Last night, I Hate Heroes played a headlining show with three local bands (Underestimate, Written.In.Red, and Plagues) at the Thompson House in Newport, Kentucky. Before the show, they were nice enough to do an interview with us, and you can read it, as well as check out some of Meredith‘s photos from the show, below!
I interviewed I Hate Heroes in the alley behind the Thompson House in Newport, Kentucky and all six of them were more than willing to stand in a circle around my little tape recorder and answer my questions. It was one of my favorite interviews to date because each of the guys is so different, but their unique personalities compliment each other in a way that allows them to mesh perfectly and balance each other out. This is a band with insane chemistry that play off of each other in a really effective way. It’s apparent on stage, but it carries over off the stage as well.
I Hate Heroes have been a band for a little less than two years. Vocalist Ephraim Francis, guitarist Ricky Nachurski, drummer Nick Nachurski, and bassist Matt Cellini are all from Pennsylvania, while vocalist Jimmy Snyder is from California. They met through mutual friends when Jimmy was on tour with Set It Off. They got him in contact with the rest of the guys who were looking for a screamer. I Hate Heroes sent him some of their songs and despite how new the band was, Jimmy wanted to give it a shot. “They’d only played like two shows but they had a lot of their stuff together, so I was kind of interested. And my job before this was filling in for other bands, so I’m like ‘This would be a cool project to embark on.’” A few weeks later he traveled to Pennsylvania and the lineup was solidified.
Recently I Hate Heroes did suffer a lineup change however, with the parting of their guitarist Devon James, and it was hard for them. Nick says, “He was my best friend and he’s been with us since the start, but things happen. We moved on and he moved on and now we’re here.” The band has pushed on and now their friend Mike Mavretic is filling in as a guitarist on their current tour.
The Ides of March tour isn’t their first time around the block. The band has toured with bands like Chasing Morgan, and after talking to Warped Tour creator Kevin Lyman they were able to play a set on the tour last summer. After drawing over 300 kids to that first set, they were invited to play a handful of other east coast dates on the tour. Ephraim sites this as one of their biggest accomplishments as a band, saying, “It was great. We had our biggest crowds and our best response out there.”
When I asked them what their favorite parts of touring are, they all had enthusiastic responses. Nick said, “There’s a bunch of stuff. Getting to meet new people and new bands every night. And getting to make new friends. We just made several new friends on the road staying at their houses or through talking at the venue. Also exploring different parts of the cities that we’ve never gotten to see before. It’s beautiful out here and in other cities. And also just spending time with your best friends on the road, I don’t even know how it can compare, it’s just the best thing in the world. Honestly, it’s so great. I love these guys. We’re just one big family.”
Ricky says that rolling dice for sleeping spots is his favorite part of tour and laughs, but Ephraim says “Ricky bitching about sleeping spots is unjustified cause he always rolls the best.” The band address the fact that being cooped up in a van for so long can be difficult, but Ricky says, “At the end of the day, you’re brothers, you love each other but you’re always gonna have those moments where you don’t see eye to eye with people.”
But the band handles those challenges with grace and laughter. They make each other laugh, and it’s infectious. This is a group of very genuine guys with a passion for what they’re doing and that’s what’s going to make them successful. Matt is probably the most quiet member of the band, at least from the half hour I spent talking to them, but all of the others made sure that he got a chance to talk and encouraged him to answer the questions, and that respect for each other is essential when you’re on the road together. Matt says, “Traveling and being with your best friends in the world is such a great thing that it’s actually a blessing and we all love it.”
I Hate Heroes most recent release is an EP called If Life Were A Book, I’d Skip This Chapter. If you haven’t listened to it yet, you should. And if you have, you know that the band is unique in that they pull influences from a variety of genres into each track. I Hate Heroes is classified as post hardcore, but it’s arguable that they can’t be classified, and they’re proud of that. Ephraim says, “I’m proud that we can’t be exactly labeled with one genre. I think too many bands sound the same and I’m proud of the fact that we stand out because we don’t just have one sound. We’ll have acoustics, we’ll have medium-heavy, we’ll have heavy songs. I love the diversity scale and I think we should stay that way.”
Jimmy adds that they’re known as comfy core and the rest of the guys laugh. He says that, “If you play in the band, you have to wear basketball shorts on stage. Otherwise we’re not allowed to play.” On a serious note, he adds, “We all have so many different influences. I mean I scream, but I still love acoustic music and old emo stuff, so we have some of that stuff in our heavy songs and vice versa.”
