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Hate Dept. interview with Seibold

(March 15th, 1996)

The following interview was conducted on WLFM, located in Appleton WI. DJs Tish and Shane give you the results of their on air interrogation with Steven Seibold of Hate Dept. Here is the flyer put out for this interview

TISH: Who is in the current line-up and what are their roles?
SEIBOLD: We're currently a five piece. Live, I just sing. I've got Coby Bassett playing guitar and doing back-up vocals. Actually, everyone in the band does back-up vocals.Charles Hunt is playing drums. Shawn Sutherland is playing electric drums and Ryan Daily is playing keyboards and doing additional programming for live.

TISH: So that's who we should expect ot see live?
SEIBOLD: Yeah, absolutely. And I have a feeling, something tells, me this is a line-up I'm gonna stick with awhile. It's changed over the last few years, but these guys are all very determined to stay with me.

TISH: Where are you all from?
SEIBOLD: We're spread out over southern CA. Personally, I'm almost exactly between Los Angeles and San Diego and everybody else in the band is closer to LA. Originally...I had to drag my drummer down from Seattle. I'm originally from New York. I think Sean's originally from Cleveland. Everybody's kinda from all over the place.

TISH: Can you give us a little history on how Hate Dept came about and how long you've been making music?
SEIBOLD: Hate Dept. was born of a another band. I was the singer of another band, called Cupid Falling. It was a more electronic version of Hate Dept. This was about three and a half or four years ago. The scene here at that time was really not receptive to live bands doing all electronic music. And that was extremely discouraging, not to mention being billed with the wrong types of music. We were being billed with heavy metal acts and punk acts and it just didn't jive. So it kinda turned me back into the punk that I was in high school. I was just turning into a jerk, playing to a non receptive audience and being a jerk worked. Being a very aggressive performer was working with the different types of crowd. I decided to strenghten it up by playing guitar more often. I'm a guitarist as well, so I started playing guitar when I sang. And of course, most people identify with guitar and it wasn't much longer before I canned the complete synthesizer-band approach and turned it into a punk electronic hybrid, which then became Hate Dept. That was about three years ago.

TISH: How has your sound evolved since then?
SEIBOLD: I'ts become more refined. As I said, I'm kind of a punk at heart. I was into punk when I was in high school and I really appreciated the aggressive approach to the music and it not having as much to do with being good as it did with being powerful. And it had a message that was a serious one and was about something. . . I always thought. That was my interpretation of punk. So we've become more of a refined punk sound. Of course I'm very much still a synth...I love synthesizers and I love programming. I'm still incorporating more and more of that as I go and of course getting better at it. The more you do it, the better you get at everything. So the sound has evolved by getting cleaner and better produced and I learned what I have to do for myself to write songs that are focused. When I pick a topic now, I can actually write a whole song about it, as opposed to beating around the bush for four minutes.

TISH: What was your first release?
SEIBOLD: It was called Meat Your Maker and that came out on Twenty-first Circuitry Records. So many people know that because Shane made it famous, by getting it in Rolling Stone, which really got me my new record deal. So, I don't know if it's luck or fate or whatever it is, but that Rolling Stone mention alone was what made the means for me to make another record. Which ultimately became Omnipresent.

TISH: Do you place any value on those charts?
SEIBOLD: To be honest, I don't place much value on any of it. I don't really understand what the charts mean. I've heard people say there's a direct relation between charts and sales and charts and crowd turn out, but ya know what, I have never experienced it and hey man we were in the top 10 in Rolling Stone.

TISH: Shane's saying "Yes", that there's a direct relation between the sales and the charts. In what way, Shane?
SHANE: CD sales go up when something gets mentioned in any of the reports, whether it's CMJ or Rolling Stone or Gavin or any of them. If it's listed enough, other record stores notice that and then they buy accordingly.

TISH: The general public must look at those charts too then and come in ask what something sounds like. . .
SEIBOLD: I would hope so. It certainly brings everybody in dialogue to the forfront. Everybody I know, saw that Rolling Stone. I never look at Rolling Stone, I never did. But somebody saw it and then the word spread and the before you know it, everybody's talking about The Rolling Stone thing and in that regard, it really does alot for bringing up your public awareness. As for sales, it's just so hard for me to tell. Hate Dept was basically a baby when we put out that album (Meat Your Maker). It did wonders for our visability, but you'd have to ask Don (21'st Circuitry) if it helped him to sell the record.

