Interview: Meet New Jersey’s Hardcore Heroes, Player Hater

South Jersey is currently a hotbed for up-and-coming metalcore bands but none are quite as poised to take the national spotlight like Player Hater. We sat down with vocalist Phil and guitarist Bacchus to get the behind-the-scenes story on their latest album Product of Dejection.

Can you give us a brief history of Player Hater and overview of who is in the band?
: Me, A-DOG, James and Jesse were just kickin’ around song ideas in early 2016. We were having a hard time finding a bass player but then we randomly met Phil at a Time Spent show. I was pissing outside the venue while singing Creed and Phil came up to me and was like “You fucking serious right now?” Been homies ever since. Our first year and a half of practices were really us just getting wasted at A-DOG’s dad’s house. We didn’t become a band til we released our demo in 2017. The current line up is Dhilan Kotian, A-DOG, Wax-Man, Phil and yours truly.

There are a lot of hardcore bands coming from South Jersey these days but Player Hater definitely feels like they have a unique ethos to them. Can you explain the philosophy behind the band?
Bacchus: I think the main thing that sets us apart from the other bands is that we don’t take ourselves too seriously. We’re not trying to be tough guy hardcore. We could give two shits if you like us or not. We’re just trying to have as much fun as we can. Too many bands in this scene take themselves way too seriously and bend over backwards to appeal to the “gatekeepers” It’s like, ‘dawg,  relax… This shit ain’t gonna pay your bills and these cool kids don’t give a fuck about you.’
Phil: In my opinion, most people who take themselves too seriously tend to be rather cringeworthy. We’ll provide you with just the right amount of cringe but we’re gonna have the best time while doing it. I honestly couldn’t care less about playing the social game that comes along with this style of music.

Your newest album has an interesting story of how it came together, care to explain?
: [Hatebreed vocalist] Jamey Jasta pretty much funded our record. Our original guitarist, James, entered us in a Battle of the Bands contest for the Legion of Skanks Podcast and somehow we won it. We had to send in five songs and we only had four originals at the time. For the fifth song, James sent in a Christmas song that him and Wax-Man made about cocaine. It’s literally the worst song ’cause those motherfuckers cannot rap for shit. Jasta was one of the final judges and crowned us the winners. Bul is buggin’, but we appreciate the bread.
Phil: Yeah, Jamey Jasta’s eyes almost fell out of his head when he heard the (not so) smooth transition from our regular sound to the Christmas song. The Monster energy drink was flowing like wine over at LOS studio! Thankfully, we recorded an EP didn’t blow the prize money on beer. I’d like to think it was a good investment.

Product of Dejection is available now on Spotify