The terms legendary and influential are thrown around way too easily these days. H2O are one band that has well and truly earned the right to the above-mentioned adjectives.
Bassist Adam Blake gave us the following interview…
Friday May 23rd
By Cameron Chambers
How are you today mate?
Not bad man, what’s happening?
Just enjoying the freezing
Melbourne weather. What’s been keeping you busy since wrapping up
“Nothing To Prove”?
Oh man, it’s been incredibly
busy. We don’t have a manager right now, so Toby and myself are pretty
much doing all the business stuff and all the other stuff that goes
with releasing a record. We’re pretty much a band coming out of hibernation
and yeah, we’re doing all the stuff that goes into getting a record
out into the stores.
It’s a lot of
hard work man.
You know it is, but it doesn’t
seem that hard because we love it.
Any one off shows to test out
the new songs?
We played a festival in California
called the Bamboozle festival and we played two new songs out there
but we’ve just got the record release show coming up a week tomorrow
in New York City.
Apart from a few hometown shows
in late May you’ll be heading off for a pretty extensive tour of Europe
throughout June and July. Any reason why you’re going overseas before
touring the record in the States?
We wanted to let the record get
into people’s minds in the US first. We wanted to let it sit for a
while and there’s a also a lot of touring in the US at that time of
the year, like Warped Tour, so I think it’s smarter for us to go overseas.
Plus, it’s been a long time since we’ve been to Europe and we haven’t
played over there a lot and we want to do a lot more touring on this
We’re definitely going to be
doing a lot on this record so we’re definitely doing everywhere. Well
be hitting the US, we’ll come see you guys, Asia… South America,
everywhere! If kids want to see a hardcore show then we’re more than
happy to come and play, ha ha.
“Nothing To Prove”, I was lucky enough to get an advance copy and
it’s awesome man.
Cool! Thank you man, glad you
My pleasure mate. Can you tell
us how you approach writing a record when you’ve been at it (as a
band) for so long?
It was weird because it’s been
the easiest record to make in a way. We had such a lot of time off and
before… when you’re in a band you tour, tour, tour and you have
two choices when you get home. You go get a day job or you go and make
a record and go back on tour.
With this record we’ve all had
such a time away from it, even though we’ve been playing shows and
doing stuff we didn’t have to make this record. We made this record
because we had all these songs that we were so proud of so we said we
should make a record and then we booked into a studio and it was just
so easy… it just came out!
It definitely sounds really
organic, you know. It sounds like the songs are there because you want
them there and you dig them, not because a record company told you to
put them on there.
Every song on that record is a
labour of love. There’s no trying to write a hit single or trying
to write a hardcore keep it real song. It’s all just natural music
that came out of us.
Chad from New Found Glory produced
your new record. What did he bring to the table that made you guys want
to work with him?
Oh man, Chad’s amazing. The
cool thing about Chad… it’s always been hard for us to find producers.
There’s truckloads of people out there… there’s hardcore producers
who don’t have the best idea of how to make records but they get hardcore.
And then you have really great producers who can produce really well
but they don’t have a background in hardcore… Chad as both!
Chad is a really great producer,
he made suggestions for songs and he got the best performances and the
best tones and he loves hardcore. He understood and he knew we wanted
to make a hardcore record for everyone that’s ever loved H2O.
Do you think the record would
have turned out differently if you hadn’t been working with someone
like Chad, ie: someone who has that understanding of where you’re
coming from and what your band is all about?
He definitely impacted the record
a lot and made a lot of really helpful suggestions and we trusted him.
We were willing to let go a lot and trust him and listen to him. Obviously
he’s a very talented musician and he’s a really good producer and
he loves H2O… he has an H2O tattoo, ha ha.
He would never want to see H2O
make a record that wasn’t an H2O record. That sense of trust… if
we make another record I can’t see not having Chad be a part of it.
Being that this was your first
studio record in five years did you have any particular goals for the
album or any themes that you wanted to write about?
Honestly we just wanted to make
a hardcore record.
Easy as that, ha ha.
Exactly, ha ha. There was a certain
amount of wanting to make a comeback record. We wanted to make a record
that would make people think wow; these guys really came back with something
We didn’t want to make a pop
record. We didn’t want to make anything other than a good, heavy,
melodic hardcore record.
Even though the album hasn’t
been officially released yet it’s already getting a lot of positive
feedback due to the songs on your MySpace. Did you expect
“Nothing To Prove” to be received so well?
This is the first record we’ve
ever made where everyone in the band actually wants to listen to it
and you start to realise wow, we made a great record, ha ha. It’s
weird and you start to realise I think this is a great record but I
helped make this, so maybe I’m a little biased. Maybe I’m a little
bit twisted, ha ha.
