Mike Hayes

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The Draft

When Hot Water Music went on hiatus in May 2005 because Chuck Ragan wanted to pursue other interests (the band officially ended a year later), the remaining members -- bassist Jason Black, drummer George Rebelo, and singer/guitarist Chris Wollard -- weren't quite ready to just sit around idly. They quickly regrouped and began writing new songs together; two months later they were performing their first show at home in Gainesville. Playing gravel-coated post-hardcore in the same vein as HWM -- but much more melodically inclined -- the guys wanted a new start and thus adopted a fresh name, the Draft. Initially they intended to remain a trio, but realized after time in the studio that the music wouldn't transfer well live with only three. They had worked with guitarist Brian Baker (Bad Religion, Dag Nasty) on early demos, and though he briefly considered joining the band, the Draft's lineup didn't actually solidify until the eventual addition of longtime friend and guitarist Todd Rockhill instead (formerly of Discount, Black Cougar Shock Unit, and various other Gainesville bands). The Draft continued playing random shows through the end of the year, including an appearance at CMJ, and spent early 2006 opening for acts like Alkaline Trio, the Lawrence Arms, and Avail. Soon enough, they were officially part of the roster at Epitaph (HWM's home for a time), and their excellent full-length debut, In a Million Pieces, was issued that September.
Corey Apar, Rovi

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