Belonging to a different realm of musical artistry, Negativehate has recently released a musical collection entitled: "Solipsis", a dream-like, melody ridden, musical masterpiece, something that I feel would have evolved from a group like Nirvana if they had still been around today.
Their name, "Negativehate", takes that double negative and translates it into the meaning of Love. Starting as a college promise between two philosophy majors, Chuck Scandura and Keith Ranalli, their music has been continuous for a long time. Originally they played industrial metal similar to Nine Inch Nails, and Godflesh, frequenting the New York underground scene. Eventually the chaotic addiction to metal was redefined and their sonic endeavors developed into a newfound purpose, and "Solipsis" was created.
The band consists of Chuck Scandura on guitar and vocals, Mike Stewart on keys and vocals, twin brother Eric Stewart on bass, Sergio Sanchez, playing the drums and Freedom Scheyd on guitar and backing vocals. They all write the music, they all play the music for the sake and passion of the music, while the audience is at times drawn to tears by the shear, compelling emotion of their sound.
Negativehate takes music to a level where most music dares not to tread, hypnotizing the listener, and drawing them into a journey and celebration hard to leave. I spoke with Chuck about the band's musical adventures, and impassioned lust for creating their art.
Your music is unique to the point of almost calling it pretty. Who writes the songs?
Its not led by only one person. We get into a room and we really enjoy making music together. Playing shows and making albums, we also like to do but the heart and soul of the band is just being creative and making music. That's our driving force.
How did you come together?
The history of the band is pretty involved, only because we've been around for awhile. I started the band in college. I had a college friend and we were both philosophy majors. We made a pact when we split up and were going to two different colleges. We made a pact to meet up after we graduated and use our philosophy major to make music. That worked really well for probably about 15 years. We were making music and playing in Manhattan a lot at The Pyramid, The Bank, The Continental, and all of this was before the cabaret Giuliani laws, so it was a whole different scene back then. We were playing a completely different style of music at the time too. We were playing heavy industrial music like Nine Inch Nails, and Godflesh. Then it just evolved. We've been around for a long time so I don't think it would be healthy making the same exact type of music. We would be on a treadmill then. We evolved into something definitely more melodic and like you said a little more unique.
I've never heard anybody say that about our music, but I think that, that is a really encouraging complement. After one of the shows I walked up to some people and they were crying, and I didn't know if we did a bad thing or a good thing. It may have been for the same reason, they said our playing put them into tears, but they said it was good tears. That's kind of what you want to do when you make music. You not only want to express emotions but you want them to breech the bond of the person, and actually be absorbed. Seeing that occur definitely makes you feel like what you're doing is resonating. Resonance is probably the most important thing in music, because without resonance you wouldn't have music.
I interviewed an artist the other day who said that if one person reacted to his music, he was happy.
Yeah, that's it. If one person reacts then you're happy because a lot of musicians are really almost content just making the music for the sake of making the music. They don't really need to turn it into anything. There's a lot of different motivations, to be rock stars or to make money, but a lot of people do that just because they like the sound of the guitar. I think with this band that's pretty much where we are. We spend a lot of time just writing and creating, and really thinking about how this song is put together, and how its crafted. We're not in any rush to make videos or to promote, but we do spend all of our effort making sure that it is as good as it can possibly be. Sometimes that means elevating our own music-ship to accomplish that.
Well the fact that I'm interviewing you right now tells me that some part of you wants your music to get out there?
There's a little bit of a story behind that. That might be a lot because of me. Like I said the rest of the band is pretty content. Maybe it's because they can't afford it or they don't want to get bogged down with the PR, but they don't generally seem that interested in any PR. It's mostly me and maybe the bass player who kind of had to twist their arm and explain that we just released a new album, a beautiful piece of art, "Don't we want some people to hear it"? It was a hard sell to the band to even do that. I love playing the music but the marketing is not the first thing in everybody's consciousness. It is in mine, I feel it, because if we're going to spend as much time working on it, we want it not to just resonate in our minds but in the minds of others.
Your music is definitely different enough that you probably have a chance to get out there and make it.
Well that's encouraging. I don't want to say anything really negative because like I said I really, really enjoy making music. But different musicians have different ambitions and I feel at this point, there's a lot of young guys in the band and I'm sure that they would be happy touring, I don't see the band as having that of ambition. I could be wrong, I'm only one person, but I feel like the joy of making the music is really in itself, just making the music. I'm almost afraid of the music business. I feel like once it becomes a business it could actually affect the consciousness of making a product. I don't know if you're familiar with quantum mechanics, but there's something called The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principal. It's like if you're doing something with that intent of making money it's going to actually change the creative process. So I don't know if that's exactly what we want to do. We do want people to go on to our Band camp sight and listen to our music, but I don't think any of us are banking on turning it into a career. None of us would run away from that I don't think, but I don't think that's the motivation at this point.
I get it and that makes me understand your music better actually.
That's great. I'm really glad that it resonated with you.
Written by Eileen Shapiro
I work with Jimmy Star and am a NY Times best selling author and rock star journalist....currently write for Get Out Mag, PureM, Classic Pop, Huffington Post, and several others....I write pop culture interviews with well established talent and up and coming great talent...look forward to working with you....