Hated Related Emigrated – An Interview with Barron Harley

After dropping a “really fucking good” Hated Related EP, Barron Harley bounced from sunny Durbs for cold and miserable Scotland. We were worried that that would be the end of Hated Related, but nah, they’re still making new music together when they’re in the same city. Barron was back in Durban recently so Evan van Zyl caught up with him about life overseas, his new band, and the future of Hated Related.



2016 was pretty much the year that garage music blew up in Durban. With a surge of bands like MOUSE, The Myths and Hated Related, it became somewhat of a trend. Throw Sisters and Black Math in for good measure and you have something that got talked about to quite an extent. So much so that word got to the UK and all of the dudes were interviewed for The Wire Magazine about the whole garage rock movement. (https://www.thewire.co.uk/issues/399) Not to mention local reviews about the year’s releases, namely Floor Sauce, Caffeine Diet, and Death, Existing & Other Joys of Life all being pretty favourable.


Fast forward a year though: Myths disbanded, members from Black Math and Sisters moved to Durban’s hipster cousin and Barron Harley, frontman of Hated Related, left for Scotland. Leaving us with a parting gift sometime after his departure, Joy Dealer by Hated Related was released on the 31st of March 2017, and little did I know it would end up encapsulating some of this crumbling ‘scene’ at the time. It would also be the last time we’d hear from Hated Related for the foreseeable future.


Fast forward another year and Barron is back for a visit, we get to see Sisters and Black Math on special occasions, MOUSE are better than ever and I no longer want to drive a screwdriver in through my eye. So during the height of my excitement about all of this, I had the opportunity to catch up with Barron via email – post trip, about being back in Durban, what Scotland is like and Hated Related’s future plans.



So, off the bat, what was it like to be back in Durban?

Being back in Durban was beyond therapeutic. As soon as we landed I felt considerably better than I had in ages, which was cool because I wasn’t expecting it to be that great straight away, but it really was. The biggest “culture shock” was just how friendly and genuinely nice people are in SA. And, you can’t beat seeing friends that you’ve been away from for a while. Getting to play shows with everybody again was the best feeling ever.


What was the thing, or things, that you missed the most about SA?

Besides the obvious friends and family and stuff, I’d say I missed the people the most. Just getting to chat to strangers you meet at the shops. A couple other big ones would be Black Label, Johnnies, and the sun.


Do you find that people are less friendly in Scotland?

I think the younger people are pretty friendly, but older folks can be really off with you, and sometimes you get some mildly xenophobic vibes which is awkward. I think there’s just more of “keep to yourself” kind of culture in the UK if anything.


That sounds kind of shitty. To drag you back to Durban for a second; You mentioned some shows. How did they go?

They were amazing. I may be a little biased because I really liked the bands we were playing with, so I would have had a good time either way. Playing a new venue was really exciting though. Hive seems to have a really good thing going and I’d deffs recommend it to any bands looking for places to play or people looking for a place to hang out. And of course, playing The Winston again really hit all the feels for me. It’s still got the same spirit and the vibe that I loved about it. So it was cool to see that things hadn’t changed too drastically.


Yeah, the Hive has become one of my favourite places to hang out. But regarding change though, was there anything specific that you noticed?

I think if I’d gone to lots of shows while I was there I probably would have noticed more changes, but I was a little restricted for time. It probably still isn’t easy to get people out to watch live music, but it never really was. I think in Durbs it’s just important that people don’t get discouraged by attendance or whatever, and just keep trying new things and doing all the cool things they do.


That’s true. How does this kind of climate compare to the community in Scotland?

I guess the silver lining of Durban’s music scene is that it’s smaller, so it’s more collaborative rather than competitive. Being competitive can be really good for a band, but it’s a lot cooler when you work with other bands to push the music scene further in your city, rather than just try to grab your share of the audience. If that makes any sense?


It does. Would you say it more competitive over there?

Definitely. I’m guessing it’s just because there are more bands competing to get gigs and sell tickets. The business side of being in a band is a lot more of a factor here.


That’s pretty interesting. I heard some whispers that you were going to record some new Hated Related songs while you were in town. Did this end up happening?

We didn’t have quite enough time together as we wanted to, so the recordings had to take one for the team. The songs are all there though, we’ve jammed them and I must say I’m really excited to get them recorded. I’m hoping to have something together by the end of the year.


Does that mean another visit is planned for this year?

Soon enough definitely, and I’m hoping to do a lot more this time around. The recordings are definitely top priority for now though.


That’s exciting news. And then lastly, you’re already back home now. If I may ask, what do you return to there? I understand you joined another band.

I did. We’re called Hangszeres. They were already a band when I joined but like an instrumental post-rock vibe. Very ambient. But I really liked their energy and asked if could jam with them. Since then I’ve added a lot of my own influences into the mix, as well as doing vocals for them. We still do an instrumental song here and there, but they’re mostly sing-y ones now.


Seems like a pretty good time. Anything we could find online?

There will be soon. We have a single coming out on a small label called Lead Boot Records. We’re hoping to have that out real soon. Other than that, I think there’s a live set on YouTube that got filmed a while ago? We’ve actually done a lot of recording since I joined the band, but this single will be the first thing we’re happy enough with to release.


I’m stoked to check it out. Thank you for the chat, man. I hope Scotland treats you well and we get to see you again soon.

You deffs will homie! And thank you, it’s really nice that someone still takes an interest in my things.

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