New Jersey’s Player Hater just put out a new EP titled “Product Of Dejection”, the follow up to their 2017 demo which was their initial release. This band is just one in what seems to be an ever growing New Jersey hardcore scene that has recently shown us younger bands coming along and just letting loose with what they play and what they are all about. They have a hip-hop Christmas song about cocaine, they pull no punches on social media with themselves or friends and they have no aspirations of being the next hyped up band and this less serious approach is actually kind of refreshing. We caught up with lead guitarist Chris Bacchus and drummer A-DOG in this May 2019 interview. The rest of the band consists of Jesse Lee on vocals, Phil Parenti on bass and Dhilian Kotian on rhythm guitar. Player Hater collage by John Franko and all live photos are by: Nicole Spangenburg.
IE: What’s up Player Haters? Where do we find yourselves at this very moment and what would you usually be doing at this time if you weren’t answering our questions?
Chris: I’m currently hiding from a customer so I can type out some of these answers. If I wasn’t doing this, I’d probably still be trying to hide from a customer, watching a skate video or something lol.
A-DOG: I’m also currently sitting at work, not really hiding because I’m starting a new job in a week so fuck it. I’m on that 9 to 5 shit, so I’d be sitting at a desk right now regardless.
IE: The name Player Hater definitely is one that can catch people’s attention for different reasons. For myself I immediately think of the old Chappelle Show clips with the Playa Haters Ball skit. Why did you guys go with this name?
Chris: It’s funny ‘cuz people absolutely hate it or absolutely love it. That skit is 100% where it came from. I think it was A-DOG’s idea to go with that name. Bless him ‘cuz we would’ve ended up with a nut ass name like DAWG BITE or something.
A-DOG: PH definitely came from Chappelle’s show. I always thought it would make for a good band name. It also makes sense for us as friends too because we’re always being dicks and talking shit to each other, much like the haters do in that skit.
IE: Can you give us your top 3 Chappelle Show favorite skits?
Chris: This is a tough one. Literally every episode was the funniest shit. I’d have to go with The Cribs Lost Episode, Fisticuffs and the American Gang segment with Mos Def. *Prrrrrrrrrrrr* Shout out to my pops for buying me the box set when I was 8!
A-DOG: My go to Chappelle Show skits would be The Mad Real World, Samuel Jackson’s Beer and I’d have to include the Player Hater’s Ball at this point, although I love them all. Honorable mention to Charlie Murphy’s True Hollywood Stories. Shout out to my grandma for getting me that same box set!
IE: So the big news out of your camp is the fact that you have a new EP called “Product Of Dejection” coming out on streaming platforms as well as on CD. Can you break down what we can expect from this new one?
Chris: It’s a 5 song EP with a special hip hop instrumental track. Hip hop tracks have been our saving grace. It’s pretty much why we didn’t have to pay for this EP. We recorded it at Landmine Studios in Ewing, NJ. Also, we’re not the best at naming songs. We were playing a set one time and our singer was just like “what’s the name of this song” no one knew the name of it so he just says, “This song is called Suck My Balls.” That’s when SMB was born. The fucked up part is people will probably think SMB means some deep ass shit.
A-DOG: The instrumental track will be exclusive to the physical CD we’ll be releasing for the EP. I believe we’ll have those for our next show on June 7th, which is a benefit show in Bayonne NJ. Also the last song on the EP is one of our demo songs re-recorded. The artwork was done by Silvio of MVA and is based on a cartoon gangster from the 90’s.
LISTEN TO PLAYER HATER'S "SYSTEMIC GENOCIDE" OFF OF THEIR NEW EP BY CLICKING BELOW
IE: What can people who never heard the band before expect style wise?
Chris: They can expect to hear an interesting fusion of metal, death metal and hardcore. We all listen to so many different kinds of heavy music, so we tried to fuse that together. The EP is going towards a good cause. Our friend Chris Russo of Threat 2 Society has been battling cancer. All the proceeds we make from the record on the 7th will go straight to him.
A-DOG: Everyone in the band is influenced by all styles of heavy music. All 5 of us are into metal, death metal, hardcore and punk to some degree; so we try to blend those styles together. Compared to the demo, we wanted to make the metal influenced parts even more metal, and the punk influenced parts even more punk. Landmine Studios was also a basement when we recorded the demo, which is sick, we love basements. But the new EP was recorded in the newer studio space that Landmine moved to and the recordings make the songs hit way harder than the demo. Big shoutout to Len!
