Category: Interviews Published Date Written by Christine Hits: 195
1. First of all I’d like you to fill us in on what’s happening in the HATE SQUAD camp at the moment.
Right now we are working with our new guitar player Marcel to rehearse the songs and prepare for the next HATE SQUAD show on March 31st at the Metal Franconia festival and also trying to optimize our live show situation. We want to play more shows within 2012 than we did within the last years. Besides that we are working on new songs for the next album and try to have a good time together.
2. Please point out the most important moments and experiences you’ve had with the band thus far, be them good or bad.
Uh, there are too many to mention all of them. One of my personal favorite moments was our show at the Dynamo festival 1995! A dream came true for the whole band!!! We were only usual Dynamo festival visitors in 1993... we just started HATE SQUAD one month before the Dynamo 1993, we only had 2 songs and no real demo at that time... but we dreamed of playing at Dynamo one day with our band. In 1994 we went to the Dynamo festival again as visitors... we had our “Theater of Hate” demo already and also we were very close to our record deal and we still had the dream to play the Dynamo festival. 1994/1995 I worked for SPV/Steamhammer and I had phone contact with Dynamo organiser Andre Verhuysen at that time and so I’d ask him every time on the phone if HATE SQUAD could play... and what can I say, in 1995 we returned to the Dynamo... and this time we were on the bill! It’s still one of the highlights in our band history and since it was the best Dynamo ever, it was a real pleasure and honour to have been a part of this legendary festival alongside with all those awesome bands like MACHINE HEAD, BIOHAZARD and FEAR FACTORY. The whole band will never forget this show... we were lucky guys back in these days, hahahaha... :-D The “H8 for the Masses” album release show in 2004 was also very special & unusal! The show was in Sondershausen (Germany) in an old mine, 800 meters below earth’s surface!! MAROON and HEAVEN SHALL BURN were also on the bill... all concert visitors and also all the bands & equipment needed to use an elevator to get down there... it nearly took 5 hours to get all the people and equipment down there! It was really exciting and very special... it was an impressive view from the stage inside the cave with all the people in there, but the sound 800 meters below earth’s surface really sucked! Also other highlights were the tours with KREATOR, GRIP INC., ATROCITY... also the Full of Hate easterfestivals with DEATH, GOTEFEST, GRAVE and UNLEASHED. I also like a lot that we were voted on VIVA TV “Metalla” as the newcomers 1995 (2nd FEAR FACTORY, 3rd KORN). Also supporting SEPULTURA on the “Roots” tour in our hometown Hannover was awesome! We’ve had many great experiences and important moments within the last 19 years... like I said, too many to mention here! ;-)
3. Can you present “Katharsis” to our readers in a few words? Which are the album’s highlights and which its weak moments or elements, according to you?
“Katharsis” is the logical follow up to the 2008 album “Degüello Wartunes”...in my opinion a good mixture between death metal, thrash metal & hardcore and everybody who loves those music styles should check “Katharsis” out! ;-) I really can’t choose a favorite song... every song on the album has its own magic and a special meaning to me. I like to have “Katharsis” as the real opener, I also like “Your Rotten Life”, “Hatebomb” and “A.P.A.B.” a lot. “Vicious Assault” and “Kill” are more of my favorite songs. Also a real important song for me personally is “Old Times... Good Times!”, it’s about old friends and awesome times we had together... in the intro to the song you can hear many of them talking in the background and you can also hear my dog Ben. He deserved to be on the record, since he was always there in the studios the whole time as we recorded the last three albums!!! Sorry, I can’t decide for only one song... I like the whole album a lot like it is as an album ;-)
4. In which ways does “Katharsis” differ from your previous works? How and in which ways has the band’s sound evolved and progressed all these years?
All in all I guess there are not that many major differences between “Katharsis” and for example the 2008 album “Degüello Wartunes”. From the production side we started a new area for HATE SQUAD with “Degüello Wartunes” in 2007/2008 and we continued the path with “Katharsis” and tried to optimize the whole result. In my opinion the main differences are that the songs on “Katharsis” are more melodic, with more guitar solos and melody lines in it. And even if I like the work I personally did on “Degüello Wartunes”, I optimized the vocals on “Katharsis” and put again more brutality and energy into the whole vocal recordings. In my opinion “Katharsis” is the logical follow up to “Degüello Wartunes”, a big step forward for the band and one of the best HATE SQUAD albums ever!! A comparison to all the other albums makes no real sense in my opinion. The other albums were mainly recorded in the ‘90s (except “H8 for the Masses”) and we were much younger and for example on the “Pzyco!” record, we did many experiments. Anyway, the most successful albums are still “Theater of Hate” in 1994 and “I.Q. Zero” in 1995. It was a total different time compared to nowadays. I personally like every album in its own way, since every album marks a special time of my personal life! ;-)
5. Why do you think you stand out from most thrash metal bands out there? What do you believe you can offer to the metal scene?
