A story telling creative duo who take inspiration from 80s dance pop and twist it into allegorical tales about modern life, the Hate Eighties are a band who are starting to turn industry heads. Their debut album POW is released 9th October 2015 as part of a multi-media installation via Walton Xi Huang Media, and you can get to know a bit about them below.
Where and when did you first discover your interest in music?
In truth it was sounds and vibrations that came first before music. I used to spend whole days just looking for cool things that made noises around my house. I’d infuriate my parents by hitting pan lids with spoons and dipping them into the water or shouting into different cupboards to hear the difference in reverberation.
A big turning point came for me when I was having a bath and I realised that the sound of water going down the plug hole sounded so much better when your ears were under the water. There was something so powerful about that cracking, swirling sound cutting through the still silent water into my ear. Weird kid.
Before I could really play any instruments I used to experiment with recording sounds and words into my dad’s four-track recorder. Harmonica was my first instrument. Then I took up drums, guitar, keys, bass and most recently saxophone.
It was the music of Nine Inch Nails and the Smashing Pumpkins that got me really thinking about music and the part that arrangement and production plays in the song writing process. I used to lie and listen to The Downward Spiral on headphones and try and pick apart every song, trying to unravel every tiny part, pan and process.
What are your main ambitions in the industry?
We really want to steer away from the idea of it being an industry as much as possible, which is pretty funny considering that a lot of the music on this album deliberately borrows from modern chart music and the world we’ve created is just a massive onslaught of branding and advertising especially created for the project.
A lot of music is treated as a business. A means of selling ideas, lifestyles and products. Huge amounts of money are put behind artists because, through product placement, sponsorship, synchs, concert tickets merchandise and downloads, the record companies can make back the money they’ve invested. The artists become their very own brand themselves.
The message behind the project is this idea of reclaiming art as an activity that isn’t reliant on profitability. Music, like all other art forms, should be about the exploration of ideas, technique, emotions and themes. It should be a means of escape, a sanctuary, while also being a tool for upheaval and change. Not just a chance for some female dancers to shake their asses and sell us phones.
We want to make work that we are really proud of and we’ve done that with this album.
When did you start writing your own songs/music?
I have this really old tape of me as a little boy singing a song about all the cats leaving town. I must have been about ten or eleven then, and would have been writing lots of random little songs before that one.
What would you say is your music career highlight to date?
We’re really just getting started with this music, so we’ve yet to support any of our idols. The main highlight has been the response we’ve had to our live shows, which have developed into a much more theatrical experience. We use video and costumes to add another layer of the story to our gigs and we’ve had lots of people coming up to us after shows to say how much they enjoyed it.
Who will we hear in your songs? What are your influences?
There’s a great book by Simon Reynolds called Retromania that is all about pop culture’s obsession with its past. Most pop music either borrows a large part of it’s influence from an older period in music, like the 80s revival, the soul revival, the indie revival. Always with that splash of modern homogenisation thanks to auto tune and meticulous editing. With this album we mixed specific combinations of different pop influences in to each song to mirror the retrophillia of our culture, but it also helps to express the sense of fractured personality we feel in such a capitalist society. “Who the hell am I today? Is the personality I’ve constructed from the smorgasbord of cultural references and style iconography available to me on fleek?”
On this album you’ll hear the influence of Heaven 17, Tears for Fears, Calvin Harris, Will.I.Am, Nelly, The Gravediggaz, PWEI, Simian Mobile Disco, Body Rockers, Whitney Houston, Philip Glass, David Bowie, Nine Inch Nails and the list goes on.
The album after this one, which we’re half way through recording, is a lot heavier and takes its influences from the rock end of the spectrum.
What’s the most important thing you’d want to tell people about your current release?
That there’s more to the project than just the brilliant music we’ve made. Entwined in everything we’re doing as the Hate Eighties is this story and the hopes and aspirations nestled within it.
Who else can you recommend from your genre or local area for people to have a listen to?
There is so much great music out in the world. I tend to stumble on great stuff while just exploring online. In The Hate Eighties camp right now we have an unhealthily obsession with the funk outfit Vulfpeck from Los Angeles (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQRV0c1KXYc). I also love this trio of amazing percussionists called Square Peg Round Hole from Philadelphia – https://squarepegroundholemusic.bandcamp.com/ and if you’re looking for some exquisite song writing then you should try and get along to see Chrissy Barnacle play live, she’s also based in Glasgow – https://chrissybarnacle.bandcamp.com/
Any gigs coming up?
We’re currently planning a route down the country to share our music, but nothing concrete as of yet. We’re always on the look out for other bands and venues to collaborate with. So they should get in touch.
Where can we find/follow you online?
We’re on most of those wonderful social media outlets so follow us on