IE: You guys got a pretty cool Jamey (Hatebreed) Jasta story to tell which had a direct impact on the new EP. Please give us the details.
Chris: Like I was saying before we didn’t have to pay for our EP and partly that was because of Jasta. He was a finalist judge in a battle of the bands we were a part of. It came down to two groups. A talented rapper-producer duo and 5 shitheads from New Jersey. Our singer and original guitarist, made a Christmas rap song about cocaine and somehow beat out the rapper-producer duo’s flawless track. It was Jasta’s call, he said we were the more diverse band. Somehow I feel like there’s something else other than Monster in his Monster Energy Can.
A-DOG: Yeah, our original guitarist entered us into a podcast battle of the bands where there were no rules other than “send us 5 songs”. Since we only had 4 songs on the demo, he sent the infamous Christmas rap and since the podcast is run by a bunch of scumbags like us, we advanced to the finals where Jasta chose us over this very legit rapper. Our prize money went into the EP. He also said he could see us playing the gathering of the Juggalos, so if Jasta or ICP are reading this, WE’RE DOWN, hit us up.
IE: Just like your 2017 demo, “Product Of Dejection” was done at Landmine Studios with Len Carmichael who has made a good name for himself within the scene for doing recording work with a lot of hardcore bands. Can you talk about working with him, his style and how you think he gets the best out of the band?
Chris : Working with Len is a very relaxed environment. He’s a really good friend of ours. A lot of engineers are uptight and don’t really let you get into a vibe. Len would let us get drunk and bullshit between takes. It felt more like we were just chillin rather than recording. That no pressure vibe makes him get the best out of bands.
A-DOG: What Chris said. Chillin with Len is awesome both inside and outside of the studio. He’ll give us his honest opinion on things and let us know if something isn’t on point or could be done better. He cares that bands’ recordings come out sounding the best they possibly can. Also shoutout to Mike Pollaro (who also started recording some bands with Len) for hanging out and giving me some drum tips in the studio. Listen to Dissent!
IE: From following Player Haters social media pages it is obvious that you guys post with the idea of getting laughs out of your followers. You are also not afraid to make fun of yourselves and/or your friends. Case in point is a photo you guys posted of the band and friends walking in the street to a show in Baltimore with everyone carrying a piece of band equipment including garbage bags. Can you tell us more about this photo and the whole situation behind it?
Chris: We’re clowns by nature. We’re always just trying to get a laugh out of something no matter what we do. Too many of our peers act so serious on their socials, it’s like relax you’re not fucking Slayer haha. We have no delusions of this band becoming huge, so why not just be ourselves? Back to the photo, we were walking to the Side Brawl pre-show. We piled way too many people and gear into an SUV and didn’t want to make multiple trips. So everyone just grabbed what they could. I’m pretty sure the other bands were like “These must be the scumbags from New Jersey”.
A-DOG: I’m not really on the social media team over here at PH, but just like how we are with each other, we like being haters and poking fun at things. We’re serious when it comes to the songs but other than that we’re really just here to have fun. That Baltimore show was awesome. It was the Side Brawl pre-show we played with some sick bands, including Ground, Butchers Dozen, Cancer Priest and others. That SUV got fucked up and we couldn’t make it to the show in Richmond the next day, so we took our garbage back to Jersey. Shout out to Crucial Rip from VA though, and sorry, we still want to come BBQ with you fools.
THE INFAMOUS "PLAYER HATERS IN BALTIMORE" PHOTO
IE: Who in the band runs the social media pages and what have been some of your favorite posts or interactions with fans/friends?
Chris: If it’s something ratchet or funny, it’s most likely me posting it. My favorite post has to be when we said “If you never been to the hood, you shouldn’t be allowed to listen to Madball”. Some jawn commented on it and was like “Guys like you wouldn’t last a minute during a Bulldoze set” It makes me laugh that people take our posts seriously. Something makes me think she was a little offended haha. It’s like… you don’t realize we’re trolling? And honestly, I probably wouldn’t last a second in a Bulldoze set ‘cuz I’d probably end up breaking my face open like I did at Madball.
