Sweet Disasters: The 17 Side Projects of Hot Water Music

Hot Water Music has had a long and varied career, spanning over 20 years, 7 studio albums, 3 compilation records, and 2 live albums. But that wasn’t enough for Chuck Ragan (co-vocalist/guitar), Chris Wollard (co-vocalist/guitar), Jason Black (bass) and George Rebelo (drums), who all have had illustrious careers with varied side projects as well. Here, we try to catalog all the members various side projects once and for all, if for no other reason than to expand the purist record nerd’s never-ending search for the Baroque 7” that Chris Wollard may or may not have played on in 1997.

Check out a comprehensive list of all the various Hot Water Music member side projects below and let us know if we missed any.

1. Hawks and Doves (George Rebelo)

Hawks and Doves are a Gainesville-based punk band featuring Planes Mistaken for Stars vocalist and guitarist Gared O’Donnell, Samiam bassist Chad Darby and George Rebelo. The band put out their only record in 2011, Year One.

2. Against Me! (George Rebelo)

Although Against Me! has gone through many drummers, and the band is best known with drummer Warren Oakes (2001-2009), George Rebelo picked up the sticks after Oakes’ departure post New Wave and recorded with the band on their bestselling record White Crosses. Rebelo was in the band only a short time, from 2009-2010 before heading back on the road with Hot Water Music in 2010, replaced by Jay Weinberg.

3. Rumbleseat (Chuck Ragan and Chris Wollard)

Rumbleseat is likely the cult hero of Hot Water Music’s distant cousins, featuring Ragan and Wollard in addition to Bitchin’s Samantha Jones. The band released four 7” records around the time of their inception, in 1998, but their album …Is Dead went unreleased until 2005. The band is one of the members’ first forays into acoustic, folk or country music, which would later play a much larger role in the members’ side projects’ sound (Chris Wollard and the Ship Thieves, Chuck Ragan, etc.).

4. Chris Wollard and the Ship Thieves (also featuring George Rebelo)

Chris Wollard and the Ship Thieves’ songs were written like a conversation with Chris’ partner, so the tracks definitely took a much different shape than anything he wrote with Hot Water Music. The band has released two records, 2009’s [fucking awesome & underappreciated] self-titled record and 2012’s Canyons.

5. Chris Wollard

Chris Wollard’s solo resume is much shorter than Chuck’s. Aside from Chris Wollard and the Ship Thieves material, there’s only been one solo Chris Wollard release, 2007’s split with Gunmoll’s Mike Hale. He’s also collaborated with Addison Burns (The Enablers, Quit) on a 7” titled Lil Bitta, released on No Idea in conjunction with an Australian tour.

6. Chuck Ragan

Out of all the side projects (and rivaling the main event, Hot Water Music), Chuck Ragan’s solo career features the most material, with four studio albums, four splits, six live albums and a 7” series under his belt. Ragan is constantly on solo tours, and is the spearhead of the Revival Tour series, which has seen him on tour with the likes of Tim Barry, Laura Jane Grace, Matt Skiba, Chris McCaughan and many more. Ragan’s solo material is acoustic and folky, though carries a different sound than the work he did with Wollard in Rumbleseat.

7. The Draft (George Rebelo, Chris Wollard and Jason Black)

The Draft formed in the ashes of Hot Water Music after their second disbanding in 2005 as Ragan left to focus on his solo career. The band featured all the remaining members of the band, plus Discount’s Todd Rockhill. The band was active in 2006 and 2007, when they released their only album In a Million Pieces [which is this editor’s second favorite release across all these bands, HWM included], and three 7”. The band reunited for a short tour in 2013, but nothing further came to fruition with the band, besides a repackaging of the three 7” into a Tour Edition release to coincide with the reunion.

8. Blacktop Cadence (Chris Wollard & George Rebelo)

Blacktop Cadence were a band featuring Chris and George, along with Jack Bailey (Army of Ponch, Savage Brewtality) and Heather Parker (Baroque). The band was around from 1996 to 1998, and released a single album, 1997’s Chemistry for Changing Times, which is out of print after being rereleased on No Idea Records in 2003. Most interestingly, the band’s Angelfire page still exists here, but it provides more insight on the state of the internet in the 90s than it does on the band itself.

9. Cro(w)s (Chris Wollard as King Crow)

Originally called the Sheryl Cro(w) Mags, Cro(w)s featured Wollard, along with Radon members James Ross and Bill Clower, with Kaleb Stewart of As Friends Rust. The band released a 7” under the name the Sheryl Cro(w) Mags in 2001, and followed it up with a full-length titled Durty Bunny in 2003. Punknews reviewers gave this record 4 stars, and described it as mid-90s Hot Water Music meets Bad Religion. The band has been inactive since 2003.

10. Sweet Pickles (Chris Wollard as King Crow)

Sweet Pickles were a short-lived grindcore band in the early 90s, featuring Chris Wollard (billed as King Crow) on vocals and guitar (though apparently not at the same time). The band released a demo I <3 Bradenton in 1992, and tracks from that floated to a couple compilations thereafter, but not much is known about the band after that time.

11. Unitas (Jason Black)

Unitas is a short-lived side project featuring bassist Jason Black, who released their lone album, 2001’s Porch Life, on No Idea Records. The band is, as so many of the other Hot Water Music side projects are, rootsy punk with a tinge of country, though this band features more electric guitar than most of the others. The band features longtime Hot Water Music roadie Jason Rockhill, alongside Discount members Todd Rockhill and Bill Nesper.

12. Last to Go (Chris Wollard)

Not much info exists about bands prior to Hot Water Music, but Last to Go was a band featuring Wollard in the late 80s/early 90s. The band doesn’t appear to have recorded any material, but a video (below) shows them as a hardcore band, opening for 7 Seconds and The Doughboys in 1991.

13. Unwed (Jason Black)

Unwed is a current-ish punk band featuring Black, alongside former Hot Water Music tour manager Neltie, Big Collapse’s Matt Kane, Jeff Gensterblum of Small Brown Bike and Able Baker Fox and Arthur Shepard of Errortype:11. The band is harder than Hot Water Music, and put out a 7” titled Made Of earlier on in 2014.

Hear “Made Of” on Pitchfork.

14. Senses Fail (Jason Black)

Though Senses Fail were already established by the time Jason Black joined, the fact that he recorded a record with them (2010’s The Fire) makes him more of a full-fledged member than just a fill-in member. The band, most popular for their 2006 album Still Searching, featured Black on bass from 2008 to 2012.

15. The Bouncing Souls (George Rebelo)

Although the band’s Wikipedia page lists George Rebelo as the permanent drummer for the New Jersey pop-punk veterans, Rebelo joined the band in 2013, and has yet to record an album with the band, so he doesn’t meet the full-member criteria yet.

16. Baroque (Chris Wollard?)

Not much is known about Baroque. The band is noted to feature Chris Wollard and Rumbleseat co-collaborator Samantha Jones, but only on Wollard’s Wikipedia. As for the band, they appear to have released a 4-track, self-titled 7” in 1998, but Wollard is not credited on the record, nor is there any other confirmation of his inclusion in this band. They’re pretty good though, and some generous YouTuber has uploaded the 7” for your perusal.

17. Assholeparade (Chuck Ragan)

Assholeparade have been around nearly as long as Hot Water Music has and in similar circles, so it’s no wonder some of the members had crossed over. Chuck Ragan is credited with playing second guitar in Assholeparade for “1 week in 1998.”

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