Hate - Interview
Hate always keeps you on the edge of the seat. Their albums change. Their image changes. They bring fresh energy and push boundaries of what can be done in extreme metal. Not everybody likes Hate but everybody should know Hate. Their music and passion inspires. Their message is clear. They're doing their thing and getting stronger with every step. I had a chance to talk to ATF Sinner last year over couple beers and then some. It took awhile to get the answers back but with the amount of touring they did last year who can blame him. Hate or be hated!
Tom (Pictures by Monika)
Thank you so much for finding time to do this. How is life on tour treating you?
Usually, it treats us well, but sometimes you may face unexpected situation and you have to find a way out pretty quickly. For example, a few days ago a sound guy whom we hired on this tour simply disappeared without a word! Later I learnt that he didn't feel safe in our RV! (laughs). Fortunately we found a replacement immediately and we sound even better now!
Look, touring is generally hard work and a lot of fun from time to time too. If you deliver good shows, you can draw lots of satisfaction from it. Also touring is a very important part of our activity. It gives us a lot of experiences that you cannot get elsewhere. It also makes you more conscious of what you do and how you do it. It gives you a different perspective on your music too, because you can see how people react and how they understand your message.
Tour bus must have been a danger zone (hahaha) I know it can be, I've visited. What was the most memorable show so far? Was touring with Rotting Christ a lot of fun, or did you guys hang out more with Melechesh? How do those 2 compare?
The shows in California and in some Canadian cities were most memorable because we have lots of fans there who had previously seen us on tour with Hypocrisy. So we got enthusiastic reactions from them, which was great. When it comes to the bands we're touring with, both Melechesh and Rotting Christ are cool people and we really get along with them. Melechesh are musically closer to what we do, but I like both bands. Rotting Christ are really effective on stage. Both bands have some "ethnical" elements in their music and use mythologies in their lyrics.
Hate's tour spread out over 3 months or so. What is the first thing you're going to do when you get back home?
I'll definitely take some days off and try to relax. I miss watching TV and especially news in Polish.
In my opinion "Erebos" is slightly different than the previous two albums; it is slower, heavier and not as much industrialized as let's say, "Anaclasis". Would you change anything if you had a chance or was everything about it totally premeditated?
"Erebos" is a natural consequence of our previous works, and seems to be a highlight in our discography... beyond doubt, the darkest and best produced album we've done thus far. We wanted to record an album that would not be easily classified; extreme, but innovative at the same time. We also wanted to broaden our perspective and enrich the music with some new elements. Still the core or our style is Death/Black Metal, but on "Erebos" you can hear distinct influences from Heavy Metal, Death Core, some Groovy stuff here and there, and also some Industrial and Ambient sounds, but not too much. I think it's quite a diverse album for extreme metal. I wanted to go further with experiments, but, honestly, we hadn't enough time in the studio to realize all ideas that came to our heads. I think out style won't stay the same on the next albums, because all we want is to change, explore new areas...
I've listened to the album many times and it became my favorite almost instantly. How much of the creating part of the new music comes from you and do you work with other members of Hate? How do you handle the changes in line-up? Do you utilize any of the available internet resources (i.e. Skype) to work remotely?
I usually come up with main ideas and work on them with a drummer. It's a time consuming process because we arrange the drums and guitars with all small details. When we have the music arranged I then start working on lyrics and together with Destroyer we do solos and guitar leads. On this stage we record some ideas at home and send to each other back and forth until we find forms that match the main arrangement best.
With all the touring you did last year and all this time on the road let me ask you this: Erebos came out in 2010. Did you write anything new lyrics or music-wise?
Oh yes, I'm always working on some new stuff, it's like a never ending process. Something you can't really stop doing. We have two new tracks completed and at least 4 in the making. It all sounds very promising to my ear. I think we'll enter the studio in June next year and the album should be ready for autumn release on Napalm Records. I also have some fragments of lyrics written. They refer to classical Greek tragedies that bring very universal messages that may still appeal to contemporary people.
What comes first when you create new material, how do you prepare the lyrics and what inspires the music?
It usually starts with a combination of riffs and main ideas of lyrics. I want to have some topic first to know what it is going to be about. I get inspired in this way and it's easier to compose.
I've read most of the lyrics from all of the albums and I'm immensely impressed. They're written with a lot of wit and leave room for interpretation. How do you put yourself in the right state of mind to write and what would you recommend to someone that wanted to find out more about what is behind the lyrics?
I like my lyrics to be poems that have philosophical elements. They often deal with things that lie beyond comprehension and can be interpreted in different ways. So it's up to a listener how he wants to understand them. Some deal with universal things like fear, pain, afterlife (if it exists?), madness, death, deceit, false image. I often use occult or satanic philosophies because they are close to my personal beliefs.