We stand out, because we mix thrash with death metal and hardcore since 1993. I hope we can offer still great albums and shows to the metal and hardcore audience... if we can manage that, all is good! :-D
6. What kind of procedure do you follow when you compose songs? Do you have to be in a certain state of mind in order to perform the songs as you want?
Usually creating a new HATE SQUAD song means, there is always the music first and then I add the lyrics and the vocals to the music. Mainly the music for all the tracks on “Katharsis” are composed by Mark Künnemann (Guitar) and Helge Dolgener (Drums)... and the lyrics were mainly written by myself. The album has been recorded again at the Rape of Harmonies Studios (HEAVEN SHALL BURN, MAROON, FALL OF SERENITY, etc.) and recordings and mixing all in all took 4 weeks. A certain state of mind? Not really, hahahaha... but maybe a bit of aggression would be great!
7. Which song or songs do you think are the most ideal to represent the whole album’s essence?
“Katharsis”, “Hatebomb”, “Vicious Assault”, “Kill”, “Your Rotten Life”, “A.P.A.B.”, “Old Times... Good Times”!
8. Which are your sources of inspiration when it comes to the lyrics? Which are the main topics you deal with?
To be honest, I don’t like really to explain my lyrics that much in general. I prefer that every listener makes his own thoughts and reflects his own life and situation and what the lyrics could mean to him in his very special way. Mainly, the inspiration behind most of the “pissed” lyrics includes subjects like: life, struggle, pain, hatred, anger, corruption, frustration, revolution, war, child abuse. The inspiration behind the more “positive” lyrics came from: friendship, good old times & friends, hope, cleaning the soul & victory!
9. Why did you name the album “Katharsis”? What kind of catharsis are you talking about?
Katharsis is about “cleaning the soul” and to get rid of negative feelings like pain, anger & hatred (“let it all out, cleaning my soul from all the dust, spit it all out... Katharsis”). We liked it as a main theme, so it became also the album title!
10. Who created the cover artwork? How is it connected to the album title and lyrics?
The cover was created by Tobias Huber. Nothing real spectacular, we saw the picture of the album cover at his website and we decided to take this as the album cover, because we all liked the picture. Finally I personally think that it fits to the whole album very well and makes a great cover... :-D
11. Have you got any plans for live shows? How are you going to promote your work?
We want to play more live shows again, but so far just a few are confirmed... hopefully there will be more in the second half of 2012! On upcoming headlining shows we will probably play 5-7 songs from “Katharsis”.
12. The music industry blames the Internet for the financial crisis they are in. Where do you stand on this matter?
Could be possible, I don’t know! Who knows really anyway...!? There are two sides of the coin. For every band it has advantages and disadvantages, also for the labels... the question is always if you take your chances in life or not! That’s all I have to say to this... as I can’t live out from the music anymore, I don’t really care what happens with all that. I will not see any real money from all this anyway... sad but true!
13. What kind of feelings and thoughts do you think your music creates to your listeners?
I don’t know. Hope it helps some people through their daily ways in life. That would be cool! Hahahaha, also some rage and anger management would be nice. ;-)
14. Is there a phrase that you think describes HATE SQUAD in the best possible way?
Hannover H8core... Anger from the gutter since 1993.
15. Thank you! Is there anything else you’d like to add?
First of all thank you for the interview and to all HATE SQUAD supporters: thanx a lot for the killer support during the last 18+ years!!! If you like thrash & death metal combined with hardcore elements, check out our albums, especially “Degüello Wartunes” & “Katharsis”, could be possible that you like them! Don’t forget to check out and join the HATE SQUAD official supporter division (HSOSD) here: http://www.hsosd.com ...it’s a cool place to communicate and a great network for all HATE SQUAD supporters and friends worldwide... everybody is welcome and it’s free, so check it out! I will also start as soon as possible to post complete HATE SQUAD live shows exclusively for HSOSD members for free download... and by the way, as an old tape trader I have surely EVERY HATE SQUAD show as audio and video recording since 1993, so there is much to come in the future! Just check the site out and join us...thanx to you all for the awesome support, see you somewhere on the road in 2012!!! ;-)