In a world were there are so many bands to keep track of I want to bring my two cents in presenting you to this interview with TOTAL HATE. Anders Ekdahl ©2019
Do you notice that there is an anticipation for you to release an album? Have you built a large enough following for people to eagerly await a new album?
– Yes, we are satisfied with the result and we’re really looking forward to the release date. It’s always the same feeling with every new release. It’s hard to say how many fans or “followers” we have, but we got good reactions to the first advance track and a lot of mails so far.
Is it important for you that a new album picks up where the previous left off? How important is continuity??
– To put it straight, we’re playing the same style of black metal since the beginning, 19 years ago and that’s the only thing which is important for us. We had some line up changes in the past years, but we’re still going our way: worshipping the 90’s black metal cult! This is what we want and that’s it !
Was it hard for you to come up with a sound for this album that you all could agree on?
– We alle have an exact idea of what a total hate album should sound like. Andi did a great job with the first mix already so the final touches to the sound could be made rather quickly.
How important are the lyrics to you? What kind of topics do you deal with?
– the lyrics are very important for me, because they are, besides the blasphemous, misanthropic and satanic topics, very personal and they are a kind of a valve for me. It’s a very intense feeling to perform the songs and the lyrics live, because everytime these experiences come up again and the whole negative energy and aggression breaks out.
How important is the cover art work for you? How much do you decide in choosing art work?
– The cover art is also very important and has to fit to our music and what we present. I was always a fan of all the simple, but great black & white covers like under a funeral moon, worship him, for all tid, under the sign of hell, nattestid and kronet til konge just to name some or the paintings of theodor kittelsen.
How important is having a label to back you up today when you can just release your music on any sort of platform online? Are there any negative consequences to music being too readily available to fans?
– A good & professional label is very important and makes everything easier for a band. You can just focus on the main things – music and songwriting. I released many demos with different bands since 1997 and it was hard work and sometimes really expensive to write letters and send all the demo tapes to zines, labels and bands from all over the world. I guess the modern, impatient generation “download, upload, click & send” can’t imagine how it is to work without the internet. A band had to work for success, for a release and labels were and are maybe some kind of a quality control. For example, back in the 90s you knew when malicious records announced a new album, that there’s another masterpiece on its way.
I guess that today’s music climate makes it harder for a band to sell mega platinum. How do you tackle the fact that downloading has changed how people consume music?
– I have no idea how many people download songs legally or illegally, but of course selling records especially for the mainstream bands is getting harder and harder. It’s a good thing that you can listen to an album when it has been released, we did that in local records stores too, but if you like an album, you have to fucking buy it ! People don’t support the bands they like because 15€ are too expensive for a record or the ticket price for a live show, but the same people are visiting crappy fast food restaurants to eat shit 3 times a week. I want to hold the vinyl, tape or cd version of a good release in my own hands, read the booklet, look at the cover and the whole layout while I listen to the music. I heard of people who are even skipping an intro of an album, because the have no patience to wait until the first song starts and if a song starts with a riff they don’t like, they skip the whole song, that’s sad and disrespectful. I guess the big difference compared to the 90s is, that we appreciated the releases more back then, listened to tapes for hours, weeks and even months until we got some new stuff which was hard to get without internet or good connections.
Does nationality matter today when it comes to breaking big. Does nationality play a part in if or not you will make it big internationally?
– To be honest, if band XXX from czech republic, greece, spain or total hate would be from norway and playing this style of black metal for nearly 20 years, I’m sure we would play all over the world since the first or second album, but we are from germany and due to the fact that germany is not known for good old school black metal bands, people don’t care. Concerning germany, it’s always the same old sodom, old kreator, old destruction bla bla.. a band from the north playing sodom and destruction riffs is old school and cult, a band influenced by darkthrone or old mayhem is an unoriginal, cheap clone… that’s how reviews and most of the magazines work. I am not jealous, I have good friends and contacts in scandinavia, but if you make black metal and if you are from norway, sweden or even finland you have it way easier, just of the country you’re from. Swedish and especially norwegian black metal has a way better reputation worldwide than other countries, but that’s understandable, cause of the great past and the excellent musicians. And that’s another reason of course… the musical skills. In germany you don’t have much “help”, when you want to make music. Young musicians are not supported, you have to buy your own equipment, have to pay the rent for a rehearsal room and the education at schools is or was ridiculous. I don’t know how the situation is nowadays, maybe something changed in the past years, but I don’t think so.
I use Spotify and Deezer but only as compliment to buying CDS (it’s easier to just have your phone or pad when you’re out) but I fear that soon music as we know it will be dead and buried. What are your worries as a band?
– We belong to the black metal underground and I guess there are still enough maniacs buying limited records, tapes and cds. We have all jobs beside total hate and will continue writing songs, doesn’t matter if 10000 or 100 fans buy our releases. We don’t earn money with the band, but I’m afraid it could be a problem for the smaller record labels sooner or later, especially for those who are not offering music on bandcamp, spotify, etc.
What does the future hold for you?
– Our fifth album has been written since a couple of months and the recordings will start in late 2019. we have some shows confirmed for 2019 and even for 2020. We will also celebrate our 20th anniversary next year and that’s it for now !