Interview with Hatred Reigns. (Band Interview)
Today we talk to HATRED REIGNS, an extreme metal band hailing from Canada’s capital region of Ottawa, ON. Who fuse old school with new school elements.
Their EP Realm: I – Affliction was released on May 25, 2018, as part of the Indiemerch Devastation On The Nation tour.
Let’s start with this: What’s the history of your band?
Hatred Reigns started with writing riff ideas for what would become In Anguish. The original song was inspired by Opeth’s – Wreath when the song was originally written in E with a goal of trying to write a masterful album like so many others. However, I have played in B since 1992 and can’t seem to stray for that tuning. So I started to play the song in B and later worked in a harmony for the first riff that had a very Hate Eternal feeling to it. It was this sound that got my juices excited to find other members and develop new music that would create a new project.
Finding a band name is one of the most tedious and laborious processes that I can think of. It is painful to find a name and get excited only to discover that there is a current or previous existing project that used that name. I went through numerous similar experiences until one day being at work and listening to an album by the band called Hate and looking at Slayer’s Reign in Blood artwork. This was the summer of 2015 and soon after I started to sketch a logo concept that would utilize symmetrical elements. The key was to find a name that met criteria which I feel were achieved. 3 syllables, easy to interpret one own opinion and emulated something brutal.
What’s your musical history? (Trained or Amateur)?
I have played in bands since April 1989. From day one of picking up the guitar I was writing original ideas. Have had some help from teachers but our time together was spent more so jamming and reviewing riff ideas than teaching techniques. I enjoy learning from Guitar magazines, learning a band’s riffs and turn those ideas into something totally different. Have always believed in a quote from Kirk Hammett – To imitate is to create, something that I try and do with any and every idea that I write. I don’t proclaim to be original per say or unique, more so I believe that there is a need and a want for people to enjoy music that blends old with new music elements that are refreshing.
So what can you tell us about your latest album? (Inspiration. Sound. Style.)
I don’t proclaim to write original music, rather I believe that there is a need and a want for people to enjoy music that blends old with new music elements that are refreshing.
How did you go about making it?
No song started with a specific goal or intentional purpose when writing it. The whole concept of how music comes to be is truly a magical process. A blank slate eventually becomes splattered with paint and then fashioned into a wonderful collaborative effort. Sometimes writer’s block occurs and get stuck on an idea, but jamming in our rehearsal space or the creative bug just happens and somehow the songs come together.
When I write music, I like to work with shapes and tones to develop a sound. Or hear an idea in my head that I will try and emulate and bring out on the fretboard. I don’t specifically follow any set of “rules” or formulas and have been told on numerous occasions that people don’t’ grasp how I write which to me is a great compliment to hear.
At the end of the day, what matters is the song. Setting the bar high and working towards achieving such a bar to ensure a quality song is fleshed out is key. Sometimes the ideas come together fast and others may possibly even take years. What is essential is writing killer songs to share with others.
Anything you’ve learnt as you’ve gone along? Or have you simply tried a bit of everything to see how it works?
Things we have learned is to not be arrogant or expect something in return. We are proud of the hard work that we’ve put in, without having huge egos. We continue to work towards achieving our goals and focus on setting new goals all the time. In the coming year we wish to write more songs such that we can record more material and also work with talented artists to achieve a professional quality product.
What sort of technology and instruments do you work with?
I use an Ernieball Musicman JP7 mystic dream guitar. It has a basswood body, maple neck and rosewood fretboard. The JP7 also sports custom JP neck inlays, a piezo-equipped trem bridge, and locking tuners. DiMarzio LiquiFire and Crunch Lab humbuckers deliver everything from crystal cleans to over-the-top distortion.
I use the Helix® LT guitar processor which delivers the highest levels of performance, flexibility, and control in its class. It’s a powerful affordable product compared to other high-end digital processors of its kind.
Anything you’re keen to use on your next album?
I’d love to acquire an Ernieball Musicman JP7 BFR Koa island finish with brass hardware although their trans black quilt finish is also very appealing. Unfortunately, these are super high-end guitars so it may not be possible to acquire this before tracking the next recording.
Any future plans for your solo work, or do you have other projects on the horizon?
I am always writing song ideas but ruled out the idea of releasing any solo work when I started to develop Hatred Reigns. Have been asked to play in a few other projects but family, career and availability to work with a suited project don’t always permit working on various other projects.
