Chuck Ragan didn't intend for Hot Water Music to break up in 2006. But circumstances led to that being the perception at the time.
"Honest, we just wanted a break," says Ragan, 45, who made seven solo and collaborative albums during the interim while his bandmates formed another band, The Draft. "I was completely burnt and wanted to be home with my family. It was one of those things where we took a break...and it was one year, then two years and it kinda kept rolling."
Ragan even issued a statement at the time to basically say that "we're not gonna be these road dogs and be touring nonstop like we had been, but, he recalls, "a lot of people took at as we were done for good. The media got ahold of that and everyone just ran with it, so what are you gonna do?"
The Florida punk rock quartet began playing shows again in 2008, and it gradually worked its way into "Exister," Hot Water Music's first new album in eight years and a set Ragan considers "absolutely the best record (the band) has ever done."
"It was one of those things where we kept playing shows here and there and felt like it's not fair for us or for our fans if we're just going to keep playing gigs," Ragan explains. "The last thing we want to do is jump on that kind of reunion show train. If we're gonna keep playing some gigs, let's give the folks some new songs.
"Some of the guys were a little nervous about it after so long. But none of us have stopped playing music. We've all kinda kept trucking in our own different directions. We've all grown as players and as songwriters...so ('Exister') actually came together really smoothly."
Hot Water Music, Off With Their Heads, Mixtapes and Nice Hooves perform Friday, Sept. 14, at the Magic Stick, 4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 day of show. Call 313-833-9700 or visit www.majesticdetroit.com.
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