Your last couple of releases
(Go and All We Want) were handled by MCA. Do you think dealing with
a major label influenced how those records turned out?
Yeah. I mean, I don’t know for
sure. I think the fact that we finished the final leg of the FTTW tour,
which was our final record for Epitaph, and we signed to a major and
they said, “make a record”. I think we weren’t in the place to
make a record.
I stand by a lot of that record,
I think a lot of that “Go” record is really good but I do think
we should’ve taken a step back and thought about it a bit more. I
think that… with this record we’ve taken a hell of a big step back
and really taken our time.
We’re not a major label band.
We’re not going to sell a million records you know, it’s not what
we are… it’s not what we do. We’re a hardcore band and we’re
very proud of that fact. If kids buy our record and love it then that’s
amazing but we’re not going to be Blink 182. I fucking wish, ha ha,
have you seen their houses? Ha ha
We’re a hardcore band that belongs
on a hardcore label that plays hardcore shows to hardcore kids.
Good summation. Now that H2O
are with Bridge 9 Records, do you feel more in control of your music
again and if so, do you think that’s evident in
“Nothing To Prove”?
I always thought we had a lot
of control, no one at the label told us what to play, but Bridge 9 are
the same people as us. They grew up with hardcore, they’re around
the same age as us and they have really similar backgrounds so it’s
just really comfortable.
They understand us ad they’ve
been in bands and they’re definitely artists at the label. We can
call the owner of Bridge 9 if we have a question whereas with MCA I
didn’t even know who the owner was… and I doubt very much I could
call him up and have him pick up the phone for me, ha ha.
Do you think being on Bridge
9 could potentially expose you to a younger crowd and a lot of kids
who might have missed H2O the first time round?
I can’t wait for everyone to
hear this record coz I’m so proud of it and I do think Bridge 9 can
help us with that, but ultimately I can’t obsess over that. I think
being on Bridge 9 isn’t going to hurt us coz I think a lot of people
who like Bridge 9 bands are going to like H2O.
I think describing you guys
as a positive band is kind of selling the message a bit short, but Toby’s
lyrics have always helped set you guys apart from other bands. How do
you rate his work on “Nothing To Prove” compared to your previous
Best ever by far. After all the
life experiences that we’ve all gone through… him especially because
having a son is huge… you have so much stuff that you want to sing
about. When you’re in a band and all you do is tour then what are
you going to sing about? Touring!
Do you write about touring or
being in a band? Yes, coz that’s all you know. Now we all have so
much going on in our lives that he had so much to draw from in a lyrical
context and so much to get off his chest so I’m really proud of him,
he really stepped it up.
Do you have a favourite song
from the new album?
Oh man, it changes every day.
I honestly don’t, it would be like having ten kids and picking one.
I love them all in my own way.
It’s been a long time man,
when can we expect you guys back in Australia?
The plan is maybe September or
October this year. It’s something we want to do!
Who are some bands you’ve
heard lately that you think kids should be checking out?
Let’s see. I’m really out
of the loop. It’s weird, this band Fireworks that are friends of ours
do really well. I don’t know, ha ha. It’s weird… I’m honestly
out of the loop. Hopefully when I’m back on tour I’ll see what’s
good out there.
That’s cool, we can just
use this question to plug H2O, ha ha.
Ha ha. I kind of like it though
because we made a record that wasn’t in any way touched by what’s
cool at the moment.
That’s a good point man.
Yeah, it’s just what we wanted
to make. We didn’t care if my bass was shit or the vocal was shit,
We’re just going to finish
up with our final five if that’s cool Adam?
Favourite place you’ve travelled
Australia man, come on! Ha ha
Favourite album at the moment
apart from “Nothing To Prove”, ha ha?
Ha ha. Favourite at the moment
is Siren Songs Of The Counter Culture by Rise Against.
That’s a good record man.
It’s a great fucking record.
Holy shit, that’s so impressive shit!
Most embarrassing on stage
I think throwing up… but I didn’t
miss a note, ha ha.
Most ridiculous thing you’ve
done for a buck?
Oh shit that’s good. That’s
really good… most ridiculous thing I’ve done for a buck? I ate a
fly once, ha ha
Your greatest fear?
My greatest fear? Letting down
the ones I love the most, that’s my greatest fear.
That wraps it up mate, is there
anything else you’d like to add?
Nah man, I’m good! Thank you
for your time!
Any time mate, it’s been
a pleasure and hopefully we see you guys in a few months.
For All things H2O head to the bands Myspace page.