Any plans for upcoming live shows?
Hatred Reigns have our EP release party on Sunday, May 27th as part of the Indiemerch Devastation On The Nation tour which will be a night of 9 brutal bands unleashing their fury upon the capital region. We have a number of other shows booked for June/July in and around the Ottawa area. June 23rd we will play in Pembroke, June 29th we will partake in our producer and 2ndguitarists band’s EP release party. And July 20th we will share the stage with the mighty Hideous Divinity from Italy who are doing across Canada tour. Other shows will be booked for the Fall, but we currently are booked to play in Toronto, Oct 6th as part of the Ontario Death Fest 6.
Let’s have a few general questions now.
What do you see as a musicians role in society?
Musicians should inspire and encourage others to want to write and create their own music. Be it their own original music or covers, creating music is the end goal. It is a great honour to bring our music to the audiences who attend the shows and see them enjoy our performance.
How’s the scene different in your country to what we’re familiar with? -Anything unique to your country?
I grew up in Halifax, NS, which had a metal scene, but I now live 16 hrs from that city in Canada’s capital of Ottawa, which also happens to be 2 hours from one of the meccas of metal in the world, Montreal. Ottawa’s metal scene is growing and improving each year with the influx of new bands that keep developing, and it is great to see the quality that each band is working towards to try and achieve the same high-quality material that other professional bands get to achieve.
Where do you stand on music videos? -Do you see their value in today’s world?
I have mixed feelings about a music video as money will be spent on creating the video but not certain what the reward or payoff would entail. Do people watch Much Music/MTV as they once did? I grew up watching Much Music’s Power Hour/Power 30 and was exposed to so many bands that I cherish today. It is how I got to know the many bands that stand today to be our elite metal bands.
But, I also see that making a music video would be something unique than following the trend of making play through videos which some serve as a great visual, although many play through videos may not be required as making such a video, in my opinion, ought to warrant showcasing the band’s skill set. Making a video would tell a story and showcase a bands performance and personality.
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
I wish that small bands would get to share the stage with the big bands to blend new and old talented bands with an opportunity to experience what some larger bands get to experience. Would also love to see some of the elite bands come back and play small venues to experience what their roots were like. Ultimately though, technology has changed how people are exposed to bands. And I am guilty of discovering new music online and then seek out the band and get to know their talented contributions to the genre. There are a lot of underrated bands out there while there are too many overrated bands. Doesn’t help that there are so many spin-off subgenres with lots of grey areas of where a band falls into. Hatred Reigns are one of those grey area bands because how we approach writing or the outcome of throwing all of our favourite elements into a blender and the outcome is what our EP represents, 3 songs of fusing old and new elements into what we are releasing unto the world.
Any advice for new bands?
Stay true to the values that you initially started with. Evolve certainly but never lose sight of what your goals were when you first started.
Find dedicated, hardworking, and committed members to work with.
Set your goals high or manageable and strive for excellence, yet be realistic so you aren’t upset should you not achieve the elite status in a short period of time. But it never hurts to keep your eye on the big prize while taking baby steps to get there. Work hard / Play hard!
Let’s have some generic questions.
Star Wars or Star Trek?
Sci-Fi or Fantasy?
Lord of the Rings / Mad Max: The RoadWarrior = Fantasy for sure!
Hellraiser / Saw / Hostel all the way!
Books or Comics?
Nothing better than the smell and feel of a new printed hardcover or softcover print.
Trump or Putin?
I’m a proud Canadian! Thankfully.
Anything you’d like to tell our readers?
Support your local artists and be sure to buy merchandise from the bands when they are in town as that is their main method of earning income for the hard work, blood, sweat, and tears that went into bringing you their hard work to play at the venue you are attending. Go to the show. Be present. Enjoy the experience. Watch the band play. And if you get an opportunity to meet the members of the bands that play, respect them and treat them like hard working talented musicians. Don’t expect anything from them!
Although, I hear that offering your favourite musician a drink is a good way to show appreciation. Dark Rum & Coke for this guy – thanks.
Any last words for our readers?
Hatred Reigns appreciate all the Hatred for supporting us and coming to our shows. We aim to start recording our follow up release in the upcoming months. There are talks of recording a video for one of the songs in the near future.
And support Extreme Canadian Metal.
PS – Han shot first!
PSS – Ash is God, along with his boomstick!
PSSS – Ringwraiths are cooler than Dementors, although Dementors is a cool name