The EP is dynamic, with some heavier songs like “Deception,” and some more melodic, medium-heavy tracks like “Ambulance.” Almost every member has a different favorite song, but when it comes to writing, they all play a part. Ephraim says, “We took a few from work that we’ve all done in the past and kind of revamped them. We’ve written some in the studio and for the most part we all write our own parts and stick them together and kind of come up with some beautiful Frankenstein type of thing.”
They’re planning on releasing a full-length sometime this year, but the details haven’t been set in stone yet. The band released If Life Were A Book, I’d Skip This Chapter independently, and they are currently unsigned. Being independent has taught them a lot about the industry in general. Ricky says, “Everything you think you know, you realize you don’t know shit until you’re actually doing it.” Jimmy says that although they’ve had a few offers, he thinks that bands should stay DIY as long as they can. “We’re just waiting to get the right offer and the right family to join. We’ll see how long we stay DIY and we’ll see what happens. Probably sooner than later we’ll end up with somebody.”
The band takes a do-it-yourself attitude when it comes to their social media accounts and fan interaction as well. My favorite part of the entire interview was listening to I Hate Heroes talk about their fans and how much they mean to them. It was really apparent that they care about the people who listen to their music and come to their shows. They want to get to know people, not just take money for tickets and merch. And that’s really special. Nick says, “We’re all just a message away, literally. If anybody’s ever in need of anything or they’re feeling down or anything, seriously just message one of us. We’ll be there for you. Even if you just wanna talk, we’ll talk to you. Just shoot us a message, Instagram, Twitter, DM, whatever and we’ll definitely reach back to you.”
Jimmy doesn’t even believe in the word “fans.” “I just believe we’re all people. And so anyone that wants to reach out to me, it’s like ‘Hey it don’t matter if you’re the lead singer of Led Zeppelin or you’re working at Burger King part time, everyone has a say so.’ Absolutely you just wanna connect with as many people as possible.”
Ricky says I Hate Heroes want “to be that band that kind of bridges that gap between fame and fans; and show everyone that bands can kind of just be like one big family and that “fans” which are more like brothers, sisters, family members to us are a huge part of what we do. And I think sometimes bands don’t give their fans or their family the credit they deserve for where they’re at.”
The band has big dreams for the future as well. I asked them to name their dream tour destinations and Jimmy named Australia, Ephraim said Japan, Europe, and the rest of the world, Mike said Antartica (first band ever to tour there I think….), and Nick said the UK because the band all have a thing where they talk with British accents and he wants to spend enough time over there to pick it up and come back with the real accent.
They do plan to tour more this year, but the dates aren’t set yet, so keep an eye on their Facebook page for those. You won’t want to miss it because seeing I Hate Heroes live is an awesome experience. I stuck around for the show last night and I couldn’t help smiling and wanting to jump around during the entire set. The band high-fived the audience, made goofy faces, told cheesy jokes, and TORE UP the stage. They put everything they have into their live performance and their passion was apparent during every single song.
Nick says, “One of my biggest goals is just reaching as many kids as possible with our music. We try, well I know Ephraim tries to write inspirational lyrics. I would say one of my biggest goals isn’t even touring the world or whatever, it’s reaching as many people as I can and changing people’s lives if they need it or if they’re feeling down. Just try to help as many people as we can with our music.”
Ephraim adds, “Building off of what Nick said, writing is very important to me and I hope to change people’s ideas and help them through the music we’re making.”
Jimmy says, “I wanna write songs where it’s like that sweet spot because some bands will write songs that the kids enjoy that they don’t really care about. And some bands will write songs that they care about that they don’t care if the fans like. I wanna hit a sweet spot where I’m screaming lyrics, just pouring my heart into it and it makes me tear up at the end of the song and then there’s kids from like, Idaho that can relate to it. That’s what I wanna do.”
I Hate Heroes is one of the most refreshingly optimistic, light-hearted, and humble group of guys that I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing, and it’ll be worth your time to pick up If Life Were A Book, I’d Skip This Chapter, and follow the band on Facebook to stay updated on their future projects and tours. You don’t want to miss what they’re putting out, and if you choose to become a fan, you’re also becoming part of a family. I Hate Heroes is on the edge of big things, and I can’t wait to watch what happens for them in the future.