The official zone for music news, photos, writings on the wall or reports from the field, stream or road by Chuck Ragan.
Friday, September 15, 2017
Light It Up Rant.
Today, Hot Water Music released a new record called "Light It Up" and it was the first release since the last "Exister" record some years ago. The response that we've gotten has been insane and has made me a bit nostalgic and all the more fired up for the shows that have been layed out for the rest of 2017 and into 2018. I count my blessings when I think of our path and think of, see or hear from our fans. I feel in so many ways that we have the absolute best fanbase that any band in this world could ever dream of. I speak to and communicate with so many walks of life. Rich, poor, young and old that have gravitated to the music that the four of us have generated over the past couple decades. The fact that many of them are still with us from the beginning is a testament that anything is possible if you believe in it and give it your all. Live music and positive energy can bring change. Many folks have come to me and have told me that the music has changed their life. Pulled them out of the dark. Even saved their life. I can relate in many ways. Maybe that's part of why I've always admired and respected the folks that come see us play and stick around for the next. I live my days doing the best I can and some days it just doesn't cut it. I fail. I fall. I wear out and fall apart just as any other working human does. Do we quit? No. My buddy Jim MaClean once told me when I was going through a rough patch, "When things get tough, we either roll with the punches or lay down and for people like us, only one of those is an option." HWM has made it where we are today because we never quit each other even when it got tough. Sure the band dissolved a couple times in the sense that we all decided that it was more important to be friends than be a band. Or when we realized that our family needed more attention than the road or even when we realized that our fans deserved better and that we weren't in a position to give them what they deserved. In the end, we all came to terms that we were family and that there was no point in ever "Breaking Up." We have so many people out there that we owe our longevity to that it'd be impossible to ever name everyone. They are labels, magazines, individuals, soldiers, cops, activists, bands, businesses and organizations. The gratitude that we have can hardly be explained and in a lot of ways I feel doesn't necessarily really need to be explained. So many moments are swirling through the memory banks of tour and years where we took a piece of advice or learned from others mistakes or our own and bettered from it. I'm thankful to have the opportunity to travel to Chicago in the morning with my wife Jill and boy Grady to meet up with the HWM buds and throw everything we have on the table at Riot Fest for the folks old and new that are there to sing with us. I've been guiding and working quite a bit and it's going to feel good to release some tension, bang on the guitar, make a joyful noise and sing my heart out with my friends. The new songs are a blast and though we've yet to play them in front of anyone, I'm already reeling on the feeling of letting it go and lighting it up. Thank you to all who have supported us over the years to bring us to where we are today. Words will never do justice to explain the true appreciation we feel and how honored we are to have people return after all the years of support. Looking forward to seeing you out somewhere and hopefully getting to your town.