Interview With ATF Sinner Of Hate; Video Available
Polish extreme metal band Hate has been supporting Mayhem on a very long trek through the U.S. Hate has been spreading an amalgamation of metal genres since the early 90s and has a reputation well established in Europe.
With a new record deal and a foot in the door touring in America, Hate is growing in popularity more than ever. I got to talk to vocalist Adam the First Sinner just after their set when they performed in New Orleans at The Hangar. A transcription follows the video below.
Buick McKane: How are you doing today?
ATF Sinner: Better than yesterday; step-by-step regaining my voice after some major sore throat that I had a few days ago. Fortunately, we had a few days off in a row so it gave me opportunity to recover. It’s a lot better.
Buick: That’s good. I see you’re chewing a Halls or something right now.
ATF Sinner: Exactly. After the show right now, I can speak so it’s okay.
Buick: Doesn’t hurt too bad?
ATF Sinner: No, no.
Buick: That’s good. Well other than that, hows the tour been so far?
ATF Sinner: It’s a nice tour. Different audience because Mayhem is the headliner. But for us it’s a great tour; again in the States. For us it’s the third time. We’ve seen some progress, more and more people dig what we do and I really like it. And we’ll be coming again and again I’m sure. We have some nice offers for the next year too.
Buick: Cool. Any festivals lined up yet?
ATF Sinner: Festivals, yes. But in Europe.
Buick: Right. We don’t have too many here unfortunately. I went to Maryland Death Fest and they had great bands, but it was a very small area. Well it’s been a pretty long tour, over a month, so is it exhausting?
ATF Sinner: Oh it is, it is absolutely. And honestly each one of us is looking forward to flying back home. But still we have fun on the stage because it’s so easy; the shows themselves are very easy because we just play over and over again, and also the atmosphere between the bands here on this tour is really good. We’ve been here with friends, Keep of Kalessin and Abigail Williams, this is our third meeting with them, I think. So it’s like easy and smooth in this respect.
Buick: I was going to ask how do you keep getting on tours with Abigail Williams. It seems like y’all are a package together.
ATF Sinner: They’re good friends and the vocalist of Abigail is doing sound for us. Also we borrow some equipment from the guys.
Buick: It’s nice to be with them.
ATF Sinner: Yeah. Absolutely.
Buick: Do you think you’re going to tour with them again when you come back on other tours?
ATF Sinner: Why not? We’d love to.
Buick: Great. Well your last album “Erebus” came out last year. How has it been received so far?
ATF Sinner: Differently. But mainly the reviews were good or great. I think this album opened some doors for us that had been closed before. We got some very nice offers, an example is a new contract with…
Buick: Napalm Records.
ATF Sinner: With Napalm Records. Which for you Americans means better distribution of our albums here because the previous label was…were not as much established here in the U.S., and it was really hard to get our records here. Now it’s going to be changed in a positive way, and we plan to record a new album in June next year and I think it’s going to be released in autumn. So as you can imagine the new stuff is in the working now, and we’ll be getting back to the rehearsal room right after this tour and work more on the new songs.
Buick: Great. Was it received differently because it had a different sound or just a growing audience?
ATF Sinner: I mean, it has a different sound absolutely. I think “Erebus” is the best production we’ve done so far. And also the music itself is still a combination of black and death metal, but there are some traces of heavy metal here and there, some doom stuff, some industrial or ambient influences, so it’s a mixture of different styles. But still it’s an extreme metal. You can call it extreme metal, and, for sure, we will not resign from it. Hate is going to be extreme. Maybe more in some aspects in the next album, but also more sophisticated, more diverse because we don’t want to record the same shit again and again. We want to progress, we want to look for new inspirations. We want to expand our style as much as possible. Changes are very good, and we’re not afraid of changes. We’ve never been afraid of changes. So the next album is going to be a change again.
Buick: Great. And any hints on what change might happen or thematically what it’s going to be about?
ATF Sinner: It’s too early to say…I don’t know, honestly. I mean, we have four tracks; two of them are completed, two are not that much completed. A lot of different ideas. So this album is still…in the moment, this album can go this or that direction. We’ll see. We’ll see, and this tour is going so important because I think it influences me much, and after this tour we’ll be rearranging some stuff for sure because it’s all about the creative influence we get from other bands, from different situations in places we’ve been.
Buick: And I know Hate’s been through a lot of lineup changes. You’ve had two of the guys you’re with for at least five years and one is fairly new. So do you think this lineup is pretty solid?
