After the recent release of their brand-new clip, List from their Unnoticed EP, dark pop-rock duo Love Like Hate are getting ready to record their first album in 2016. JAYDE FERGUSON chats with Sonja Ter Horst and Heather Cheketri about the EP and what’s in store from them in the New Year.
Combining a dark and grungy mix of instinctive rock, post-punk guitar and delicate piano melodies; Love Like Hate have been creating a huge buzz in the scene with their music. With hints of Patti Smith, PJ Harvey and Yeah Yeah Yeahs, their 2014 EP Unnoticed delivers a signature pop darkness that’s seduced ears all over the world. And with the recent release of their final single and video off the EP, it’s easy to see why.
Armed with just an electric guitar, piano and exquisite vocals, Sonja and Heather’s writing style add an intense layer to pop music. Getting ready to record their first album in the New Year, fans can expect a lot more in store from this Brisbane outfit Love Like Hate. Finishing the year with an absolute bang, the girls chat about their latest release and upcoming album.
Q+A with Love Like Hate
1. Thanks for chatting to me ladies! What an exciting last 12 months it’s been for Love Like Hate! Now with 2 EP’s under your belt, you must be excited to record the first album in 2016, can you give us a little insight into your recording process?
Thank you for interviewing us. Yes, we are very excited about the album, we try and be as prepared as much as possible for recording, mainly because the cost of recording can be quite high and as we travel from Brisbane to Sydney, we want to use the time to work on the songs rather than write new ones. Saying that sometimes the best laid plans can go awry and a song ends up on the chopping block.
2. What’s it been like working with Lachlan Mitchell?
Lachlan is an amazing producer, this will now be the third time working with him and he was the obvious choice for us to produce our album. Lachlan pushes us both really hard to get a song right and at the same times works just as hard himself, he is totally committed and in the moment to make sure the arrangements mirror our sound and feel. Sometimes it can be a stressful pressure pot for all the sounds to come together right in a short amount of studio time.
3. What have you taken out of writing and recording your first two EP’s that you want to apply to the new album next year?
We have much more experience in electronic programming than when we first recorded the Unnoticed EP. We will also be taking in our own drummer Stephen Birt to play on tracks, that way we can push the songs even further than what we were able to do previously.
4. Unnoticed explores a different, more electronic sound to Rabbit Hole, was this intentional or did it just happen whilst writing the songs?
Heather was interested in exploring electronic soundscapes at the time, so she did a crash course before going into recording, though the cost of touring and playing overseas meant we couldn’t always have our resident drummer. So we wanted to develop a sound that we could also perform live, Lachlan was instrumental in guiding us through that process. As they say, sometimes necessity is the mother of invention.
5. Who does most of the song writing between the two of you or is it fairly even?
It’s fairly even, though Heather does get the last say on lyrics as she has to sing them!
6. The final single and video release for List off the EP Unnoticed has just touched down – what a relaxing vibe the clip has! Where was it filmed and what was the idea behind it?
It was filmed in the early morning at White’s Hill Reserve in Brisbane and the idea behind it was imagining if the world ended, we wanted it to portray us as free and just being in that moment.
7. I love the video clip for Unnoticed from your Europe Tour. What’s been the ultimate highlight from overseas tours like this one?
Thank you, that video was fun to shoot and look back on, like when I see our feet swinging in the black cab it reminds me of the gig we were heading to in Soho. The ultimate highlight is meeting people who have already connected with our music; it can be surreal playing to people who know the lyrics to your songs half way around the world.
8. How do you prepare for playing at festivals and touring?
We usually ramp up practice and work out the logistics of performing. For our UK last tour it was very DIY so we needed to adapt our set for on the road to work in both traditional and untraditional venues. We toured with everything from our own monitor to mixing desk, and sometimes mixed our on sound live during performances.
9. If you could perform anywhere in the world that you haven’t already, where would it be and why?
We both would love to tour the states because we have had a really good reception with both our EP’s through independent and college radio.
10. You’ve been working together for 6 years now, how did the two of you initially meet up and get into collaborating?
We have known each other for a very long time, though we ended up collaborating after a night of wine and jamming with friends. Sonja got on the piano and started playing to one of my songs, it took a while to get the project off the ground.
11. Love Like Hate’s music and sound has come along way since 2009, how has your approach to creating and collaborating matured since then?
It’s changed since we can’t always just wait to be inspired to write a song, sometimes we need to just push ourselves to write and then slowly draw upon what begins to unfold.
12. Where do you draw most of your inspiration from to get that dark-pop theme?
The dark pop genre came after the release of Rabbit Hole and it was someone else’s description of our music, which felt right so we adopted it. We are both naturally drawn to certain sounds and musical themes. There is a ‘feeling’ when a song has gone in the right direction and is instinctively Love Like Hate.
13. Who would be a dream for you to work with, singers and musicians that you haven’t with already?
This changes regularly! But at the moment I would really love to collaborate with a visual artist.
14. First record you ever purchased?
Heather – Concrete Blonde (Self Titled), Sonja – Tori Amos – Little Earthquakes.
15. When you’re not performing, writing music or recording, what are you doing?
As independent artists we both have day jobs!
16. Besides the much anticipated release of your first album in 2016, what else can fans look forward too from Love Like Hate?
We will be touring Australia later in 2016 and must get to Perth this year, along with hopefully releasing a single, new clip and playing shows.