Hate Dept. Wicked Spins Radio Interview
Synth driven punk to me is an interesting concept and that is something Hate Dept was Formed in 1991 by Seibold they have weathered the storm to become one of the most iconic and well respected punk bands around. Wicked Spins Radio got chance to catch up with Seibold .
WSR – Thank you so much for giving Wicked Spins Radio this interview, can you tell our readers a little bit about yourselves?
Hate Dept – Hate Dept. was founded by me (Seibold) in 1991 with the idea that I could play ‘punk-rock’ with the technology being used by early ‘industrial’ and 80’s pop bands. Currently the band consists of Nick Meade (Guitars, guitar-synth and vocals), Jae Stevens (Bass guitar and vocals), Matthew Zeus Belcher (Drums and vocals) and myself.
WSR – You are a synth driven punk band, punk rock doesn’t traditionally involve synths. What was your original inspiration to put synths in with the punk sound?
Hate Dept – I wouldn’t say that ‘punk’ doesn’t involve synhs. A record that changed the way I perceived ‘punk rock’ was ‘What’s This For’ by Killing Joke. In my mind, that was a ‘post-punk’ record, long before there was such a thing, that had synthesizer all over it. Bands other than Killing Joke that really influenced my instrumentation were PIL, Joy Division, The Romantics, Devo, and early Gary Neumann all of which have heavy punk influence and at least one synthesizer track in their music
WSR – You have been going since 1991 which is an impressive 21 years together, what is the greatest thing you have learnt over the last 21 years?
Hate Dept – There are no rules. Not too profound, but by bar the greatest thing we’ve all learned, time and time again.
WSR – What would you say is the secret of longevity together?
Hate Dept – I don’t feel entitled to answer this question. In truth, ‘Ditch’ was supposed to be the last record recorded for Hate Dept.. Not to mention, it took me 10 years to deliver the album ‘New Ghost’. Taking a decade off is pretty cheap. If there’s a secret, I’m looking for it too.
WSR – You often post inspirational words on your facebook page, what reaction do you get from this normally and what is the most inspirational thing you have written?
Hate Dept – I’m happy you see it that way, many don’t. I have always been a strong advocate of personal responsibility and social independence. I think the ‘inspirational’ posts are just a reflection of who I am. A long time ago, a writer who interviewed me ‘in person’ wrote that I was affable. I was really offended when I read it, I mean, I’m the guy from Hate Dept., I’m not supposed to be ‘affable’. But the truth is, I love and care about people, especially the ones I reach through music. We’re connected, like it or not.
WSR – You recently decided to give 100% of the revenue from the digital single release of Broken Rule to the charity PAWS, why did you decide to do such a righteous deed?
Hate Dept – Two reasons; one, I am very troubled by the way animals in ‘entertainment’ are treated. That is not to say that I don’t think it should happen. It means I believe they should be treated with extraordinary respect, with safety, health and comfort as a primary objective during their service to make us laugh, jeer and awe. Two, I wanted to show people how easy it is to contribute, financially, to a cause they believe in.
WSR – Jordan Davis gave you some advice in 2011, for those who don’t know what was that advice and what did the advice he gave you mean to you?
Hate Dept – Jordan leads and fronts a band called Common Man Down out of Cincinnati, Ohio. I truly respect his talent as a writer and producer. When I met him, I had been struggling with ‘direction’ as a writer myself, which drastically affected Hate Dept.. I was considering releasing two separate albums, one purely electronic, the other purely raw punk/post-punk, void of electro-influence. I told Jordan my idea of two simultaneous directions, and left him a disk with a few songs from the album. When I saw him next, he looked both confused and a bit judgmental. But, being a diplomatic and honest guy, he told me to stop screwing around and make a Hate Dept. album. I think he knew me just enough, to know that my ‘conflict’ was self-inflicted. It was great advice, and I took it.
WSR – What do you feel has been your greatest achievement over the last 21 years
Hate Dept – I can’t do it. I’ve thought about this question for at least an hour. I just don’t a have that kind of pride. But, currently, I’m proud of releasing this new record without a ‘record-label’ or any crowd-funding. For years now, I’ve told my friends and fellow recording artists that they don’t need a label. I rant that if they believe in themselves and are willing to work, that’s all they need to make a mark in history. I’m not saying ‘New Ghost’ has been a success by any means, or that I’ve made any kind of ‘mark’. But, I have done what I said I would do. That feels significant to me, very significant indeed.
WSR – What is the greatest accolade you have ever received as a band
Hate Dept – The greatest accolades come in very small pieces. It’s always been this way. When people tell you they’ve had a great time at a show, song along, take photos with us, find us in a crowd to say ‘you guys were great’, say their kids dance to our records, tell us a song really resonates with them or message us on Facebook to say, ‘I’m so glad you’re still making music’. That stuff is the greatest and most humbling appreciation that could ever exist for us. It’s honest.
WSR – Why has there been such a long period of time between the release of Ditch to the release of New Ghost, ie 10 years?
Hate Dept – There just isn’t a good answer. Being involved with other bands is distracting but not a good excuse. I was involved with Pigface, Damage Manual, Super Sport, Americlone, Deadache, A Wild Nobility, House of Lies, Marinette and Common Man Down. While no one was a distraction from finishing the album, they all play a part in my own fragmented efforts as a creator. In the end, I have to believe that all of that struggle, or ‘conflict’ played a part in helping me arrive at what Hate Dept. actually is. And, what I believe is in fact captured on ‘New Ghost’.
WSR – With the advent of technology it has become easier to get music to the masses, but what do you miss about the old methods of enjoying music?
Hate Dept – Yes, I do feel that technology, primarily the internet, has made it easier to reach fans of our music. Having been on several reord-labels for previous releases, I prefer this new paradigm. I like having to get into it, get dirty so to speak. This feels much more personal. I surely miss record stores and a strong live music calendar. But, social networking has been terrific to actually communicate about real things with people, turning acquaintances or fans into friends. Also, being a huge fan of music, I’m exposed to a steady stream of other artists that I become invested in, because I can, in real time.
WSR – Of all the music you have ever created is there a song that you feel defines you as a band?
Hate Dept – Not really. I write the same sentiments over and over again using different metaphors. ‘Disconnector’ is a twisted up ‘I Am Truth’. ‘Hit Back’ is an alternate perspective of ‘Beat Me Up’. ‘Already Over’ is ‘Won’t Stay Lit’. That said, I feel ‘Glamorous’ is a song about my own vulnerability and how I see myself. I’ve only done a few of those types of songs in Hate Dept..
WSR – Are there any new musicians or recent bands that you could maybe say are a modern day inspiration to you?
Hate Dept – I am influenced by different music for different things. I think Dan from Continues made an incredible record that reminded me that in electronic music, it’s good to color outside the lines. I love the guitar playing of the post-hardcore bands Inhale Exhale, and Underoath, coincidently both Christian bands. I love the passionate implied melodies of Ocoai from Tennessee. The raw energy of Dead on TV and the Metz are heavily influential. I’ve recently discovered, and fallen in love with Youth Code, Junkie Girlfriend and Gigantic Hawk. I just love music of all styles and intensities. It makes my world go around.
WSR – Thank you so much for giving Wicked Spins Radio this interview, is there anything you would like to add?
Hate Dept – I’d like to thank you for giving us the opportunity to be exposed to your readers. It means everything to meet new people. The plan is to continue to make records and perform live and shake hands and share more of those times together. There is no greater reward.