German H8 Core veterans Hate Squad knew already in the early 90s what aggressions could be set into music if you mix Thrash and Death Metal with Hardcore. They were one of the bands making this style huge by playing on all of the big festivals over Europe, for example Dynamo, Wacken, With Full Force ...and having some of their biggest hits like "Not My God" and "I.Q. Zero" run on Heavy Rotation on Viva Metalla and MTV´s Headbangers Ball. Well deserved Hate Squad were voted as "Newcomer Of The Year" on Viva Metalla in 1995 by the viewers.
The story began in 1993 when Burkhard Schmitt and three friends from around Hannover decided to form a band as they were "suffering" from too much time and finally also the aggressions that young men could develop sometimes needed to be worked out properly. Hate Squad was born and they were aiming for something new, a music the same time aggressive and groovy! Back in these days the magazines described the band sound as “Crossover” "Metalcore", "Deathcore", "Hatecore" or "Hardcore influenced Thrash Metal". With their unique style they formed a whole new genre and young awesome bands like german Maroon or Heaven Shall Burn (who covered "Not my God" on their album "Antigone") call Hate Squad a major influence.
But let´s go back to the good old days…
Hate Squad hit the right nerve when they released their debut album "Theater of Hate" in 1994 through Gun Records/BMG. The response by critics and fans was overwhelming and Hate Squad were appointed as “Newcomer Of The Year” in many magazines.
The major success of the album lead to a long time on the road playing shows, festivals and tours with Death, Gorefest, Machine Head, Tiamat, Life of Agony, Type O Negative, Biohazard, Venom, Sick of it All, Atrocity, Nailbomb, Fear Factory, Downset, Mercyful Fate, Paradise Lost, Dog Eat Dog, Dub War...just to name a few. Besides that Hate Squad played at the Full of Hate Easter Festivals followed by the legendary appearance at the Dynamo Open Air in Eindhoven (Holland), where the band celebrated the 10th anniversary of the festival together with 120.000 fans!
In October 1995 the 2nd album I.Q.Zero was released. It became the most successful Hate Squad album ever and is still considered a lesson how Metal and Hardcore joined forces back in those days. Simultaneous videos were shot for "Not my God" and "I.Q. Zero", that went on a heavy rotation on MTV´s Headbangers Ball and Viva´s Metalla. Burkhard was invited to co-host several shows on TV and several specials from the following european Tour with Kreator and Grip Inc. were broadcasted by MTV and VIVA. Finally the viewers of Viva voted Hate Squad as "Newcomer of the year 95" (with Fear Factory running 2nd and Korn 3rd !!!!!). The readers’ poll of Germany´s Rock Hard Magazine showed similar results and Hate Squad appeared on several front positions in the following categories: "Best Live Band", "Best Album", "Best Band", "Favorite Musician", “Newcomer 95” and "Personality 95".
In 1996 the remix EP, "Sub Zero - The Remixes", was released where Die Krupps, Atari Teenage Riot, T.A.S.S, Gigantor, The Speedfreak... and some other big names of the scene put their hands on Hate Squad’s songs. Several headliner shows and support slots for bands like Sepultura or Rammstein followed later... Hate Squad started to record their 3rd album "Pzyco!" in the end of 1996 in sunny Malaga, Spain.
"Pzyco!" was released in April 1997 and showed a different side of Hate Squad. But still the video clip for the title track "PZYCO!" went on rotation on Viva Metalla and MTV Superrock. Missing the support from their label, the band and Gun Records finally parted ways. Rumours already proclaimed the split of the band.
Furious of the rumours and their ex-label the band members decided to prove all critics wrong and wrote the most brutal Hate Squad songs ever for their 4th studio album.
In 1993 several magazines had elected Hate Squad the best unsigned band of Europe - in 1998, the band was back as the only unsigned band on the 5th "With Full Force Open Air" (Slayer, Marilyn Manson etc.). Hate Squad took their chance and presented an explosive cocktail of old classics. But the set had an noteworty ending as well: as awaited by everyone in the crowd “Not My God” was supposed to end the set but Hate Squad wasn't able to perform as the stage manager ended the show by turning off the power too early. For sure there was a big dissappointment! Legend says that within this raging and swearing crowd, some young guys from a band called Heaven Shall Burn decided in that moment to cover "Not my God" with their own band!
The whole songwriting process for the 4th album "H8 for the masses" finally took it´s time till 2003, but even as the whole band had a hard times at that state they never even thought about splitting up even though there have been many rumors again. Hate Squad gave their answer to these in the lyrics of "We are Amused"... In 2004 "H8 for the masses" was released finally and put them back on the road to play through out Europe.
In 2008 the band returned with "Degüello Wartunes" – right in time for their 15th band anniversary!
Following up on the success of that comeback now “Katharsis” is due to be released, HATE SQUAD expertly combine their Nineties roots with actual death- and hatecore influences and prove once again that they are Germany’s leading metalcore export - so be prepared for a lesson in Hannover H8core!
1994 Theater Of Hate
1995 I.Q. Zero
2004 H8 For The Masses
2008 Degüello Wartunes