepping into Wollard’s shoes for a performance at The Fest that year, which would eventually lead to him becoming a permanent member (with Wollard continuing to record with the band).
Recorded at Black Bear Studios in Gainesville, FL, Feel The Void marks the return of producer 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, often thought of as Hot Water Music’s classic period. From the moment the dark, portentous intensity of “Another Breath” kicks the record off, it’s clear that this is a band at the peak of their powers. McTernan’s involvement was incredibly instrumental in channeling that spirit and energy – the intense urgency of “Killing Time, “Newtown Scraper” and “Scratch On,” the nervous but positive emotional energy of “Hearts Stay Full” and the title track, the soaring chorus of “The Weeds,” the surging, powerful roar of closer “Lock Up.”
Feel The Void also finds Wollard and Ragan singing dual vocals again – and to devastating effect – something that should definitely please longtime fans of the band. Ultimately, it’s a spirit of perseverance, defiance and hope that defines this record, and which also demonstrates how steadfast Hot Water Music has remained in its beliefs and ideas. The world might have changed drastically in the past 25 or so years, but the reason why the band makes music has remained exactly the same as it ever was. What’s more, the music is just as powerful, vital and full of meaning, and just as effective at counteracting the emptiness, pain and suffering that, sadly, is an inherent part of life.
Hot Water Music will be making the following North American appearances throughout 2022. Dates below with more to be added soon.