Last updated: 05/28/2011 12:00:00 PM
Toby Morse - Vocals
Todd Morse - Guitar
Rusty Pistachio - Guitar
Adam Blake - Bass
Todd Friend - Drums
If you claim to be well versed in punk history, you would certainly know that H2O are one of New York's premiere melodic hardcore punk acts. For more than half a decade now, the NYC quintet have been blasting their specific blend of hardcore energy and pop-friendly melody all around the globe to fans of all kinds of music. H2O have found favor with everybody from the hardcore elite to the mainstream enthusiast. One main reason for this universal appeal is the band's attitude towards touring and playing live.
Performing an average of 200 shows a year, no one can accuse this hardened bunch of road warriors of not playing it to the bone. After performing with such varied acts as Pennywise, No Doubt, The Misfits and the band that gave them their first break, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, H2O have accumulated fans all over the world. Through it all, H2O pride themselves on keeping close ties to their fans. The band members answer all their mail personally and can usually be found hanging out in the crowd after their shows. H2O makes it a point to stay grounded. This closeness to their fans is what gives an H2O show its characteristic unified vibe.
H2O's history began six years ago with former Sick Of It All roadie Toby Morse's dream of fronting a band. After hooking up with childhood friend Rusty Pistachio, the pair set about assembling the group. Together, they scoured the New York hardcore scene to find the necessary talent to help write the songs that would appear on their first record - a 7" released on Equal Vision Records - which was most people's introduction to the band.
After playing shows with many of New York hardcore's finest (Cro Mags, Madball, etc.), the band headed to Europe as the opening act for Sick Of It All. Upon their return to the States, Toby and Rusty recruited drum prodigy Todd Friend, and guitarist Todd Morse (Toby's brother) and went to work on H2O's self-titled debut album. Released on Blackout Records, the group's first full-length recording combined youthful, invigorating bursts of energy with melodic hooks and a positive message - this was the sound that became H2O's mission statement.
After recruiting Shelter bass player Adam Blake to complete their lineup, H2O hit the road once again. After touring for more than a year, the band headed back into the studio to record their sophomore effort and their first release for Epitaph Records. The result, Thicker Than Water, further refined H2O's signature sound and provided such future live classics as the defiant "Everready," the sensitive "Sacred Heart," as well as the anthemic title track. Extensive touring followed the release of the record and the band gained a solid worldwide fan base.
After another round of intense touring, H2O once again returned to the studio to begin work on their third full-length release, FTTW. This time they handed production duties to Epitaph head honcho Brett Guerwitz (of Bad Religion fame) and the result was to be the group's most complete work yet, boasting some of the group's finest moments. From the shout-out packed "Faster Than The World," to the retrospective "Guilty By Association," and the song that embodies the H2O worldview, "One Life, One Chance," this was truly the record that defined the band's identity and proved to the fans that these guys could be counted on to always deliver, live and in the studio.
One year and 200 shows later the band found themselves back at home in New York City. While the members of H2O planned their next move, they decided to release the Faster Than The World home video. Spanning the history of their career to date, the home video gave fans a closer glimpse at the boys being the band. The video has gone on to become the best selling home video ever released on Epitaph, and is a proven fan favorite.
The year 2000 brought H2O to a turning point in their career. The band decided to move to new pastures and left Epitaph Records. A farewell that was made on good terms with the band still friends with all at their former label.
Now, with H2O in search of a new label, they decided to go with someone they knew and trusted. For years, MCA A&R rep. Hans Haedelt had been a good friend and supporter of the band. Both parties had developed a mutual respect and had toyed with the idea of one day working together. By the end of 2000 the band made the move to MCA Records.
Enter H2O's 4th record, GO. Their best work to date, it captures the bands live energy and joy of performing. GO embodies the sound of a band at the peak of their abilities, reaching for the stars while not forgetting its roots. The record is the sound of five friends who have become family, playing music that they genuinely love. GO showcases the bands trademark passion and attention-catching melodies while taking their whole sound to another level. This record is H2O on full power.
Guided by the masterful hand of producer Matt Wallace (Faith No More/The Replacements), H2O has crafted a record that brings together the band's hardcore roots and their love for melody. Furthermore, GO, maintains the time honored H2O tradition of thought-provoking lyrics that provide a positive message.
What does the future hold for H2O? The band is planning to tour until the wheels fall off. They are looking to turn as many people on to their music as they can. They have no pretentions of hardcore elitism. H2O believes that their music is for everybody and that positive lyrics that can inspire positive changes are best shared with anyone who will listen.
So, here's to the future, whatever it may hold.