This year, among many albums blending elements, Negativehate‘s latest album stands out. Curiosity led to a chat with the band to learn more. Let’s find out.

  • Let’s kick off by delving into the origins of Negativehate. How did it all begin?

Negativehate was born from a pact between two Potsdam College Philosophy Majors to combine our love for philosophy with our passion for music. Our not-so-humble beginning was like driving a tank over grandma’s garden with our micro-brand of colorful industrial noise fused with metal and rock. Since then we have progressed through a few different styles before finally arriving at the sound we have today.

  • Reflecting on a decade of growth, how have you evolved as a musician, especially in this fast-paced era impacting our music industry? 

Ironically, even though we started as an industrial band we tend to be oblivious of the industry part of the music industry. There were a few times when we just happened to be creating music that lined up with the flavor of the month but for the most part, we have remained active and free on the fringes of the music industry. If there is a silver lining perhaps that freedom has enabled us to grow and evolve as musicians and even as people.  It would be nice to crack the music industry code but for the most part, our focus has just been on the creative process and not so much the industry process. 

  • Shapeshifter” is undeniably an exceptional album. Was it intentional to incorporate such a diverse range of styles during the songwriting phase? 

Thank you, Mena we truly appreciate the compliment. I think I can speak for the band when I say that we put our heart and soul into the music on that album. It was a collaborative effort that excited us immensely as it was being written. Each song a unique expression untethered by any expectations felt like a child and the album as a whole felt like a family bound by some rare metaphysical DNA. We didn’t think too much about all the different styles that were being incorporated. There is always a little back-and-forth about the general dynamics but in the end, I think we just want to make music that is heartfelt and interesting to us while challenging our skills.

  • Blending Science and Spirituality is quite unique. Could you share more about the themes present in your albums?

Sure, in earnest I don’t think we can know anything about the true nature of existence. Science and spirituality are two ways in which we can grasp what is ultimately ineffable. Possibly our brains are just too small against the vast expanses of the universe to derive any absolute truths. While math and science provide a way in which one can understand at least some of the physical world, it seems that there may be more to reality than just the perceivable dimensions. Spirituality is one way that we can pursue the knowledge of those incorporeal realms. Our lyrics reflect our passion for the pursuit. We are not here to know, but more to seek. That seeking is where meaning and creativity are uncovered. Our songs are love songs that tribute to the beauty and mysteries of seeking to understand life and the universe and our place in it.

  • Despite your proficiency in various styles, your music may not always resonate with mainstream listeners. Are you concerned about potential impacts on sales and revenue? 

Of course, it would be nice if we could appeal to more listeners. We intentionally make sounds so that those sounds can be heard, however, we are also aware that our music is not primed for the mainstream. I think it’s okay, if we were to try and cater to any single audience, we would sacrifice some of the creative freedom that makes Negativehate music so much fun to write and perform.

  • The “Hrethgir” music video is stunning. Were you involved in the filming and direction process? 

I had a loose storyboard, most of which was abandoned due to time constraints. The main performance part of the video was shot in a single afternoon. Mike Stewert and I shot pick-up shots of each other in and near an abandoned mine in the local forest. We befriended a pair of nesting ravens who had made the inner wall of the mine their home. Climbing down the mine with the camera gear past the baby ravens at the crack of dawn is an experience I will never forget. 

  • With the advancement of AI in the music industry, do you see it as a threat to musicians and the industry as a whole?

 I don’t think there is an immediate threat, music, and art in general are always changing. It is not uncommon that at certain points technology will steer its evolution. It seems that people and some music creators are eager to embrace the newest technology so we may still see a greater wave of musicians finding novel ways to employ AI. In the 50s and 60s, the electric guitar began to change the rock and pop music landscape in the 80s we had a wave of music that was eager to implement the advancement of the synth, but the pendulum usually swings back after reaching a saturation point. I don’t know if AI-generated music can have musical soul, it can be synthesized- but a cherry jolly rancher will never replace a cherry. Some people may prefer the Jolly Rancher but the desire for a real cherry will also persist.  The day that AI can convincingly produce soulful music, we are going to have a much bigger problem to worry about. 

  • Lastly, could you reveal your aspirations for 2024?

We are going to play some shows and write some epic music with our new drummer Jacob Morales. I hope that through doing so we can bring passion, joy, and negative hate into some people’s lives.