Hatebook is a death metal band from Kathmandu formed in 2006. They had started their journey playing thrash metal initially, but soon they split-up in 2008, and had reformed again in 2010, this time playing death metal. Here is a short interview with the band.
NU: Hello guys. What’s the latest happening with Hatebook? Hatebook: We are working on our new songs at the moment. And we are focused on the three major gigs coming our way – Nepfest, The Silence Festival and The Black Tour.
NU: You’re sharing the stage with the death metal giants Vader in Silence Festival. What are your expectations out of this event? Hatebook: This is a great honor for us to be playing alongside this mighty band. It’s fuckin’ awesome! We are really excited and somewhat anxious at the same time. It is Vader, and we are going to work our asses off and do our best! Let the guys know that Nepal also does have good bands. Antim Grahan and Underside are also playing from here, the former are like the pioneers in our local scene who made it big. So we will try our best to match the level and will not disappoint!
NU: And you’re also playing in Pokhara and Dharan in KtmROCKS Black Tour later this year? Hatebook: Yes. Thanks to Umes (Shrestha) dai (founder, KtmROCKS) for having faith in us and giving us this opportunity to play outside the valley.
NU: You guys did play in Pokhara in Brutalfest Gig. How was the experience there? Hatebook: The gig was not something we had expected. Being told that it was the biggest metal gig in Pokhara, we had a lot of expectations. But it was okay though. Pokhara has a lot to work on the sound and other stuffs. It was a good experience nonetheless.
NU: Well, isn’t it quite late to hit the studios? Many of your fans are asking about and are very eager for your debut album. Hatebook: It’s just been little more than a year since we reformed Hatebook, so I don’t think it has been too late. We have a lot to learn and experiment in our music, so we are giving time for our songs for a while writing them, in order that the output is satisfactory. By the way, we are planning to enter the studio to record an EP after the aforementioned gig series is over.
NU: Navin, I’m a huge fan of your growls from the time I heard you first. How do you do that? Hatebook (Navin): Haha, thanks! It took me a lot of practice and hard work to sing like this. But still it’s not all! I am practising new techniques to improve my skills. Initially, I thought growling was enough, but on the process of listening to many death metal bands, I found that it has varied and abundant amount of vocal techniques. So I am now working on them. It’s just a load of practice.
NU: Well, going back to the olden days, Hatebook was a thrash metal band, covering Pantera and Sepultura and the likes. The band then split-up and now you play death metal after the reformation. Why was there a shift in your musical style? Hatebook: We reformed the band planning to do the same thing, i.e. to play thrash stuffs, and we did jam some Pantera at the beginning. But the musical influence of the band mates had quite changed in the past few years, as Rojan and Navin are huge death metal fanatics and Bhufan too was very fond of playing death metal. Thus we decided to give it a shot. The results turned out to be good and we decided to play further as a death metal band.
NU: Are you guys paid in concerts? Hatebook: Yes, sometimes we are and sometimes not. The main thing is that we love to play live, so money isn’t the main thing. But we love it when we get paid for the shows, haha!
NU: Let’s talk about Hatebook’s lyrical themes…
Hatebook: As in most of other death metal lyrics, we include brutality, nihilism, gore, etc. in our lyrics, but the main theme has always been about death.
NU: Most of the brutal death metal is generally perceived as having a weak subject dealing with gore, rape, violence and such (as in your music), and I’ve even seen metalheads from other subgenre background (like black metal which has a very strong philosophy) presume so. What do you guys say? Hatebook: As this form of music is called “DEATH” metal itself, death metal has always been connected to the darker side of life such as violence, murder and all those related to physical death from life. But it is not compulsory. We can see many brutal death metal bands nowadays experimenting with their subjects as well, so you couldn’t just say that.
NU: So what are the stronger points of death metal? Hatebook: Death metal, in our view, is the most extreme form of metal music – no bullshit, just a straightforward heart pumping, brain whacking music, and it’s also entertaining to play.
NU: Could you describe your songwriting process? What comes first – the music or the lyrics? Hatebook: The riffs for the song are all written by Rojan. Then come the drums and bass lines. When the song is complete, I (Navin) write the lyrics on the basis of the theme of the song. The mood of the song made is already in my mind and utilizing it, I pen the lyrics.
NU: How many songs have you completed yet? Hatebook: We have completed almost five songs. Almost, because we are yet to finish the fifth one which we will soon, and people are going to be hearing them in Nepfest II.
NU: How’s the practice schedule as of late? Hatebook: As for now, we are jamming on daily basis. Our guitarist Rojan works outside the country, so when he is out, the practice is not so regular, but when all members are here, we do it regularly.
NU: Do you have your own practice room, or…? Hatebook: We have the equipments and stuff but we don’t have a room for now though we are searching for one. For now we are jamming at ISS, Lagan Tole.
NU: Give us some info on the gadgets being used by the band members? Hatebook: Bivesh is using a Tama Swingstar series drums with Ssan twin pedals. Prajwol is using an Ibanez GIO series and metal muff. Rojan is also using an Ibanez GIO series and a metal zone (sometimes metal muff). Bhufan is using 5 string q-ten bass guitar.
NU: Since I believe most of you in the band are students, is being in Hatebook (and other bands) just your secondary hobby? Or do you guys want to have a musical career as well? Hatebook: It was a hobby back then when we started but now we are thinking of making it as a career. It’s obvious that study comes first because in a country like Nepal, one cannot survive by doing just music.
NU: We’ve seen a lot of ‘powerhouse’ bands come in the scene and pass by in no time. What’s the case with Hatebook? Will there be Hatebook, lets say, even after five years down the line? What do you think? Hatebook: We are not planning a gap for the band for now and the band will be there until we finish our Bachelors’ level. But after that, some of us are planning to go abroad for further studies. We can say that till all of us are here, we will continue to play and try to give some awesome death metal to you guys!
NU: All the best for that, brothers. Any last words to the friends and fans out there? Hatebook: We would like to thank NepalUnderground for featuring us. To all the metalheads, support music and the artists, and be there at our gigs to support us. We have Nepfest on Sept 17, The Silence Festival on Oct 15, and KtmROCKS Black Tour to Dharan and Pokhara cities, so be there. JAI METAL \m/