A-DOG: If it’s anything about anything, it’s most likely Bacchus (Chris) posting it. Others chime in from time to time. I like when we find other people saying dumb shit about us and posting it, like when someone posted on their own timeline saying “Player Hater is the N.W.A of hardcore”. I also like the one recently where it’s a video of BCS and then it cuts to a little kid cartwheeling into a big pot of food and spilling it everywhere.
IE: Player Hater is a NJ band but you guys don’t all necessarily all live near each other. How did you all find each other and how did the band (which you initially considered a drinking club) become the band that stands before us in 2019?
Chris: I’ve known A-DOG, Jesse and James for over 10 years. We met Phil and Dhilan from local shows. It was funny how we met Phil ‘cuz I was pissing outside of a show and I was singing Creed, he comes up to me and was like “Are you serious right now”.. The rest is history. Our first year of practices consisted of practicing for like 15 minutes then drinking the rest of the time. That’s pretty much how we started as a drinking club. Pretty much explains why we took two years to give ya’ll some new music.
A-DOG: I’ve known Jesse my whole life and Bacchus since high school. Phil’s pretty cool too I guess, after all he knows a good Creed song when he hears it. That’s how we’ve made it work despite us all not living super close to each other. We’d still be hitting shows and chillin regardless.
IE: What else is going on in NJHC these days? I have really liked what I have heard coming out of the Fence Cutter and Ignorant Life camps and I keep seeing these shows at this place E-Bloc that seems pretty cool as well. It seems like things are on an upswing, do you agree?
Chris: The NJHC scene is strong, especially Central Jerz. I really like what we got going on now. It seems like people are really starting to care about the music and the community aspect. I feel like when I first got into hardcore everyone was just trying to climb the social ladder. They weren’t in it for the right reasons. Fence Cutter and Ignorant Life are our boys, we have nothing but love for them. Eastern Bloc is the best show house ever. We met so many good friends from hanging out there. Shout out to Brute from Perth Amboy for putting NJHC back on the map. Those kids are gonna do great things.
A-DOG: Central Jersey really has picked up recently. A few years ago the only hardcore shows going on would be far up North or far down South from us. The bands around E-Bloc and central NJ have shown us the most love and the shows we’ve played there have been the most fun by far. Fence Cutter, Ignorant Life, Dusters, Ambush and all the bands around there (there’s more and more popping up every day so I can’t name them all right now) are doing their thing and it’s sick. Copa de Oro in Perth Amboy also started having shows again. Asbury Park is having more and more shows. I’ll always love Trenton and Champs too, that’s where I was first exposed to local music back when I was in high school and it’s awesome that it’s still a venue and a fun place to hang. Shoutout to Joe/Capital City hardcore for making shit happen over there. NJHC is the shit from top to bottom honestly, I could list mad bands, I’ll just list a few more: Threat 2 Society, Dissent, Grace, Over Everything, Ground, The Lowest Form of Human Life, Departed, Belligerent, Tantrum, On Sight and Brute! Also there’s some podcasts in the area that show mad support to the underground bands - Only Posers Don’t Listen To Podcast out of Asbury Park - and the Ill Street News Podcast out of Chester or some shit, PA
IE: Give us your dream endorsement. If each of you could get a company to endorse you personally what would it be? Can you also give ones for other members of the band that may not be in on answering these questions right now?
Chris: I’d love to get sponsored by Hi-Chew. I tried to get sponsored by them with my other band Sunny Gang, but I’m pretty sure I pissed off their rep at Afropunk Fest.
A-DOG: I’d want to be endorsed either by Zildjian or Budweiser. Jesse would love to be endorsed by Budweiser. Dhilan would probably be down to be endorsed by Budweiser, I think. Phil doesn’t need any endorsements because he’s already a rich celebrity influencer as a result of being a member of the world wide, false grind supergroup, Ground.
IE: Now that you have new music out will this ramp up any plans for touring or playing our more and further away from NJ?
Chris: Hopefully, we’re sort of in a bind on what to do with the band, but I’m sure we’ll push through and find a way. We’d really like to get out to the Midwest and the West Coast. I think this EP will have a lot more people paying attention to us.
A-DOG: We’ve pretty much stuck to our area in terms of shows. I’d settle for playing anything, anywhere. Ideally I’d love to get out to some places we haven’t been, whether that be North, West or further South.
LISTEN TO PLAYER HATER'S NEW EP “PRODUCT OF DEJECTION” ON SPOTIFY HERE