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In Words: Hate Squad

- Burkhard Schmitt & Helge Dolgener - January 1995 - Claudia Ehrhardt -

Burkhard Schmitt - live 1995
© Claudia Ehrhardt

Burkhard Schmitt & Helge Dolgener
- Cologne (Germany), January, 19th 1995 -

For many who came to see Atrocity the band Hate Squad are nobodies. The band of singer Burkhard Schmitt are from a town near Hannover and exist since April 1993! Together with the guitarists Tim Baurmeister, Mark Kühnemann and drummer Helge Dolgener he recorded the first demo in July '93. The 5-track demo sold more than 1,400 copies, got almost good critics. The Hate Squad got named as one of the best unsigned bands of Europe. The boys mix their influences in groovy songs with aggressive guitars and death metal like vocals. Last summer they recorded their debut album Theater Of Hate in Hannover. Now they are on tour with bassist Marco Schulz.
In Cologne Hate Squad had to play in front of ca. 60 Fans of Atrocity and Crematory. Even with the first 2 songs the band caught the interest of the fans. Technical problems with the bass interrupt the show. Burkhard tried his best to entertain the fans during this break, after a minute the band started the next song without the four-stringer. The fan reaction was very good. Most are surprised and will go to see the band again next time.

Do you have used songs of the demo for the debut?

We take 3 songs from the demo for the album, but we record them again. The songs are: Theater Of Hate, Condamned To Die and Perverse Insanity. At the album are 10 tracks, the others are written between the demo and the debut.

That all happen very fast. As far as I know you hadn't a bassist in that days.

That's right. We hadn't a bassist at first, also when we recorded the demo. Our guitarist Tim played the bass parts.

You are from the area of Hannover, no one think that it's a problem there. There is a huge music scene ...

There is a scene, but not for our kind of music, more normal hard rock. There are many people listening to the hard stuff, but don't want to play it. It's difficult to find someone with the right attitude.

You think there is a scene and not that it's so difficult.

A lot of losers who think they haven't anything to do to go on. But you have to work on yourself. For a short time we had a bass player, but for him the problem starts with coming to the rehearsals.

He told us that he didn't have the 2,- DM for a bus ticket and so he didn't come. Things like that been typical for him.

That's the wrong attitude.

Also there are ones with the right attitude. Our bassist Marco is from Bremen (130 km from Hannover). He has a way which is more far and he has no problem with being at the rehearsals. It works.

I think it's important that he is there when you work on new songs or prepare a tour.

It works expect a string is rips like it did today. First I didn't recognise it then I had to do, say something. I have no talent in making jokes, but the people laugh. It was okay.

Shit happens, that's live! The people recognise that you act out of the situation.

I think it wasn't bad. I'm no entertainer, but I think I made it all right, the fans feel the spontanity.

Someone who is in the business for 10 years or more can handle it better. You are new to that business, you haven't the experience.

It's the 7. concert in a row and just the 11. with this line-up.

The audience been positively surprised.

On this tour we often hear that the fans say: I never heard of you, but it been great!

If there are just a few it's much harder to convince them as in a sold out concert.

If a club is packed there are always a few who just want to see what's going on. Today it seems that there were just die-hard fans of Crematory and Atrocity.

The concert wasn't announced in most magazines. Many didn't know that the tour trail stop here in Cologne. Bad luck for you. What experiences you made on that tour?

Just good ones, only the first show been very chaotic. But it's better from day to day, even we sell more merchandise right now.

What are you doing after this tour?

We will play a few single shows and in summer we'll record our 2nd album. Important is that we play on the Full Of Hate festivals in April. It will be equal to this tour, but more people we be there. Again we are the openers also we are the only German band and the only newcomer. It's a step forward for us.

About the lyrics, the first impression is that everything sounds negative. The word Hate have a main position. What do you want to express?

Important is the realism, no fantasy stories. Most songs are about my attitude to life. It sounds negative that's right, but there always is a positive hidden message. I try to make the people think with the negative and provoke lyrics. I hope the people start thinking.

Is the background that people can only change it by themselves?


Is there a message behind the cover?

It's just to underline the title. Theater Of Hate is about wars what is a better symbol for war as a skull or anti-aircraft gun or tank.

Your not playing typical death metal, it's similar. Where are your roots?

From hip hop to hard core and death metal, everything.

Also techno and industrial, we are open minded.

Everybody tries to bring in his influences that's creating the music we make. It's hard core with death metal like vocals. We often been compared with Sepultura at times of Schizophrenia.

I think the a like vocals make you accepted by more people.

On the demo it been more death metal. We been together for about 3 months and I never sung in a band before. For the others it's similar. I couldn't sing in another way, it was extreme. It getting better, at the beginning I won't be able to sing a whole show.

You are head for the studio in summer, do you already have new tracks?

Today we played a new one.

We already have 3 songs and we want to write 7 more.

Will there be changes or will it be similar to the debut?

It will be similar, but with more power. The final kick which we miss on the old ones.

The music is filled, more solid.

Through the bass, in early days we always played without bass. That's why I started the song without Marco only with 2 guitars. I thought "shit, the bass is missing, but before we always played without". It worked.

Shit was that it happened at a hip hop part. Normally just the bass track is lying over the drums.

I recognised that you not just thrash like it is normal in this genre, it makes it more interesting.

A bit groove is a must!

Nothing more to say. It'll be interesting how the 2nd output will be. The expectations are high, but they should be able to fulfil them. If the band continue like that the throne of the death metal gods is in danger in a few years. At the moment they miss the practice, but with more live shows and studio experience they should be able. The future looks bright for the youngsters.

Claudia Ehrhardt


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