Introducing… Quebec skate punks Hate It Too

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Hate It Too emerged out of Trois-Pistoles, Quebec back in 2008 and already released a couple of recordings, the It’s About Time EP, a single called Cyanide Teeth, and a debut full-length album entitled Purple Mountains. Now based in Quebec City, they recently released their second album, Lampshading.

The band manage to mix a punk rock sound with melodic metal for the new record, giving them added leverage to hopefully expand their reach past the Canadian borders in the next few years.

Hate It Too will be performing an online show on August 14. Get tickets here!

We caught up with the four-piece to chat about the new album, life in lockdown and their favourite Montreal bands.

When Hate It Too started out what bands were you all listening to?

It started out in the basement of a small town called Trois-Pistoles in 2008 after Marc-Antoine and Jean-Philippe went to see a local punk show where they ended up thinking that we could be on stage. Back in the day, the punk scene was very active for a town of about 3,000 people located far away from the biggest cities in the province, and we were fortunate enough to see some of the pillars of the Quebec punk scene with bands like Mute, MAP, Vulgaires Machins and Grimskunk, so they were a great influence for us when we started this band.

Was there a plan for how you wanted the band to sound and how has that changed over the years?

At first, we tried really hard to make the most progressive, fast and technical punk songs we could, often biting a lot more than we could chew ability-wise. Now we’re more concerned about groove, dynamics and making sure that our songs translate well in a live context. We also make an effort to diversify our catalog enough so that we can adapt our setlist for any situation, depending on the bands we’re playing with or the crowd in front of us. We figured out over the years by playing and going to punk rock shows that blasting the crowd with 45 minutes of 220 bpm songs tends to get a bit boring and repetitive, at least for us. Our main goal is to let both the crowd and the band breathe at some points in the show.

It’s been five years already since Purple Mountains. How do you feel looking back on the record now?

We still like the record a lot. The production is awesome and the songs still hold up. The only thing we would change is the vocals. It was our second studio experience and it kind of shows on that aspect. We would do a much better job on the vocals if we recorded the album today, which of course we won’t do. Still, we learned a lot from recording the album and it made us a lot better at doing what we do. 

The new record is called Lampshading. Where did that title come from? 

Lampshading is a literary device by which you acknowledge the flaws or contradictions in your story by calling attention to them so you can move on without breaking the audience’s suspension of disbelief. While it can be really funny and clever when done well, it can also just be there to cover some lazy writing that would need correction. The lyrics on the album Lampshading often point out personal stuff we’re not happy with or contradictions in our lives, but they never offer solutions. We call attention to our flaws and contradictions and just move on without actually changing things up. The lyrics on this album are kind of lampshading on our personal lives, at least for the two of us that write the lyrics (Cédric & Marc-Antoine). 

How does this new record compare to your previous work? 

I think that the backbone of this new record has been built on riffs and melodies that were fun to play live at the jam spot. We didn’t have many constraints on what kind of song we wanted to play, and I think we can hear it throughout the record. We tried to create songs that had a more organic and live vibe rather than pushing for fast songs loaded with notes that the audience won’t even understand while we play live (i.e. some songs on our previous releases). It can be cheesy to say so but we definitely grew as a band during this process and I think it is a better reflection of what we are today and what type of music we want to make. 

 What challenges have you faced during the COVID-19 lockdown and what plans do you have when things improve?  

It’s kind of a weird situation for us because for this album, we were supported by the team at Hell For Breakfast and for the first time since our DIY debut, we had a game plan regarding promotion, photo and video shoots and, of course, shows during the summer. Since our initial plan was put on hold, we had to decide whether we should postpone the release or go on with the initial date with a couple of weeks of delay, which we did. We are currently working on a way to play our songs live and get people to see them since we don’t know when venues will reopen without restrictions. Hopefully we’ll be able to share our new songs in front of people in the near future, but for now, all we can say is that it’s been good to jam again in the last few weeks! 

If you could only tour with one band for the rest of your career, who would you choose? 

Such Gold or The Flatliners, we would never get tired of watching their sets. They’re both amazing live bands and they had a huge influence on our sound.

Lastly, favourite Montreal bands?? 

Brand New Lungs, Lost Love, The Sainte Catherines, Dutch Nuggets, Grimskunk, Oktoplut to name a few. 

Lampshading is out now on Hell for Breakfast

Photo credit – Jessy Fuchs

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