Written by: Annette - Lover of Ohio's Local Band Music!
I always seem to find myself out looking to hang with friends, have a few beers and just get away from life for a while. I always pick somewhere that there's live music though! Call it fate, call it just a lucky evening but ... every once in a while (more often though than not), I happen to walk into the room when I hear a KICK ASS band playing and, IMMEDIATELY, I have to go see WHO that is!!!! I have certain things I look for ... one is a great vocalist! Second is wicked riffs, thumping bass and thunderous drums which hold it all together! I can't remember where I was the first time I saw H.A.T.E. ... oh, yes! Actually, the first time I saw them was at Mango's in Alliance ... they played before my friend, Mike H.'s band - SNM. Well ... there's not really much to say other than ... I was "BLOWN AWAY"!!! I LOVE it when a band and vocalist can literally give me chills and ... H.A.T.E. - they've done that EVERY time I've seen them!!!! Again, I had the pleasure of chatting with "Hazard" from H.A.T.E and ... well, here's the deal on these "forever" loyal metal lovers!
ANNETTE: We're blown away by the metal that comes from this band!! It's truly a great line-up! Who are they? Tell me who the band is.
HAZARD: Greg"Wags" Wagner - Guitars & Vocals / Chuck"Hammer"Ruszin - Bass / Michael"Hazard"Harris - Drums & B.Vox. We all grew up through the 70's & 80's and that "old school metal" was a part of us then as it is today. That can be heard in just about every tune we write with a dash of what's being done in todays music.
ANNETTE: How long have you guys been together?
HAZARD: Off and on for over 20 years. The current line-up has been together for about 4 years now and there is no sign of us stopping or slowing down.
ANNETTE: Have you had a lot of line-up changes?
HAZARD: In the early days there was a few line-up changes, but now we remain the same except for a floating lead player. Curran Murphy (Shatter Messiah) who engineered and produced our upcoming debut album, is jumping on board with us to do our live dates through summer. This is his second time around with us and we are thrilled that he is back. We always have an eye out for fresh talent that would jump on with us full time, but the chemistry and lead skills have to be right for us. (Anybody out there?) Here lately, we've been performing as a 3 piece and we are just as powerfull, but sometimes the music gets a little empty without that second guitar.
ANNETTE: Tell us about your humble beginnings?
HAZARD: The first incarnation of H.A.T.E. was early 1988. Wags and Chuck got together to try and make something happen and rehearsed endlessly until they arrived upon a sound that they both were into. They picked up some other local musicians to round out the band and started writing material. Once they had enough tunes mastered, they took it live on the local club seen and it was a hit. Eventually, the buzz spread north and caught the attention of Auburn Records president, Bill Peters who brought the band to the Cleveland area to perform at some national shows which went over really well. That success lasted for a couple of years until musical tastes changed. So the project was shelved by Wags, knowing that someday he could breathe new life into it. Forward H.A.T.E. 2005.
ANNETTE: How many albums can we find by H.A.T.E.?
HAZARD: Not a one! lol You can maybe find a cassette tape from the 80's. Other than that, just our demo material available on our websites.
ANNETTE: Any new recordings on the horizon?
HAZARD: As a matter of fact there is. We are picking up the mixed disc in a few days so we can do a final proofing and if everything sounds good, it's off to Germany for mastering. After that, we're not sure what direction we're going to go. We're going to shop for a deal of course, it's whether or not to shop it unfinished, or to package the disc ourselves and shop it as well as bring it to the market. Either way, it's going to get out.
ANNETTE: The name of the band is different from the norm. Tell us where the name "Half Way at the End" came from?
HAZARD: Really, to be honest with you, I'm not sure where the the halfway at the end thing came from, but anyone can make it stand for whatever they want!
ANNETTE: Can we credit the writing of the music to one person primarily or, is it a group effort?
HAZARD: The chief songwriter has always been Wags, but Chuck and I contribute arrangements and an ocassional lyrical phrase.
ANNETTE: Tell us about the song, Metal Forever! What's the story behind that one? It's one of my favorites!
HAZARD: Our love for metal music and everyone who loves it too! It's been around for a long time and has stood the test of time as genres come and go. The face of music changes everyday, but METAL IS FOREVER!!!
ANNETTE: Where can people go right now and buy H.A.T.E.'s music?
HAZARD: At the present time the only place to get any H.A.T.E. material is on our websites off the music store. Those songs are demo versions only, and are early versions of the songs on the disc. Most of the tracks don't even appear on the disc. As soon as we get a release date, we will let all know where it can be purchased.
ANNETTE: Tour plans?
HAZARD: We are doing local club shows currently with sporadic dates. I've talked to some other bands about putting together a full blown tour package which would consist of 3-4 bands and moving it around regionally. We'll just have to wait and see how everything else pans out.
ANNETTE: Who are the main influences behind H.A.T.E.'s music?
HAZARD: Everyone and everything. If we can see it, hear it, smell it, taste it, and learn from it, it has influenced the music of H.A.T.E.
ANNETTE: Is H.A.T.E. an angry music band?
HAZARD: Some of the tunes have that vibe, but I don't think it's a violent undertone. There is alot of dumb shit going on in the world today which can make for angry people. Give those angry people a musical instrument, and you're bound to get angry music. That is evident in todays music more than ever.
ANNETTE: Which song is your personal favorite?
HAZARD: We are gonna say "METAL FOREVER"! That is what we are all about. Everything around us changes,even the music, but we're not budging!!!
ANNETTE: Tell us about your fan base. What kind of people make up your crowds?
HAZARD: It's growing as we speak. We really seem to have the most attention from Europeans. We have that style that never really died over there. Every 80's metal band that you thought broke up years ago are over there drivin' it home every night. The demographics at our shows change constantly,but lately I've noticed teenagers at the all ages shows are diggin' what we're playing as well as the older generation. That says a lot to me that most things do come full circle. Let's hope it completes the loop!
ANNETTE: You've had a lot of fun I'm sure … so, don't be shy. Tell us one good story!
HAZARD: Wow, so many. To protect the innocent, let's just say "Detroit Rocks" and so do the ladies!!!
ANNETTE: We always wanna know who's the band's pimp?
HAZARD: That would have to be me,Hazard. For the time being. I would like to find a replacement though.
ANNETTE: Where can Ohioans find you playing next? Give us your next few dates.
Everone should come out and support us and all the local bands everywhere! I just confirmed a show for 06/09/07 in Chilacothe @ The 4th Annual DoorSlammer Festival with BOBAFLEX. That will be a great show and excellent exposure. We will keep you guys posted as we learn more.
THAT kicked ASS!!! Now ... you have the dates ... so ... get OUT and check out H.A.T.E.!!!
Visit the official H.A.T.E. website NOW at www.wehateu2.com and Check 'em out on MySpace too at www.myspace.com/halfwayattheend !