My first discovery of LOATHE was back in 2015 when they released “Prepare Consume Proceed“, their first ever release, so when my chief editor approached me for this interview I was more or less excited. When I listened to their new single “Dance On My Skin” I was absolutely thrilled and stunned at how much they improved. Finally, when I got to listen to a review copy of their upcoming album “The Cold Sun”, I just felt lucky to be a tiny part of LOATHE’s big bang as one of the first people to ask them about the album that will launch them into being the great band they are bound to be by their talent.
Hi from Greece, would you like to introduce yourself and the band?
Yeah! My name is Erik, I play guitar and I sing for the band LOATHE.
How did the band start out? How did you guys meet each other?
We all knew about each other from different bands that we were in. Around 2011-2012 those bands came to an end and the we all just gravitated towards each other, just because of our common interests and then decided to start something new around that time.
You have a new album coming out, your debut album to be precise. Would you like to tell us a few things about it?
Yeah of course! It’s called “The Cold Sun”, it’s coming out April 14th on SharpTone Records and we recorded it in Atlanta (US) in Glow In The Dark Studios with producer Matt McClellan. It’s 12 songs, all very different songs. We tried our best to create a soundscape and a soundtrack to our own, sort of perfect concept, at least for our debut album and we are excited that it’s finally coming out. It’s been received fairly positive, If I say so myself I’ve not seen a negative comment so far which is fantastic so we’re really excited about the album.
That’s a great feeling I imagine.
Absolutely man, definitely.
So this is your first full length release, how was it different from recording an EP? Were there any extra challenges you had to overcome? Was it more fun…?
It was definitely a lot more fun, just because all of our stuff has been self-produced in our bedrooms pretty much. So being able to fly to an actual studio, record live drums, record live instruments, everything done properly with real gear rather than getting as much money as we can and pan it together to buy , like, studio gear for our bedrooms, we went to an actual set-up sick studio with a sick producer. It was a lot different, we needed to write so much more music so we could wither it down to the perfect songs that we thought were the best sort of thing. But other than that it was just kind of the same old cause we all record our own music like every day pretty much. We’re always writing, we’re always creating and two of us, myself and Connor, we’re producers too so we’re at that (kind of) environment a lot but, it was definitely a challenge and a thing we came out of in the best way we could really.
What is the lyrical theme behind “The Cold Sun”? Is there a certain concept behind it?
Yeah there’s a huge concept behind it! We created it all ourselves. Like I said we’re influenced by movies and a lot of other visually creative outlets and we see our music as some sort of a soundtrack for whatever we’re picturing in our heads. The basis of the concept is pretty much the apocalypse and a lot of the details surrounding that, but it dives into two characters, their personal feelings and what they’re going through at the time this is happening. We don’t really like to give too much away until the album is out, so people can kinda think of their own story. We like for it to be open ended, but the basis is the apocalypse.
You sort of answered my next question but not exactly. I noticed some more ambient and electronic bits in there. What was the thing that inspired those parts? Could you name some artists or movies that inspired those chill moments?
Yeah definitely. A big influence on every piece of music we’ve written so far has been, I don’t know if you’re familiar with the “Silent Hill” series…
Yeah, of course!
The “Silent Hill 2” original soundtrack is a big influence on what we do, that along with the film “Akira”. “Akira” was a big influence on the entire album as a whole, concept-wise, artwork, everything. Honestly it’s mainly movie soundtracks, there’s it follows which is another film that has a sick soundtrack. I’ll try to think of a few, I’ll try and look on my phone right now. But like I said it’s mainly movies. (He tried to check his phone for a few electronic artists but his phone was acting up so I skipped to the next question). How would you describe your music?
Hmm… It’s just hard. We try our best to reflect a certain emotion, a certain vibe or atmosphere within a song, so every song has a different feel, every song has a different atmosphere. We really do try to keep things different for every single song. We don’t really like recycling anything but still within a realm, which is, LOATHE really. The best way that we’ve been able to describe and branding ourselves is a “conceptual band” rather than it being elements of music that we’re focusing on. It’s the idea behind it which is what we like to be branded by. But if it was to be music I’d be heavy. There’s soft elements there’s pretty much everything that we, ourselves are interested in musically.