ATF Sinner: It is, it is. The one you’re talking about, the bass player, actually he has been with us for five years, he hasn’t been a stable band member for so long, but it’s like three years now that he’s been a stable member. So those guys, I can really rely on them. We’ve been through many bad situations and good situations. We have toured Russia three times together, was the best test for a musician ever. So, yeah, I’m pretty sure it’s a stable lineup and we feel together very good. And it’s all about devotion and responsibility, and also having fun because it’s also very important part of what we do.
Buick: What’s so hard about touring in Russia?
ATF Sinner: Standards in Russia are just hard, and Russia, if I may say so, is not that much of a civilized country in some parts. We had dangerous situations here and there. Once our guitarist was about to be kidnapped for ransom; I’m not joking, it’s a real story. It was in Ulyanovsk in the city where Lenin was born. It didn’t end up a tragedy, but it was a dangerous situation. We never played a show in Ulyanovsk, even though we were there, ready for the show. We had to escape. We went to another city, Samara, and we played a show next day. There were many strange situations and hard, we talked about standards, and also the distances in Russia was huge. So we can only survive there with a lot of vodka, like day and night, and just forgetting about everything; just go on stage and play a concert. And it’s also a test for personalities, after all how strong people are, how much they can take…
Buick: And how forgiving they are, I guess.
ATF Sinner: Yeah exactly. So there were fights within the band on Russia tours, but we survived it all, so it’s good.
Buick: If I was almost kidnapped, I wouldn’t tour there again. It’s pretty scary.
ATF Sinner: Actually, we’re not talking about another Russian tour at the moment, but who knows. We like challenges, you know.
Buick: Well I really love the video you did for the title track of the album. It was really…it reminded me of some horror movies I’ve seen. It had some pretty disturbing stuff. But did you do a lot to the concept?
ATF Sinner: Yeah, yeah. It was a scenario written by me and the director of this video. We wanted to work on the video with an artistic group that is called Suka Off; it’s a Polish group of…not really Polish, it’s an international group of artists, performers. And by some people, they are perceived as controversial, but they played the scenario in the way they liked. They really argued with us about it, and we finally agreed on their version. And it’s all about showing human in a position of slave, of someone who lost his identity, so it’s a deeper story that just plain Satanic shit, you know, that you can observe in most metal clips. I like it because the pictures are really artistic in a way, and also because it wasn’t that costly; we didn’t have a big budget for it. The outcome is really satisfactory, we like it very much.
Buick: I think it was very cinematic, they way they did it. What was your version more like?
ATF Sinner: My version was, like, harder in a way. It just went farther in some aspects, but it doesn’t matter now because I resigned from it because I really…we knew earlier their works and they appeal to us very much. They are recognized…internationally recognized artists getting different awards and different festivals here and there in Europe and not only in Europe. So we decided to trust them with their version and I think it was worth it.
Buick: It was very striking imagery. And the Darth Maul looking guy in the end was pretty cool.
ATF Sinner: It was a personification of Erebus, the darkness that is finally the element that is ruling over humanity. The element that it…whatever.
Buick: I can’t wait to see the next one for the next album.
ATF Sinner: Yeah, we’ll be recording a clip for the next album for sure. At least two clips in the plans.
Buick: Great. Are they going to be more your vision?
ATF Sinner: I hope so, I hope so.
Buick: Then you can’t put it on Youtube, I bet.
ATF Sinner: Whatever we do it can be seen on our official website without any censorship or whatever.
Buick: Is there anything else you would like to say?
ATF Sinner: About this?
Buick: About anything. Whatever you want to say?
ATF Sinner: About anything. I can tell you something about our future plans because there are lots of different stuff going on. Next year, we’ll be recording a new album, I mentioned about it. We’ll be playing at least one tour in the States in the second half of the year. We’ll be taking part in Metal Fest in Europe in May, it’s a very important enterprise for us because it’s like a traveling festival with three stages and lots of bands; it’s a big thing and we are really looking forward to doing this. And also we have a tour in Australia confirmed; for the first time we’ll be in Australia. Also a few shows in South America. So it’s going to be a busy year again.
Buick: Is there anywhere you want to tour, but you haven’t been to yet?
ATF Sinner: We’d love to go to the Far East like Japan, Malaysia, and China, of course. It’s a great market, and, as far as I know, it’s opening more and more for metal. So it’s a great opportunity for any metal band to go there and present themselves. And also India is a great opportunity, same thing, there are some festivals in India drawing some bands from Europe, so who knows.
Buick: Thanks so much.
ATF Sinner: Thank you.
Emily is an avid supporter of the New Orleans scene, often filming shows and conducting interviews with local bands to help promote their music. She also runs her own site dedicated to the New Orleans scene, Crescent City Chaos.
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