Hate Drugs: Tsunami Soul II Review and Q&A
‘Tsunami Soul II,’ which was released in late September, is the first full length album for Hate Drugs. We met the Bakersfield four piece last year as they went on tour throughout California with Wee Beasties for their ‘Beach Weekend EP.’ Hate Drugs is composed of David Caploe (vocals/guitar), Josiah Caploe (keyboard), John Irwin (bass), Norman Lee (guitar), and Adrian Diaz (drums). ‘Tsunami Soul II’ maintains some of the beach/surf rock vibes that they are known for, however this album differs from the previous music they’ve released because the emotions seem more raw and reveal more turmoil of the band’s internal struggle with love and life.
As ‘Tsunami Soul II’ progresses, themes of disillusionment and anguish are present throughout much of the songs. Caploe’s voice is haunting, but also comforting as you listen to each song, and the lyrics create distinct snapshots of the memories that inspired the songs, such as lost love and existential crises. Due to electronic elements, some songs sound other wordly, such as ‘Dizzy’ and ‘6ft/ You,’ and the instrumental breaks sound almost as though they could be apart of a soundtrack of a Scifi movie of the late 80s. The instrumental components without vocals also serve as interludes in which listeners can reflect on all of the themes that are visible throughout the previous songs.
It’s hard to list only a couple songs because they flow together so well, but some of my personal favorites of the album are ‘Dizzy,’ ‘(You’ll Be) Fine,’ ‘6ft/ You’ (I & 2), and ‘Shadow Creature.’ With this being Hate Drug’s first album I am ecstatic to see how their music progresses in their future albums to come. We also interviewed the band about the recording process for ‘Tsunami Soul II,’ so please give the album a listen and read on for more with Hate Drugs.
CM: It’s been a minute since we’ve last seen you guys, how has your music evolved since we last talked to you about releasing ‘Beach Weekend’ EP?
HD: We’ve put a lot more attention into the production of this new record. One of the interesting things about these songs is that most of them were written before we put together Beach Weekend. So, this musical direction has been forming for a long time.
CM: For anyone new listening to your album, what are three words you would use to describe it to them?
HD: Eclectic, Bittersweet, Spicy
CM: What were the biggest influences for the album’s sound and lyrics?
HD: As far as influences go, we’ve all got different musical tastes and this record is really a culmination of all of our favorites. Artists like Snowmine, Local Natives, even Michael Jackson. Lyrically, it’s like a poetic expression of life experiences; most of the writing is just honest thoughts and feelings.
CM: Were there any main themes that you guys felt that you needed to explore?
HD: Depression, loneliness, and the pursuit of love.
CM: What was the most rewarding part about making ‘Tsunami Soul II’? What was the most challenging?
HD: Definitely the firsthand experience and the new knowledge that comes with process. Most challenging would be our perseverance as a group and the ability to troubleshoot and adapt.
CM: How did tracking the music together change the dynamic for the album’s sound?
HD: It was good practice but we didn’t really end up using much from the group tracking takes. That said, it was useful to the development of the songs and the bond of the band.
CM: What is the meaning behind the album’s title and artwork?
HD: This record focuses on a change of heart. The heart-shaped ice cubes melting in to water is a perfect representation of that. As far as the name goes, Tsunami Soul references the power of love. A tsunami, while both destructive and tragic, can also be overwhelmingly beautiful. Special thanks to Jonathan Colin for his work on the album art.
CM: What do you hope people take away the most from the album?
HD: We hope that this album meets people where they’re at and that they find meaning in the album through their own unique perspectives.
CM: We know that you guys have grown up playing music together, how did it finally feel to release a full-length album?
HD: Without the relationships that we built over the last several years, we probably wouldn’t have had much luck creating a full-length record. Our chemistry as a band is really due in large part to that quality time. As a result of our closeness, the release of this project has meant a lot to each of us.
CM: Can you tell us a little about what made you guys wanna release your ‘Stuck in the Studio’ series about the recording process?
HD: The documentary was essentially pitched to us by Keaton Punch, who has been a huge part of what we do artistically, and we all agreed that it would be a really great idea.
CM: Do you guys plan on releasing any music videos soon?
HD: There are rumors floating around that there’s a music video for Isotope in the works but these claims may be unsubstantiated.
CM: Are you guys going to go on tour now that the album is released?
HD: Yes, we’ll definitely be on the road a lot over the next year. As far as tour dates go, it’s all in the works right now.
CM: What’s the best way that people can find your music?
HD: Any of the major streaming platforms (i.e. Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, etc.), as well as our Bandcamp and website, thehatedrugs.com.
CM: Any final thoughts about the album, music, life?
HD: If you get an hour of free time, try listening to the record start to finish with a good set of headphones; That’s the way the music was intended to be heard. We also want to say thanks to everyone involved in the process and shout out to Cory Reyes for his amazing work on the record. If you love something, pour your heart into it.