Pennsylvania rockers, I Hate Heroes, have finished working on their debut album, and completed a short East Coast tour with Awake at Last, and Zoume. Read below what the band had to say about their tour, and what their plans are for the rest of the year!
Interview by: Samantha Toy
You all just wrapped up a tour with Awake at Last and Zoume last month. How was it going on tour with them?
The tour was sick! Unfortunately, we wish we could have spent more time with both bands, but it was a lot of fun nonetheless. The first weekend, we got to hang with Zoume a couple days up north in New York and Massachusetts. New York was kind of rushed around because it was pretty tight with equipment and stuff around the venue so we didn’t get to talk much with them, but they played a killer set. We had more of a chance to interact in Mass, and they were pretty down to earth and you could tell they loved to play and perform. The second weekend, we got to meet up with Awake at Last, which was especially cool because our booking agents in LX Agency (Eric and Imran) are both in that band. They were equally as fun and down to earth to be around and shared the same passion that Zoume and us both share about music. With all that said, it was a really overall good experience that ended too quickly.
What is your favorite city or venue to perform at?
This is literally impossible to answer haha. We’ve had so many positive experiences across so many cities and venues that I literally couldn’t narrow it down to just one. If I had to pick a couple though, I would say Detroit at the Ritz for one, because Roni is extremely hospitable, very good to his bands, the stage is sick, and there’s always a good lineup. Another one that I would have to say would be the Sherman Showcase. The venue may not be the biggest with the biggest stage, but Henry is another extremely hospitable promoter that makes us feel at home (even though we are pretty close to home) every time we play there. We also recently got to play a hometown show at Reverb which we haven’t played in the area in a couple years because of being on the road, so any hometown show is always a blast. I know I missed a bunch of venues in the mix that I love but I could literally be on this question forever so I’ll move on.
As a band, what is your dream goal? Do you wish to tour with a special artist or go on a world tour?
I think as a band and as a musician your goals change as you mature and grow. I think everyone’s first goal in the scene is touring everywhere and/or playing Warped Tour, and don’t get me wrong those are still goals today. However, I think on top of those obvious dream goals such as playing a bunch of shows, playing the big tours/festivals, there’s more to it. I think any musician can say it’s one of the most rewarding and amazing feelings in the world when you can have a fan come up to you and really connect or love your music. As a band, you put countless hours and every last dollar into your art, the music you create and build into your next single, EP, or album. It’s no easy task by a long shot and there’s many tense moments and ups and downs to the process, anyone else in our band can vouch for where I went from 0 to 100 and everywhere between during recording our upcoming album haha. Having said that though, when a fan comes up to you and tells you that they love a song that you spent all that time creating, all that money recording, and you look back at everything that went into it, well, I don’t think there’s too much that can compare to that. To answer your second part of the question, Avenged Sevenfold is my personal favorite band of all time, so touring with them would be absolutely insane. They’re the band that got me into music, and it was actually The Rev that initially got me started with drums. He was a creative musical genius and was taken way too early from the world. Eventually, my brother (Nick) ended up taking up drums and I knew how to play guitar, so we ended up playing a ton of music growing up, just us two. It was then I really paid a lot of attention to the song composition as a whole, and realized how incredibly talented that band is, so to be able to tour with the band that inspired me to play music would be amazing.
How do you think your band stands out from other artists in the music industry?
This is always a hard question to answer without sounding biased and subjective, but one way I would have to say is the diversity we have in our music. When you listen to one of our EP’s or especially this next album coming out, you’re not going to hear a clear cut style in the music. For example, our most recent EP (If Life Were a Book, I’d Skip This Chapter). On that EP, you will hear a couple heavy songs, including one with an alternative mix that has more synth elements, a pop-punk style song, and an acoustic. That’s one thing that we pride ourselves on is being able to provide a diverse EP and/or album that has a different song for every person. Having that kind of sound allows us to really stay true to writing what we enjoy and believe in because we don’t confine ourselves to a specific genre, and I think when a band has the ability to write outside of the box, so to speak, you really start to piece something together that’s special to you and special to the fans, while staying true to who you are. Another aspect that I think we stand apart is how much we interact with fans. Given, a lot of the bands that are bigger than we are may be more busy behind the scenes, however, we like to connect with our fans as more of friends. We make sure we take the time to get to know each and every fan that wants to take the time to talk to us, and any one of our fans can vouch for that. I think it becomes a problem when you forget that fans are just as special to you as you are to the fans. Special shout out to all of our friends and fans, we love you!
You all played the East Coast dates of Vans Warped Tour in 2015. Would you ever consider playing all dates in the future if you had the chance?
Absolutely without a doubt. Warped Tour was an incredible experience both musically and just generally shaping you as a musician. We woke up early in the morning and hit the lines to promote when we were playing as well as get some fresh ears on our music, moved our gear to the appropriate stage (which was Kevin Says at the time) and since we played typically early afternoon, pretty much spent the rest of the time before the set getting mentally prepared. Now, we didn’t have a tour bus or anything so it was hot as all hell and we really had no place to shield from the heat, so it was extremely exhausting. The stage managers were also pretty strict, which is understandable, and that is something that replays in the back of my mind every show. It’s a very quick switch over, and they don’t give a shit if the other band was just hanging around on stage or anything, your set time is your set time and when your set is over that’s it. That’s part of what I was referring to as being shaped as a musician, you learn to be prompt and get on the stage, do your thing, and get off. Going back to the hitting the lines early to promote, we saw that payoff by seeing some of the faces we met at our set on Warped. So, even though getting up early in the blistering heat sucked, that hard work paid off and that’s an important lesson to carry with you as a band. So, to sum it up, it was lots of early mornings, sunburn for days, and being completely exhausted at the end of the day, but I would do it all again in a heartbeat.
“Now or Never” is your latest single. How has the reaction been it the release?
Now or Never has had, at least from my experience, nothing but a positive reaction. I think it really encompasses a more mature sound in the band past the EP. The cool part about it, is we had that written and recorded before we even started thinking about or writing the new album, and it really is a perfect transition from our last EP into our debut album. We have a lot of similar elements on our new album as we do in “Now or Never”, but even slightly more evolved. The fact that fans were very receptive to “Now or Never”, give us high hopes that they will be very receptive to the new album.
What are your plans for rest of the year? Any music, or upcoming tour(s)?
As stated a few times, we do have a new album that is finished and just putting some minor touches on. On top of that, we have a handful of plans the rest of the year. In a week, we’ll be recording a new music video for one of the songs on our new album, so we’re all pretty stoked about that! We do also have a tour that is being finalized for the fall time frame, but we can’t say too much about that just yet, but it’s definitely going to be an eventful 2nd half of the year, so make sure you keep your eye out and follow all our social media to stay in the loop of what we have going on!