Alabama-based heavy rockers Love The Hate has released their brutal new single, ‘Solid Ground.’ With a dark, modern music video directed and filmed by Thomas Crane of KillDevil Films (Saliva, Todd La Torre [Queensryche], Eve to Adam), ‘Solid Ground’ has quickly dominated local and international radio, bringing the quintet’s unique brand of dark, heavy riffs and infectious melodies to an audience starved for honest rock music. Love The Hate bassist Leon Craft joins us to talk about the single, as well as his own musical background.
What are the origins of the band, how long have you been playing together?
So Love The Hate started out in 2015. Frank Killian our lead guitarist put out a Craigslist ad looking for musicians and our original vocalist Butch Howell answered. Frank found me when I was playing in another band and happened to be at our rehearsal one night and afterward asked me to be the bass player. Frank and I are the only original members left so we have been playing together for a little over 6 years, at this point, everyone else in the band is still relatively new. Doc St. Andrie, our current vocalist has been with us for 2 years after the unfortunate passing of our original vocalist Butch. Marshall our rhythm guitarist has been with us just under 2 years, he used to actually run sound for us before we offered him the position, and Troy our newest member and drummer extraordinaire has been with us for only about 7 months but he already fits right in and is a part of the family.
How did you feel performing your first gig? And how was it?!
So we had all played in bands and had been on stage before so Love The Hate’s 1st show wasn’t necessarily anything new but with these guys it definitely felt like something special
What should people expect when they check the band out? How would you describe yourself?
A modern rock 5-course meal with a little bit of metal seasoning haha. I’ve heard “dad rock” once before when describing us and it made me wanna die haha
The new music scene is bursting at the seams with fresh talent, in what ways do you feel that a band has to stand out from the others trying to build a name?
High energy rock and roll. We like to interact with people while we are on stage and make those connections, you won’t see a bunch of guys just standing there, we are all over the place and love to get the crowd involved. One of our favorite parts is after the show heading to the merch table and enjoying real interactions with our fans, we enjoy being out there with the people, I’ve seen many bands play their set and just leave, we aren’t like that at all.
What are you working on at the minute that people can check out?
So we just released our latest single Solid Ground. The video on YouTube is doing quite well, it is also climbing up the charts at radio. You can also find it on all digital and streaming platforms as well as our older stuff. We are also about to go back into the studio very shortly to record the follow up single
What band out there at the minute do you feel that you would be best suited to open for?
We have had the fortunate pleasure of opening for quite a few major bands in our short career, but I think Sevendust or Breaking Benjamin would be a personal dream for all of us right now.
Who do you feel is the next band to break out?
Am I allowed to say my band Love The Hate? Haha just kidding (but no seriously), honestly there are a lot of unsigned bands on my radar right now Kingdom Collapse is fantastic, Etched In Embers as well as Silent Trust. In the metal world, I would like to see Orbit Culture get a lot more attention as well
What are your first musical memories? And what was the lightbulb moment that made you go “I want to do that”?
I’ve always had, I think in the back of my head, the desire to want to play music, but I also have what I jokingly call career ADHD where it seems like I’m going after multiple career paths at the same time. Haha! I started in music when I was 12 when I joined the concert band at my school and I really really enjoyed it. About a year later I got into some modern rock bands like Linkin Park and Breaking Benjamin and then eventually that turned into an obsession with heavier bands and the thrash metal and death metal genres. I started off playing guitar in my mid-teens, playing and singing in thrash metal bands until I graduated high school. About midway through college, I dropped out to pursue a career in a different field and had some moderate success in that field that I ended up retiring from in 2014 and after that, I decided, man I really want to go back to playing music again, so I started playing bass to challenge myself with a new instrument. I was playing in a different band when Frank Killian walked into our rehearsal and recruited me to play in Love The Hate and it really wasn’t until I joined Love The Hate that I thought we have a real shot at doing something with this
We had the tragic passing of Eddie Van Halen last year, do you have a particular favourite Van Halen track?
‘Eruption’ would probably be cliche to say but I do also really enjoy ‘Ain’t Talking Bout Love’.
AC/DC – Brian or Bon? Or both?!
Both for sure!
What was the last gig that you attended as a fan?
A local music showcase in Pascagoula Mississippi. Honestly, there are a lot of talented musicians and bands down here on the Gulf Coast that I wish the industry would pay more attention to this area.
What current issue are you particularly passionate about?
Honestly, can we just fully legalize marijuana and get it over with already haha.
There is great debate at the minute about whether or not musicians should use their platform to talk about political issues, some for and some against. Music has always been a form of protest, surely an artist has just as much right as the next person to offer an opinion? Or should they “just stick to the music”?
So this one is tricky. You look at the history of music, punk rock in itself was a protest, Rage Against the Machine was highly political, Megadeth a lot of their songs were influenced by political issues. But it’s a slippery slope. Especially in this political climate that has become so volatile in the last decade where it almost seems nowadays if you state an opinion you’re immediately alienating potentially half your fan base. There are in my opinion wrong ways to express opinions (Trapt) is a personal example for me. But I really don’t think there is a current right or wrong clear cut black-and-white answer here with how the climate is at this point. We have had many discussions about this in our band, not every member of Love The Hate has the exact same opinion, some of us think one way, some of us think the other, but we are able to have healthy respectful discussions about it and I think that’s how it should be. It is possible to be best friends and brothers with people who think differently than you, and I hope eventually we as a people can get back to respecting each other despite our differences.
The album that you have in your album collection/Spotify playlist that would surprise most people?
I have an acoustic song playlist of maybe over 200 songs, haha. But I also listen to classical music, 80s and 90s hip hop, and r&b I’m all over the place.
Who would you class as an underrated songwriter?
From a classical perspective Nobuo Uematsu is a big name in video game music that doesn’t get a lot of recognition as a composer outside of that space but really should. If you just sit and listen to the track outside of the context of its from a video game it’s really amazing pieces of music.
As much as 2020 was a year to forget, there was some incredible music released: what would you say is your favorite album of 2020?
Trivium’s “What The Dead Men Say” and Orbit Culture’s “Nija” we constantly on repeat for me that year.
How active are you on social media and where can people connect with you?
I myself stay pretty private on social media, but the band is pretty active you can find the band on Facebook you can find us on Twitter Instagram, youtube, and at our website www.lovethehatemusic.com