Interview with Hate Eternal's Eric Rutan
Band Photo: Hate Eternal (?)
On Sunday, June 26th, I had the opportunity of interviewing Hate Eternal during their current headlining tour. The interview took place at BB Kings in New York City and was done with front man Eric Rutan. Eric was very nice and answered all of the questions took the time to make me feel as comfortable as possible. Overall, I must say, it was like two friends talking.
Savagebutcher: How has the tour been so far?
Eric Rutan: The tour has been great so far! Our van broke down in Canada and we had to rent a truck from Quebec to come over the boarder and it was just six people in a truck.
Savagebutcher: How are you adjusting to the new material? Have you put any in your set?
Eric Rutan: Yea, we got a bunch of it; we're playing like six or seven new songs. We went to Australia first to play the songs and I feel real good about them now.
Savagebutcher: Were you nervous playing the new songs?
Eric Rutan: Well, you know what? I'm always anxious I guess before I play. I'm anxious now, I'm not even on for another 4 hours! I guess the minute you lose that feeling its like what's the point of playing? Or it's the minute that you take shit for granted or you don't appreciate the fans that listen to your music, or the club or anyone involved.
Savagebutcher: About your new album, "I, Monarch", on your site it's quoted as saying it "pushes the envelope" and "takes it to a new level", how do you think it does that?
Eric Rutan: Percussively, I think that possibly the drums on the new record are beyond anything that Derek has ever done before. Musically I think we just pushed the envelope, not necessarily in a technicality sense, but in a diverse sense of adding new elements that I don't think has ever been done before. I think we are just trying to interject the diversity into the music and trying to bring out the musicality of us individually and collectively as musicians.
Savagebutcher: What are the difficulties and differences between playing live and when you are recording?
Eric Rutan: Live, I'm singing and playing so it's definitely a double-duty kind of thing. In the studio, everything's under a microscope so everything's fine tuned.
Savagebutcher: What was your motivation in getting into metal and starting Hate Eternal and Ripping Corpse (Eric's first band)?
Eric Rutan: Well, before I started playing guitar, I was getting into all kinds of trouble and had a hard upbringing and I found guitar as my escape from it all.
Savagebutcher: I hear a lot of metal band are from Florida, how do feel the overall scene is?
Eric Rutan: A lot of great bands are from there. I think it's healthy and its good.
Savagebutcher: Why did you decide to from Hate Eternal?
Eric Rutan: Well, of course Ripping Corpse broke up, because the record label went bankrupt and we couldn't get another deal. Morbid Angel I left to start Hate Eternal and to do what I want.
Savagebutcher: How do you feel the band has evolved within the last three albums and which album are you happiest or least happy with?
Eric Rutan: I'm happy with the new one of course. I'm least happy with the first one because the first one was kind of rushed, the new one we took our time with so I'm much happier with the new one. I love all the records material wise, but the new record has everything has the first two had, but then more. The production is really good and this record is the first record where I can really sit back and say "Man, we did a really good job".
Savagebutcher: How do you feel the categorization of Hate Eternal as death metal fits the band?
Eric Rutan: I think we cover a lot of categories. We cover a lot of extreme metal. I feel right category for us is very extreme metal, but we certainly cover a lot of death metal.
Savagebutcher: Do you think metal has gotten the coverage it deserves on metal?
Eric Rutan: It's hard to say. I don't think metal gets the amount of credit for the amount of talent that's in metal. Metal is an underground music, so I don't know if it's really meant to be covered.
Savagebutcher: How do you think metal has changed from when you were a kid and are you happy with the change?
Eric Rutan: I think metal's a lot bigger than from when I was a kid. Metal's big now but it's gone through a lot of changes and hybrids. When I was a kid, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, and that kind of stuff were big.
Savagebutcher: How do you think record labels are treating the bands?
Eric Rutan: It all depends on the band and the type of deal they sign. A lot of the responsibilities rely on the band to get a lawyer and review the contract. It's tough because when you sign your name on the dotted line you're there and you're stuck.
Savagebutcher: Out of the three of you in Hate Eternal, who do you think best represents Hate Eternal and why?
Eric Rutan: We're all kind of the band. Hate Eternal is like its own entity now. No one of us are bigger than the band. The band is bigger than all of us individually. I think that Hate Eternal is definitely is its own element now.
Savagebutcher: Do you guys share any favorites like music, video games, or sports?
Eric Rutan: We all like death metal, but we all listen to different things. Me and Randy (bass/back up vocals) like to play Madden Football and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.
Savagebutcher: At the end of the tour what are looking forward to most?
Eric Rutan: At the end of the tour we go home for a little rest then go back out on the road. On the road you get burnt out after a while, but I love touring. At the end of the tour I look forward to rest most.
Savagebutcher: Do you have any advice for musicians or bands trying to get into the industry?
Eric Rutan: Find good guys that loyal and communicate well. One thing I learned is communication is the key thing that keeps a band together. Also, if you put your mind to something you can accomplish it.
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