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Returning with 2015’s storming ‘Use Your Voice’, their first album in seven years, Paul Hagen finds H20 playing by their own rules with nothing to prove.

I

catch up with Toby Morse (vocals) and Adam Blake (bass) at their hotel shortly before they’re due on stage at a packed, sweaty Camden Underworld back in January. The duo are in an upbeat and jovial mood and are clearly excited at having the chance to play some new songs. Despite having dealt with the departure of primary songwriter Todd Morse recently and with only two albums of new material released in the past 15

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years, H2O have somehow kept the momentum going and, if anything, increased in popularity over the years.

You did a brief US tour towards the end of last year. How did the new material go down? Adam: “I’ll tell you this much. It went over well but it was a little too much, too soon. I think we hit the road a little too quickly after the record came out so there were some delays.” Toby: “Like five-week delays.” Adam: “Do you have a Record Store Day over here? Okay, so Record Store Day has basically changed the industry because everybody wants to press vinyl. Bands that never used to do vinyl are now doing vinyl.” Toby: “Massive bands.” Adam: “It’s one of those businesses where the supply hasn’t been able to keep up with the demand so records are being delayed a lot. Our album’s release was delayed and then kids had to wait even longer to actually get their copy of the record.” Toby: “Like five or six weeks.”

Adam: “So we were on tour with a record that was kind of out but kind of not in kids’ hands yet, you know what I mean. This is actually I think the first real tour.” Toby: “I wish we started the new album cycle today and waited a couple of months, you know.” Adam: “Yeah, it would have been better. We were a little too quick out of the gates.” Toby: “But the shows were great.” Adam: “The shows were great. The new material was great.” Toby: “Pretty much the best response of any new record, people loved the record. Everything was positive. Haven’t seen one negative review for the first time ever, which is crazy because everyone has their own opinion, it’s fine. Now, starting today, is the start of the cycle today. This is when we think the kids actually have the album in hand.”

How easy was it for you to step up to the role of the main songwriter for the album following Todd’s departure? Adam: “I’ve always kind of wanted to, you know, but it’s like when everyone else is delivering stuff too, the easier path is to take a back seat. But

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