SHANE: Do you do all the guitar work that is on Meat Your Maker?
SEIBOLD: In the recordings, yeah. Actually, I do everything in the studio. And then the band is...and has, I would say over the last 6 months, has become...like the band. They do everything that I do in the studio, they do live, except for the lead vocal, which, like I said, I do. But in the studio...I record it all as a matter of convenience. Not because we don't work well together, I mean I love those guys, we get along so well. We love touring and we're all equally as obnoxious, but as a matter of convenience, it's easier for me to just write and record everything in the studio. Because when I get rolling, I don't really want to take a break and call them in to record the parts that I've already written.

TISH: Yeah, I know that feeling...
SEIBOLD: Once you start writing you don't really want to stop.

TISH: Sometimes it takes alot to get started too...
SEIBOLD: Absolutely...and then who knows, if you're in a rut, and you decide to come out of a rut , you don't want to get other people involved. You just want to utilize all of that creative energy to go forward. And the guys in the band, they're all competent writers in their own way and I'm sure they're gonna start submitting material. In the future, we may or may not write as a band, but I think until that situation presents itself, it'll probably continue on with me just writing material in the studio.

TISH: We've noticed your name on quite a few different projects lately. . .Society Burning and something in the works with Under The Noise. We're curious about the other projects you've been involved in.
SEIBOLD: Man, I've been involved in a lot of weird stuff lately. Obviously, as you mentioned, Society Burning. I did the one track for them off of Thugs 'n' Kisses, called "Human Waste". That was kinda like my introduction to them. I always liked Society Burning, way back from when they had the big club hit....It escapes me just now... I did that remix, we made friends over the phone. We live so far away from one another. They live in Denver. I agreed to do three more remixes for them and so did a bunch of other bands. Chase, from Reconstriction pulled that whole album of their's together by getting a slew of different producers to remix their trax. That became their full album, which is Entropy Lingua.

TISH: Chad Bishop did one of those trax...
SEIBOLD: Yeah, gosh, Chad and I go way back. I even sang for STG for awhile.

TISH: Did you really? I think The Humans Conditioned is a great release!
SEIBOLD: I love STG and I'm so proud of them for doing Idiot Stare and not just giving up. They're a great band from LA. You mentioned Under The Noise...that was fun. Again, a relationship created over the phone. I talked to George a couple of times and he was so patient 'cuz I was so busy at the time, working on other stuff. But I did do a remix for them. I haven't seen a disc on that yet, but I'm sure I will. I've also done several mixes for 16 Volt. I've currently got one in my studio right now. We're doing a 16 Volt/Hate Dept remix album right now. They're gonna do three remixes off of Meat Your Maker and I'm doing three mixes off a combination of Wisdom and Skin. That's gonna come out on 21st Circuitry Records. Chase at Reconstriction, agreed to let the 16 Volt trax go, so, of course Chase was involved as well. Who else...Vampire Rodents...I did one of the trax on Clockseed. He actually sent me the music and I did the vocals. I met him last year when we played out in Arizona and that was really strange 'cuz, again, we did that production by mail. He sent me the music in the mail and I did the vocals and mailed it back to him. Some other things. . .I've been working with Berlin, the band from the 80's. I've been co-writing and producing their stuff in the studio. Their target is to put another album out. We'll have to see how that project goes. I'ts an album project as opposed to me doing a few remixes, it's alot more involved. I love working with Kevorkain Death Cycle too. That's another band I like to spend plenty of time with. They got signed to RAS DVA. And they're excellent. They have a gift in the studio. They're truly evil.

TISH: Oh yeah? Even more evil than Mentallo and the Fixer?
SEIBOLD: In a way, yeah. Mentallo is great dark music and I apprecialte it for that, but Kevorkain has such a dark thread running through them. I'm so attracted to that. They've got a song on the There Is No Time compilation that Rick (RAS DVA) put out. And the song is called "Veal" and I produced that track. Obviously, there's alot of projects I'm working on. I work with Killing Floor. I just finished two remixes that are being talked about. I remixed two Ice-T trax and we haven't seen a slated release date for them but I'm sure they'll come out before summer. So there's just alot of trax I'v been working on. I just got another one the other day from Alien Faktor. Tom...yeah.

