your-melancholy-baby asked: How did you get into punk music? :)
Completely randomly. A friend’s brother, I think it was, listened to Green Day, and I didn’t really listen to anything, so it seemed like as good as place as any to start. So the first CD I ever bought was Warning, and then I worked it out from there.
brianmlatimer asked: Given the amount of writing you've done on Hot Water Music, I was curious to see if you'd had anything to say about The Draft's 'In A Million Pieces' ? Looking through the archive I couldn't find anything, and while a line of comparison between it and HWM's 'Caution' could be drawn pretty easily, I (for one) am interested in hearing any thoughts you may have on it - provided that the aforementioned similarities didn't leave you unimpressed to the point of dismissal.
I’m afraid that’s kinda the case… except I already see Caution as a quite specific outlier in the HWM oeuvre, which peaks for me with A Flight and a Crash and then dips, but picks up quite considerably with The New What Next, an album I’m quite fond of (possibly because it’s the one record I got to experience on release while already a determined fan of the band). The Draft album isn’t really bad by any means, and arguably sounds better than Caution, but I’ve just never warmed to it. I’m not sure I’m competent of identifying exactly where the difference or differences lie, but being only 3/4 of the full band, I definitely think it lacks the roundedness and multi-layered structure that defines Hot Water Music for me in general, and an album such as The New What Next in particular (given the high production values, the mature writing style, the general air of a band with a lot of achievements behind them). I was told by a friend who picks up these things a lot faster than I do that In A Million Pieces had some very good songs on it, but it never grabbed me the way HWM albums (except for, until recently, Caution) did with their complex appeal.
As it happens, I’ve never had the fortune to see Hot Water Music live, but I did see the Draft and the Bouncing Souls perform as a headliner for one of the first gigs I ever attended in Dublin. The Draft were reasonably impressive - I was only getting the hang of live music then, however - if alarmingly drunken, so I guess you could say I got a slight taste of the HWM experience, but on that night it was the Bouncing Souls who I was definitely there to see and came away a true believer.
Thanks for the thought-provoking question!