Once again, my friend Tom over at FiXT Publicity came through. He mentioned this band I HAD to check out, Product Of Hate, from Wisconsin. As soon as I started the YouTube video for “Blood Coated Concrete” I knew I had to feature these guys. Long story short, he put me in touch with the band’s manager James who saw to it that I could speak to them at practice one night. Product Of Hate is: Adam Gilley- Vocals, Cody Rathbone- Rhythm Guitar, Gene Rathbone- Lead Guitar, Mark Campbell- Bass, and Mike McGuire- Drums. They’re a good bunch of guys who make some killer music. Check them out ASAP!
Amps: “Redemtion”, the new single…KILLER TRACK. Tell me about it. The dual harmonized guitars at the beginning is unlike any other song you’ve done up to this point.
Geno: Yeah, it’s the new single. Well, it will be someday, when it’s born. Right now we’re shopping that to labels. We’ve got a few of those tracks that we did with the same producer that we’re kind of keeping under our hats, and only shop them to the industry before they get a full release. We’re trying to grow our sound a little bit. We’ve been around since ’07, and not just duplicate, but grow the sound. We want to write songs that people can tell they’re Product of Hate songs, but with some more hooks in them. Our hooks, we’re trying to get them involved in the guitar a lot more, as well as the vocals. So we just thought it was something really ear-catching, something that would really set us apart. You know, the first 20 seconds of that song, we figured we’d grab people’s attention in a hurry.
Amps: You certainly got mine! That said, what is your writing process? Do all five of you get together, or what?
Mike: A lot of times it just happens that Cody, or Geno will write a riff and bring it to practice, and we’ll tool around with it. But sometimes when you get all five of us together we just slowly transform it into an actual song. A lot of our best stuff comes from one practice, and we’ll have a solid foundation for the song in a couple hours. It’s pretty wild.
Geno: The good stuff, the arrangements come together really fast. A lot of those songs that we have to work on and toil with, we’ve gotten 98% done, and then tossed ‘em because they weren’t where they needed to be. So we’ll Frankenstein them up and put them into other songs. A really good song for us, two to three weeks tops, and it’s ready to go.
Amps: As far as the lyrics go, Adam is that you?
Adam: Yeah, most of it’s all me. There’s like a 30% that’ll be the other guys. And they’re always throwing their opinion on what they think is better or how it should be sung, because some of the times I’ll be putting a chorus together that I think is complete garbage, and I don’t feel right singing it, and one of the guys will be like, “Do what you just did, but do it with more of a scream”. But the lyrics are mostly me, stories, just shit that I’ve lived, stuff like that.
Amps: Are you looking to get on any national tours at this point, or are you concentrating more on the IL, WI area for now?
Geno: We would love to do something national, but it’s just such a tough time right now. A lot of these big nationals, there’s this huge buy-on for them, five-digit buy-ons to get on these tours. It’s one of those things where as an unsigned band we’ve got to allocate the money responsibly, and a lot of it goes into recording, honestly. Our mentality is that if we keep writing good enough songs, somebody’s gonna pick us up, put us on tour and pay for it. But we’ll play wherever; it’s just a matter of it being cost-effective for us. We’re more than willing to pay for something like that, but with the genre being what it is right now, a lot of the national tours, there’s not a whole lot of room to take somebody regional out with them, because the bands are grouping together to save money. And baby bands like us, it’s hard for us to get on. You’ve got all these established bands fighting to make ends meet, so we’re kind of a low priority right now. Hopefully that changes pretty soon.
Amps: This bothers me, because if you somehow made your way here to Dallas, you guys would absolutely kill it down here in this scene! I’ll put you guys up myself, dammit!
Geno: And you know what? That’s not the first time somebody from Texas has said that to us. We know Austin’s got a great scene for sure, and Dallas, and the style of music we play, people will just eat it up. It would be a total Blues Brothers fiasco (laughs); we’d have to put every dime in just to afford it. But we would love, love, love to come down to Texas and tear it up for a little while, and pack a bunch of shows into a couple weeks!
Amps: Well, like I said, my offer stands. You get down here, I’ll give you guys a place to crash, and get you some kickass barbecue.
Geno: Oh man, you are gonna REGRET that (whole band erupts laughing)!! Now we’re definitely gonna step on it, bro!
Amps: Outside of the band what do you guys all do for fun?
Geno: This is pretty much what we do. The town that you’re calling us in is population 600 people. There’s not a whole lot to do when we’re not practicing or playing shows. We’re usually still all hanging out at the practice spot, which is Mike’s house. We’re always together. A lot of bands say, “Oh we’re family”, and as soon as the gig’s done they take off separately. We’re together every weekend, sitting down, talking band stuff, or barbecuing and drinkin’ beer.
Amps: Are you all from Wisconsin?
Geno: We’re all from tiny little towns in Kenosha County. It’s nice, almost like a Southern feel.
Adam: They all love their country music!
Geno: Yeah, that’s the big thing here, man. Everybody loves their country stuff and we just wanna grab these guys and shake ‘em. All the chicks are into it, too. We’re slowly converting them over, one Slayer t-shirt at a time.
Amps: What are you guys listening to? Don’t think, just answer. Go!
Cody: Pantera, Testament, Slayer
Adam: Pantera, and the new Devildriver’s not bad.
Mike: Strapping Young Lad
Mark: I’ve been on a huge fuckin’ Primus listening binge-
Whole Band: I KNEW HE WAS GONNA SAY THAT!!!! Yep, bass player!!! (everyone laughing)
Geno: I’ve got Skynyrd Live in my CD player right now.
Amps: What’s next for Product of Hate? What’s the plan for the next six months to a year?
Adam: Get signed, get on the road!
Geno: We have so much material we haven’t recorded that we could do a double disc right now. But we’re still shopping, and in talks with a couple labels. We’re not looking for a signing bonus, we’re looking for someone to keep us on the road and keep us busy. We don’t want anything handed to us. All we want is the opportunity to succeed or fail on our own.
Amps: Is there anything you’d like to say to the fans of Product Of Hate?
Adam: Keep jamming our shit as loud as you can. Spread it to every friend and family member you possibly can, make sure they get a CD. And watch our videos, and LIKE us on Facebook.
Geno: There’s plenty more to come, man. We’ve only released the tip of the iceberg as far as our music goes. The one thing we pride ourselves on is the live show. Come out and see us live, we see it every night, people get converted.
Amps: You’re in Wisconsin, practicing mere minutes from Chicago. What about the sports rivalries in the group?
Geno: Me and Mark are die-hard Packers fans stuck in a band with three die-hard Chicago Bears fans. Cody actually had to get a pink Care Bear tattoo on his ankle, because he made a bet with Mark for the NFC Championship game two years ago, and sure as shit, Cody’s got a pink Care Bear giving the finger on his ankle! We take our football VERY seriously in this band.
Amps: Guys, thanks so much for the time, and we’ll talk more during the season!
Band: Thanks, Damian! Take care!
Well, there you have it. Just a group of friendly guys who live for their music, football, barbecue, and beer. And they’re all friends outside of the band. The fact that Product Of Hate aren’t a household name yet really upsets me, especially given the amount of crap out there succeeding in passing itself off as music. But their day is coming, I can feel it.