-- Our Hate gets shredded! --
Interview written and conducted by Stijn “Metal Shredder” Daneels.
In late 2017, my longtime friend Isabelle “Blackbelle” Jonckheere from Metal Fun introduced me to the hardcore/metal hybrid Our Hate. A few months later, during the Wacken Metal Battle Belgium season, I saw the band perform during the semi-finals and later during the finals and while they didn’t win the Metal Battle, Our Hate did leave a very positive impression on me because of their all-kills-no-frills style and attitude.
And as a result, during the Judasfest event in Sint-Niklaas (October 12, 2019) I sat together with Our Hate’s frontman Tom “Lenny” Lenaerts to talk about their new EP “Defiled by Evil,” the band’s origins and inspirations, their victory at the Antwerp Metal Fest 2015 metal battle and Lenny’s various tattoos. Get inked, get shredded!
BMS: Hello Lenny! I must say that was one badass show you did tonight here at Judasfest.
Lenny: Thank you, my shredder friend! It’s been a while since the last time we performed, because for the past few months we had put all our efforts into producing our new EP, “Defiled by Evil.” That break from live shows also gave us the chance to review and improve our stage presentation.
BMS: Let’s talk about that brand-new EP, shall we?
Lenny: Sure thing! “Defiled by Evil” is a very diverse release compared to our debut album “Hate Will Prevail” from 2017. Some songs on the EP will sound very familiar to those who’ve already listened to “Hate Will Prevail” while there will also be quite a few musical surprises.
BMS: How did Our Hate begin?
Lenny: All five of us played in other bands like Cooperate and Scarred Mind, both of which have disbanded. We wanted to incorporate the hardcore beats of Cooperate with the thrash metal riffs from Scarred Mind as well as incorporating punk rock elements and Our Hate is the result of that musical union.
BMS: Interesting! Personally, I feel your sound has a lot in common with Hatebreed.
Lenny: Yeah, we get that comment a lot and we don’t mind the comparison. However, we have very few creative limitations and so many people have mentioned that they can’t quite put a subgenre on our music. Some of our songs are more punk rock while others have groove or thrash metal vibes. We just let the creativity flow freely among ourselves without trying to tick off any particular subgenre’s boxes.
BMS: In 2015, a mere year after Our Hate’s inception, you won a battle for a spot at that year’s Antwerp Metal Fest. That victory must’ve given you quite the motivational boost!
Lenny: Although me and the other guys consider our band more like a hobby, we do feel obliged to get the best performances out of ourselves. In our songwriting, in the studio, in our music videos and on stage. So yeah, winning the audience award for a spot at Antwerp Metal Fest 2015 was a huge achievement for us.
BMS: And last year you’ve competed at the Wacken Metal Battle Belgium finals.
Lenny: Indeed! Although we didn’t win that battle, we all were very pleased with the show we had put up that night and the crowd was vivid as hell! That’s what’s most important to us.
BMS: Yeah, it was an awesome gig! Now, I’d like to talk about your very first music video, which was for the title track of “Hate Will Prevail.” That video was my first introduction to your band and I was impressed by its production despite it being entirely DIY.
Lenny: Thank you! Our guitarist Deef was responsible for putting that particular video together. He does video editing in his spare time. That video was filmed entirely using mobile phones, nothing else. For our second video, Smash In The Face, Deef used more professional equipment and now we’ve got our third music video out which you can all enjoy at the end of this article!
BMS: We sure will check that one out! Tell me, what are Our Hate’s future ambitions?
Lenny: We’ve already got some gigs ready to promote our new “Defiled by Evil” EP and next March we’ll be returning to Spain to play there alongside Vendetta FM. Although we aim for bigger stages, we’ll always enjoy doing shows in such small and cozy venues like this one here.
BMS: Indeed! Every gig counts and there’s always a chance you may impress someone who works for a record label or a webzine.
Lenny: That’s correct, but that’s not our main goal. Our main goal during every gig is to go all out and have fun. We remain very down-to-earth regarding our talent and drawing power. Nowadays there are so many active bands and events during the weekends that it’s very hard to sell out the venue you’re playing in. We play every show with our full energy and enthusiasm. Perseverance, just like it’s tattooed on my lower leg.
BMS: Speaking of your tattoos, I recognize quite a few iconic rock and metal artists painted on your body. Lemmy Killmister, Chuck Schuldiner, Dimebag Darrell, Ronnie James Dio, Jeff Hanneman…
Lenny: Yes, all rock and metal artists who’ve inspired me and who’ve all passed away. I also have other tattoos like the aforementioned perseverance tattoo, which pretty much summarizes my personal life philosophy as well as Our Hate’s mascot bull emblem tattooed over my chest.
BMS: Great! So, is there anything else you wish to add before we wrap up this shred?
Lenny: I’m very grateful that such dedicated people like you and your community put the spotlight so brightly on the Belgian rock and metal scene! I’ve had a great time performing here at Judasfest and talking to you and I hope to see you again very soon!