Interview with Seibold of Hate Dept. - conducted by Ashley Serotta of GoDaM! Governed by Electronics WMFO 91.5 FM Boston on 3/19/96

Photos by AggroChik

Ashley: Where is Hate Dept based at?

Seibold: My studio is in San Clemente, California. About one hour south of Los Angeles, and an hour north of San Diego. Geographically this is a great location to be because we play shows often enough in both cities. I also live right on the beach, so the scenery is nice. Typical southern California weather which is a little too warm and sunny for my taste.

Ashley: What are the music scenes like in those respective cities?

Seibold: The scene is completely different from one city to the next. Los Angeles has kind of a thin scene. It still has a rock remnant left in it. The gothic scene is pretty sparse with the Industrial scene being perhaps the smallest scene of all. However, there is a great club there called Kontrol Factory which is famous across the United States. San Diego has a real strong gothic industrial scene. I know a lot of cities, those two genres don't mix real well, it works real well. There is always a really good turn out at several clubs.

Ashley: Do you play a a lot of shows then?

Seibold: Hate Dept. plays too much! We play between three and seven times a month.

Ashley: Is that mostly in your area, or around the surrounding states?

Seibold: We play the Bay area a great deal. We've done two west coast tours up to Seattle. At the end of this month will be the first tour east all the way to Wisconsin and back.

Ashley: What is your live line-up like?

Seibold: We are a five piece band. It is kind of a large band which makes for a great deal of energy on stage. We've got a live kit drummer, and electronic drummer, a keyboard player, a guitar player, and I sing full time. It looks like Diana who sang on previous Hate Dept. releases might start performing with us live as well. That will be a very interesting element for us because we are so much like a punk band live it will be weird to see what it is like having her with us.

Ashley: Girls can be punk too!

Seibold: There is no question about that.

Ashley: It looks like you'll be going to be touring on the east coast this summer correct?

Seibold: Yes in July. I am very much looking forward to it. I wish we could do the whole United States this time. I've meet so many people who called me and made offers for us to play all over the country and I wish I could take them all, but I can't.

Ashley: Lets back up a moment and discuss how the band originally started. You have two full length albums and an EP released officially?

Seibold: Yes that exactly what we have. The band has been in existence for almost three years. The release are spread out pretty much over a two year period. The current line up has been solid for about a year.

Ashley: Do you most of the song writing because you are the primary vocalist, or is it more of a collaborative effort?

Seibold: I write everything in the studio. I also record is all in the studio as well. I only bring in the rest of the band only as a convenience. It doesn't really suit me to have the rest of the band come in and play there parts when I can do it more quickly on my own. So, out of convenience I do it all. The rest of the band is mostly only there for the live performances. It is finally getting to the point where they are being incorporated into the band, which is a first. I think I'll ease into having them participate with the writing to avoid any problems.

Ashley: What would you say helped influence the style of music that you write?

Seibold: My early influences as a kid was punk rock. I was always into Black Flag & Circle Jerks. I was at the right age when Duran Duran came out and got into that pretty heavy as well. That kind of bridged the gap into bands like Kraftwerk. That was how I got into synthesizers early while still holding onto my punk attitude. I kept the punk mentality to help me with writing songs. So that is what Hate Dept. really is, a punk band with electronic influences. Still very Punk at heart. A band that really influenced me a great deal that I always mention was Killing Joke. I think their best material is by far their oldest, but I still love them.

Ashley: I took some time today to have a look at the Hate Dept. web site today and I understand that the band is active on the Internet?

Seibold: Yes, all five of us are.

Ashley: Would you say that being on-line has helped the band communicate better with it's audience?

Seibold: Definitely without question. The wealth of knowledge available on-line is unimaginable. I've traded MIDI files and literally written songs with people all over the world. We all use it a great deal to communicate inside the band and occasionally we jump onto other forums as well. We have three different web sites written by various band members.

Ashley: I think I read on one of the web pages that music production is your profession, is that correct?

Seibold: Yes. I pretty much make a living at it now. It was a dream at one point to be a musician for a living, and now that it is a reality, I find that I work much harder than I would ever want to. I have a decent lifestyle, so I'm happy to be a musician for a living, but it is a very dense schedule.

Ashley: How much of your time is spent of your own music versus producing other bands?

Seibold: Now that the new album has been released, I am focusing more on other bands music.

Ashley: Have you gotten to work with anyone interesting or bands who you think were really impressive?

Seibold: At first I wasn't able to be selective about who I work with. However, everyone that I work with now is extremely interesting. Some of the high points are working on the new Kevorkian Death Cycle album. Another unusual high point is the eighties band Berlin. I've worked on some rap stuff as well.

Ashley: The rap music genre use some of the same type of tools but for an entirely different musical style.

Seibold: One thing I'll have to say about the Rap and R&B scene is that they use samplers and drums machines almost exclusively whereas the industrial scene has really started to embrace organic instruments like guitars and live drums. I would say they have a great deal of integrity because they started out as a very mechanical genre and have remained so today. I have a great deal of respect for the technical outlook on the scene.

Ashley: In listening to you albums it seems as if you explore many diverse musical styles. You dabble in many various sub genres of industrial music, and I was wondering if that was intentional, or if it happened to be what you wrote that day?

Seibold: The first album was not as diverse. The most recent album, "Omnipresent" is because I have sold out to some extent. I am not really as interested to a all male dominated audience like my older releases. The first album was a very male dominated album. It was aggressive, with very little emotion, and it was marketed towards a testosterone driven guy. That is not the direction I am going anymore. I am a huge fan of electronic music, so when it came time to compile the new album, it felt right to include those songs on the album. I didn't really feel like I was into that hard scene very much anymore. In the live show we are allowed to be aggressive as we want, so I don't have to be that way on the albums.

Ashley: You've also appeared on a number of compilations as well. How did you manage to get involved with the various record labels to be involved with those compilations?

Seibold: Mostly by working with and helping produce the bands that those labels sign. When those labels put out compilations they alway ask me to contribute tracks if I am able.

Ashley: "Omnipresent" is on Neurotic Records, and "Meat Your Maker" is on 21st Circuitry Records. Did you have only a single release contract with each label?

Seibold: Exactly, we had a one album contract with each label. We are still very good friends. Don at 21st Circuitry helped me out a great deal. He helped me be available to Neurotic Records and to obtain a bigger deal through them. I hope we both benefit from it.

Ashley: Do you have anything else you'd like to share?

Seibold: I look forward to playing live to whomever else has the balls to come out to the show, so I hope you come and see Hate Dept. when we are out on tour this summer.

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