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Interview: P.H.F. Talks About His Album 'I Hate Myself'

Interview: P.H.F. Talks About His Album 'I Hate Myself'

Chris Cudby / Friday 14th September, 2018 4:34PM

Auckland's P.H.F. (the recording project of Joe Locke) recently unveiled his long-awaited new album I Hate Myself, an eleven track collection crammed full of infectiously catchy punk anthems and heart-tugging ballads, featuring guests Emily Edrosa, REW and Dylan Thinnes (Slow Hollows). Standout single 'Tru' became a student radio hit while Locke's band of renegades were doing their thing overseas, they're now back and primed to play two keenly anticipated release parties - tonight at Auckland's The Vault with buds Nuggiez and Cindy, and on Saturday 15th September at Christchurch's Space Academy with Roy Irwin and Wurld Series. Chris Cudby had to know more about the killer collection and tracked down the enigmatic artist for a rapid-fire Q & A session, read P.H.F.'s words below...

Is there like a central idea you're exploring or expressing with I Hate Myself?

It’s kind of a breakup album while still in the relationship. Like looking back on it now I think I knew shit was coming to an end and it’s like mourning it before it’s even over. Was just super dark at the time and being pretty self-destructive. Trying to not be a piece right now so like looking back I’m just like fuck.

What was the recording process like for the record? Were there any specific inspirations this time around?

I recorded it in our old practice space. I really fucking miss that shit cos we would spend pretty much every weekend there, me and Reuben used to go there every Friday as well and just record whatever, honestly such a good buzz. But pretty much most Saturdays for a couple months I would just go there and record all day. It was pretty funny recording vocals in there cos it was a storage room and all these bike taxis could probably hear me. Was just listening to heaps of like heavy guitar shit. Deftones, My Bloody Valentine etc. The drum recording is trash tho sorry yall.

I heard that I Hate Yourself was recorded a while back - what was the holdup with putting it out?

I recorded it at the end of 2016 and start of 2017. The only hold up was just had to wait for Danger Collective to have space in their release schedule so yeah just took ages for it to drop but then I added some nu tracks.

Oh yup that’s not that much of a delay I guess. Was I Hate Myself written with the band?

Naw – I usually write all the songs myself when I’m alone and feelin some type of way I guess.

Is it like a rule that Emily Edrosa gets to play on at least one song on every album now?

Hahahahaha honestly it is now.

What other guests were on I Hate Myself?

So there is Emily, then REW, who makes some the fuckin sickest shit ever. I love his voice so much and had just been listening to his shit all the time so I just asked him if he wanted to sing on a track and he said yes. His voice is so good I just turned mine down completely until second half and then just did some harmonies. The other feat is my friend Dylan (Thinnes) who has a solo project now called I EXPERIENCED LOVE and used to play guitar in Slow Hollows. Keen to do more shit with him actually.

You've got a good chunk of releases as P.H.F. under your belt at this point with more on the way, what do you see as the future for the band?

Ummmm I don’t know? Like just keep writing and recording and playing shows. Trying to move overseas at the moment so might just go back to making synth shit for a while. Always trying to fuck up the sound but it never really works.

What kind of challenges do you feel adventurous or artistically ambitious musicians face being based in Auckland?

The challenge with live shows I think is the main problem, there is fuck all venues left really but people are starting their own which is cool. Me and Nigel were actually going to try start an all ages venue that me and Sam could live in to pay the rent but it’s kind of a nightmare. Other than that I don’t really know. Everyone is kind of doing their own shit but it’s pretty supportive? All my friends making sick art – like not even just music just in terms of all of it.

How many songs have you put out this decade?

Fuck I don’t even know – probably close to 150-200 at least.

Thinking about a recent conversation a friend was having about whether they should put out their new recordings or not - why release music?

I think it’s pretty funny to write songs, record them and put them out – like it’s hella narcissistic but I don’t know what else to do cos don’t really have any skills. I think if you’re making shit and not putting it out that’s totally all good too but I think it’s really nice to make something productive out of something so dark. Like I don’t really know what it’s like to make a happy song cos I’m too busy enjoying it. When you're depressed it feels so much better to use that energy in a different way, and then also after you release that people going through similar shit can relate. Music really helps me get thru shit so it’s like, pay it forward.

What local artists do you like / are prepared to rep publicly?

Not gonna just list all my friends but the best thing I heard lately was Ary Jansen’s new album Cut Off. It’s such a fucking good album and his lyrics make me wish I could actually write lol. It’s a huge mood and I’m keen as hell to see what he drops next, such a good mix of pop and whatever the opposite of that is.

How do you get your cool distorted vocal effect (be specific)?

I just use distortion chorus and echo. Hahaha it’s real simple I don’t get why people ask that, but also I think my voice is just super annoying so people think it’s an effect but it’s just my personality!

What are your favourite snacks?


'I Hate Myself' is out now via Danger Collective.


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P.H.F, Nuggiez, Cindy
Fri 14th Sep 8:00pm
The Vault, Auckland
Phf, Roy Irwin and Wurld Series
Sat 15th Sep 8:00pm
Space Academy, Christchurch