Can you tell us a little bit about the creation of "Erebos"?
As we toured a lot after releasing "Morphosis", most of the new songs were written between tours or just on the road.. For example, the song "Transsubstance" was written on the US tour, just a few weeks before we entered the studio. As for the recording, it took us almost t 5 weeks. The sessions took place in two studios in Poland: Hertz and Efektura. All went pretty smooth because we knew exactly what we wanted to achieve, so there was not so much experimenting with the sound etc. Earlier we had recorded a detailed demo with most of the songs, so it was clear how it would all sound. We actually entered the studio 2 days after our arrival from North American tour with Hypocrisy, so we all were suffering from time change etc. It took us a few days to adapt well to the studio, hang out a little with Wieslawski Bros (with whom we've been friends for years) and to concentrate on recording. But once we started the proper session, it just went smooth. We just wanted to use all the potential of the studio and I'm sure we succeeded in doing this.
Nowadays, it's easy to find out about opinions about your album. Most of it even before the album comes out. Do you read all that or do you completely ignore all that and do your own thing?
I read them to understand how people see my music. However, every review of an album is nothing but one person's impression. And you cannot please everyone. Anyway, it's always interesting to see how people perceive our works and what their impressions are.
Hate's previous albums premiered on vinyl last fall. Are you a collector, what do you think about vinyl releases?
I do not collect vinyls. I just have a few - mostly gifts I've been given. However, I agree that vinyl has something magical that cd lacks. They say it conveys more low frequencies than a cd, those frequencies that you can't really hear by ear but they certainly effect your body in some way. Besides, some vinyl releases are real pearls for collectors.
What is your favorite artist, what kind of music do you listen to to relax and unwind? Is there anything new in your collection?
I listen to a big range of music, so it's hard to point at one favourite artist or band. I'll name a few just to give you impression of what I like. Nine Inch Nails, Tool, Tori Amos, Diamanda Galas, Fields of The Nephilim, Anaal Nathrakh, Mayhem, Pantera, Johnny Cash, Slayer, Immortal, The Cult, AC/DC, Dead Can Dance, Chopin, Beethoven, Penderecki, Shostakovich, Bartok etc. I rarely listen to music for relaxation, because I find myself too involved in it. Listening to music I can't concentrate on anything elese. I rather watch TV for relaxation. I love cinema!
Labels come and go; they are not created equal. How was Listenable Records treating Hate? Do you think they promoted you guys enough?
Listenable is a good label when it comes to Europe. In America they have poor distribution and they don't support our efforts enough. So, after releasing "Erebos", we decided to change the label. We talked to some, and finally we decided on Napalm Records to be our publisher for future albums. We will start working with them for real when the new album is ready. I wish for better collaboration and much better promotion of our stuff in the future.
I know that recently some of the band members got endorsed with companies that, well, create your "tools." Are there any favorites, any brands of musical equipment that you may favor over the others?
We work closely with Fernandez Guitars and Run Guitars. Both companies produce amazing instruments. I use Run "Invader" model which was created to my likes, and soon I'll get a new model called "Thor". Destroyer plays on Fernandez "Vortex". We both use Bash Amps, which work great on stage as well as in studio. Our drummer works closely with Czarcie Kopyto. It's a Polish manufacture that makes drum pedals of highest quality.
Do you play any other instruments yourself?
Well, you have programs these days that enable you to achieve any sound you like. So you don't need to play, for example trumpet or horn to record music composed on those instruments. All you need is a keyboard, good computer and special software. So what really counts is an overall knowledge about music that you have as well as your musical tastes. However, it's good to know how to play an instrument, especially if you compose on it. Besides guitar I can play bass, drums, and piano.
For anyone that would like to buy you a drink at a concert - what is your poison of choice?
I love Mad Dogs - vodka mixed with cherry juice and Tobasco.
What is the biggest lie you ever told?
I don't remember.
Do you believe in the end of the world in 2012?
Nope. I think that prophecies of any kind are bullshit.
What can you never get enough of?
There's no such thing. Too much of anything leads to overdose. In order to take pleasure in something you need to take breaks from it. Otherweise, you end up being fed up.
Dude. It was awesome talking to you, and I really appreciate the time you've put into this, knowing how busy you guys are. I hope to catch up with you again after the new album comes out (which I'm looking forward to very much!).
Great thanks for this interview. It's always a pleasure to meet you guys! and to your readers: Rest in fuckin HATE! We'll be back in America sometimes soon!
Auric Gates Of Veles
Solarflesh: A Gospel Of Radiant Divinity
The Litanies Of Satan
Anaclasis - A Haunting Gospel Of Malice And Hatred
Litanies Of Satan
Awakening Of The Liar
Holy Dead Trinity
Evil Decade Of Hate
Lord Is Avenger
Daemon Qui Fecit Terram
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