You’re now signed to SharpTone records
What would you say the label provided that you couldn’t provide yourselves as a DIY independent artist?
They gave us a platform to stand on. They kinda gave us a boost in the right direction for our voice to be heard with what we’re doing. Without their help we wouldn’t be able to go to Atlanta to record. All the visuals that have been able to accompany the music, that wouldn’t have been possible. They’ve really helped mold LOATHE into what it is today and without them we wouldn’t be able to get to where we are. But it’s definitely them lifting us up to where they see fit and to what they want us to do.
Is there a story behind the masks and the often see you guys in?
Not necessarily. We saw it as an aesthetic. Something that we knew would be beneficial to what we’re doing, and it’s something that we’re interested it. Like I said, we are very theatrical and conceptual with what we do and it’s just another layer, another element that adds to that whole feeling that we carry as a band really. But like I said, we all prefer to keep it open ended to how people create their own sort of theories behind why we do things and what we’re doing. We don’t really like to give it all away.
Which metal bands would you say that influenced you the most in achieving your sound?
Oooh… Well there’s obvious ones like SLIPKNOT. I wouldn’t say they’re metal but, DEFTONES. KORN. Kind of the big names, we really aspire to be in that same level. We don’t really take influence from any sort of modern bands. Even if (those names) are big in this day and age they’re still a modern band to us because we were around in the same sort of time and we definitely like to draw inspiration from the bands that are timeless rather than just kinda big in one certain area. I’m trying to think of any others because like I said we rarely take inspiration from metal other than the “big guys”. (Thinks) Yeah I’d just say them honestly…
In recent years there has been an overabundance of bands in the metalcore and hardcore scene.
That makes it harder and harder for bands to have their own identity and avoiding sounding like anyone else. What do you think that it takes to maintain a certain individuality? Is it something that has to come naturally or is it just a matter of working your butt off to kinda force that certain identity?
Well for us we were frustrated with being another band in the sea of bands. That’s kinda were we drew the line and started LOATHE. It definitely wasn’t something that happened straight away. We assessed our situation and what we were into and we just tried to stay true to ourselves rather than just throw in things into the mix that were already proven to get people big from other bands. We definitely saw everything as something that needs to be original, it needs to have our own face on it, it needs to just be fully us five, well, well it was four at the time and that was it. We couldn’t really do anything unless it was a completely original thought. And to say that we don’t have any non-original thoughts is stupid. Obviously, it comes and goes. We’re just very particular with what we publicize and what is actually out there because we didn’t what to saturate people’s feed with useless information. We’d rather be 100% to what we’d like it to be pretty much.
So you wouldn’t say you kinda forced the sound. It just came naturally? It wasn’t over-intentionally?
Well in some aspects it was intentional because like I said, we were fed up and there was a huge gap in music to what we wanted to hear at the moment. We felt like “who else to do it but us?” because that’s who wants to hear it. So we made it a point to create music we want to hear but also stay true to ourselves with how we do it.
That’s great, if may I add so myself, when I hear a LOTHE song, I can’t mix it up with anyone else. I’m like, “ok that’s LOATHE”.
That’s definitely what we’re trying man, honestly.
Kind of a bonus question. What country or region are you exited to tour at, at some point?
Ooooh… Japan! Absolutely.
Haha I thought so!
And anywhere else honestly man, we’re trying to spread as much as we can so any uncharted territory for LOATHE is an exciting time for us. But definitely Japan, because it’s Japan. There’s no other real explanation and I don’t think you need an explanation.
Yeah I understand haha. If there’s anything called “music justice” I think you’ll be there I no time, judging from the record, it’s amazing.
Thank you very much man. I hope so it would be great.
Thanks a lot for taking the time to answer these questions
No worries man, thank YOU very much for taking the time to ask them!
I hope all the best for the record and someday we see you Greece.
Absolutely we’d love to come to Greece!