A progressive path: Common Hatred to rock The ZodiacWritten by Mike Bauman | | firstname.lastname@example.org
While it doesn’t take most bands six years after forming to put out their first record, Northwest Ohio’s own Common Hatred isn’t interested in being like most bands. As a progressive metal outfit, the quartet knows its brand of metal is in the minority and is proud to wave the prog flag.
“I think that anybody that likes metal can at least appreciate what we do,” Common Hatred drummer Brad Babcock said. “And I know the people that are into the more prog type of stuff really enjoy it. There are a few bands around the area that are doing the same thing we’re doing, and it’s cool. It’s kind of like a little family.”
Common Hatred will try to bring more fans into that family when it plays at The Zodiac on April 28.
“At every show, we just try to put out as much intensity and emotion [as we can],” Common Hatred vocalist/guitarist Dan Gary said. “At every show, it’s pretty much like my own personal therapy that’s witnessed by the audience. I just want people to take away just how passionate we are about this, and that we’re not just doing it for some sort of superficial gratification.
“This is in the core of all of us.”
Rounded out by Babcock’s brother Ryan Babcock (bass) and Sam Wright (guitar), Common Hatred officially formed in February of 2006. Now 28, Brad Babcock has been playing music with Wright since junior high, and the pair wanted to form a new group after its old band — Illicit Citizen — dissolved. Once they recruited his brother, Babcock said it took approximately a year-and-a-half to find the right singer in Gary, whom he met at Owens Community College in January of 2006.
“We were trying to be part of the music business program that never was,” Babcock said. “But we ended up taking a lot of music classes together, and that’s how we kind of got our start with each other.”
Though each had their own influences, with Gary a fan of “the heavier stuff” and Babcock into the likes of Tool, Dream Theater, Yes, Rush and Emerson, Lake & Palmer, the pair shared a passion for metal.
“For me, metal’s always been something that made sense to me,” Gary said. “Like, the pop stuff is fine. I respect every single kind of music, but heavy music and stuff like that — and the progressive music — are the only thing that just kind of made sense to me, and it’s the kind of music that I love being [part of] and playing with these guys.”
Released on Jan. 17 via bandcamp.com and now available at Rama Lama, Culture Clash and Allied record stores, most of the material for Common Hatred’s debut album, “Sleeping Through the Apocalypse,” was written approximately three years ago, but a lot has gone on since the band’s formation.
In addition to Babcock and Wright each getting married, Babcock — an Otsego grad — moved to Liberty Center approximately two years ago, where the pair began construction on Liberation Sound Studio at his new home.
“We spent a year building this place because actually [Wright] is a carpenter,” Babcock said of Liberation Sound Studio, where Common Hatred recorded its debut album. “So me and Sam pretty much built this place. That took us about a year, and so [we] just kind of took a lot of time off getting everything together, and then it took us about another year to just wrap up recording and post-production and all that fun stuff.”
The result in “Sleeping Through the Apocalypse” is both an album and a process that Common Hatred is proud of in its debut effort together. In progressive metal nature, the band jams out on the eight-song record; opening track “Accept the Grey” is the only song shorter than seven minutes.
“I personally am of the mentality that when you have something to say, you should take as long as you need to say it and express yourself in that way,” Gary said.
Now that Common Hatred has a feel for the recording process and some live experience under its collective belt, the band wants to expand beyond Northwest Ohio and begin touring regionally in the likes of Michigan and Indiana.
“We’re not just doing the same old metal that you’ll hear anywhere else,” Babcock said. “It has been tough because it does go over some people’s heads a little bit, and you always hear the joke about prog music as pretentious or whatever. We’re definitely not pretentious.”
On April 28, Common Hatred will perform at a show that also features Voodoo Nation (Godsmack tribute band) and Minus Elliot at The Zodiac, 135 S. Byrne Road. Doors open at 9 p.m. Tickets are available for $5 through Common Hatred’s website at commonhatred.com. For more information, call (419) 536-2583.