TISH: They're from Milwaukee, two hours South of us.
SEIBOLD: Mm hm...I just got one. So I'll probably start working on that next week.

TISH: Wow, so you keep busy. Should I even ask how many compilations Hate Dept has contributed to?
SEIBOLD: It's funny that you ask, 'cuz Don asked me this morning and I pulled them all out. Fourteen of 'em.

TISH: Wow! I know I lost track after ten. That's gotta be a record!
SEIBOLD: Ya know, it makes it easy for me to compile material to make albums. I put a song here and I put a song there and I remix 'em and I reproduce 'em and I make an album out of 'em.

TISH: I guess that's good for all of us then. I suppose it's important to keep your name out there. . .
SEIBOLD: I'm also a big advocate of helping other people too. I'd do anything I could to help another band get somewhere. Whether i like them personally or not, if I believe in what they're doing as artists, I'll stand behind them.

TISH: That's pretty much why we're in it. I can tell you it's not the money.
SHANE: No, it's not the money!
SEIBOLD: Yeah, exactly. If it was the money, we would've quit a couple years ago.

TISH: Which record labels are you affiliated with?
SEIBOLD: Well, Hate Dept. is now on Neurotic records and that's probably gonna be a long relationship. I signed with 'em for four records. Now I've released an EP with them, which was Mainline. That came out in October, last year. And now Omnipresent came out March 20th. I've still got more albums to do with them. In a way, I still work with 21st Circuitry quite a bit. And Reconstricton I work with...and RAS DVA I work with...and Cleopatra I work with. And it remains to be seen what label I'm gonna end up working with when it comes to the Berlin project because every major record label in the whole world appears to want to sign them right now. And I could care less.

SHANE: Berlin is still together then?
SEIBOLD: Yeah, it's hard to say. I mean Berlin, in my mind, is Terry Nun, who's the singer. And she's still together. The guy that she wrote with for so long has...they've split ways, which kinda left us wondering who's gonna write. I raised my hand and they said, "well you write then." That's what I've been doing, writing and producing and it's been going really well. I'm working with Berlin, so I can't tell you how flattered I am to be in that position. Whether that was the 80's or not, that was a big name and I still have a tremendous respect for her and her accomplishments.

TISH: That should help you out a little bit too. You'll even have major label backing then. . .
SEIBOLD: I'm crossing my fingers as I'm talking to you right now, hoping that one of those major labels just shuts up and does something about it. Yeah, I could actually pay my rent on time.

SHANE: Well, we'll help.
SEIBOLD: Yeah, start spinning that Berlin stuff again.

TISH: We can do anything here! Have you made any videos yet?
SEIBOLD: We just went to the table with one.

SHANE: We're waiting...
SEIBOLD: As soon as I finish it, I'll send it to you. It's gonna be...it's gonna be... aw man...again, what happens when you get in Rolling Stone, is all that public awareness happens and ya put out an album like Omnipresent, which is partly a Rolling Stone thing and all that publicity that Hate Dept got has made it easy for us to get really alot of help. The people that are making our video are...man they're heavyweights! We're almost not in their league, but they're so interested in Hate Dept. Not just because of the publicity, but because they like the album. They're gonna make this real heavyweight video for us for practically nothing. Which we don't have much of a budget to do this...but they're really enthusiastic about it. We're gonna do "New Power".

TISH: With the fire engine...I live by a fire station, so everytime I hear a fire truck go by, that song starts playing through my head...Have you done anything on CD Rom?

SEIBOLD: No, I was supposed to work with Trevor on Multiple Insertions from Sweat Engine. It's mind boggling what's on that CD Rom and he did it all himself. Great artwork too, Trevor's a monster. He's really great! But as for Hate Dept, we haven't done any stuff. We had the opportunityu to do it with Omnipresent, but I was afraid that the majority of the population wasn't ready for it. I'm pretty good friends with the guys from Penal Colony and theirs wasn't too successful, so I followed their lead.

TISH: Well, you seem to be doing something right according to sales at Appleton Imports...Shane and I both wish you the best. Of course, you have our support and we'll keep spinning Omnipresent, here on 91.1 WLFM.