H20 back after seven years of hopeful fans

By By Trevor Hale, Red Pulse Editor

By Trevor Hale, Red Pulse Editor

Club Sound (579 W. 200 S.)

It’s been seven years since H2O released an album, so it’s easy to forgive front man Toby Morse if he’s a little rusty on the press circuit.

“Oh s***! I forgot I’ve got an interview right now,” Morse said. “I’ve got to pick up my kid in like 20 minutes.”

Morse’s son, Maximus, may only be 5 years old, but he’s already a seasoned vet in the studio thanks to his dad and the rest of his bandmates. It’s Maximus’ tiny voice that kicks off the re-emergence of one of the greatest punk rock/hardcore bands of the last 15 years with a few simple (and admittedly adorable) words of wisdom.

“For those who don’t know: H2O GO!”

And with that, Nothing to Prove, the band’s first full-length album since 2001, hits the ground running and it’s almost like they never left. Almost.
Save for a few tours (Japan, South America, Europe) here and there, H2O has been relatively quiet for most of the past decade, but that’s not to say the guys from Alleyway Crew haven’t been busy.

“I had a kid five years ago and started Hazen Street,” Morse said of the downtime. “I moved out to California and that left H2O pretty much bicoastal. Before we knew it, all that had turned into seven years.”

It was seven years too long for a lot of fans. Since H2O had a pretty good track record of releasing their first four albums in a timely fashion8212;two years apart8212;speculation began to grow that another record would never get made. Every once in a while, they would surface for a few shows and then disappear again, leaving fans wondering what was next.

Since the band was no longer officially signed to a label and didn’t have any executives constantly asking for a new album, they had the freedom to do what they wanted.

“We had a couple of songs in demo form that we were passing back and forth,” Morse said. “Finally, we just said “let’s make a record.'”

With that, Massachusetts-based indie label, Bridge Nine Records, swooped in and signed the band, paving the way for a long-awaited new H2O album.

“We did it in January and it took us like two and a half weeks,” Morse said. “It was just like the old days. It was great. There was no pressure because we didn’t have to make a record. We wanted to make one.”

Since its release in May, it has been highly praised and lauded as a welcome return for the band.

“We feel great about it,” Morse said. “It’s only been out for a few months but it already feels like a year.”

The band has been sporadically touring since the album was released8212;mostly in Europe8212;but has recently been joining Bay Area punk legends Rancid for a select few shows across the U.S. and Salt Lake City is one of those few.

“Salt Lake has always been good to us,” Morse said. “When Rancid asked if we wanted to play one of the dates they had there, we jumped on it.”

After that, H2O will dive back into the familiar territory of life on the road. The band is planning a full U.S. tour for the fall, another jaunt across Europe, trips to Australia and Japan and then they’re back home just in time for another cross-country trip.

“We’ve only played a handful of shows in the U.S. since (the new album) came out so we’re looking forward to getting back out there,” Morse said. “We toured for seven years with no album, so we’re taking full advantage of the fact that we have one now.”

For now8212;before the next six months become a blur of truck stops, screaming faces and the sun rising over an open highway8212;Morse is relishing the time he has at home with his family and a few of the awkward perks of being semi-famous.

“I grew up in Maryland and in October we’re going back to play my high school reunion,” Morse said. “It’s gonna be weird.”

High school reunions and kindergarten pick-ups8212;it doesn’t get much more punk rock than that.

[email protected]

Until now it?s been seven years since H2O has released an album. The band promises to be just as good, if not better, with the freedom they have had with this latest album.