Bizarro Horror Fiction Author MP Johnson | Freak Tension Zine

Information about writer MP Johnson's horror fiction and bizarro fiction, Freak Tension zine and more.

Hatefuck was a hardcore band based out of Green Bay Wisconsin in the early part of this decade. Members went on to form Pink Reason. An Australian zine called Negative Guest List recently put together a piece about the band, reprinting a few articles from old issues of Freak Tension. I also wrote a longer bit about my part in the band, which was minimal. That bit wasn’t used, so here it is, along with the full article from NGL.

The first time I saw Hatefuck play was the last time I punched someone in the face. I’m not sure if it was the band’s first show, but it was definitely an early one. They were even listed on the flyer as Zone 13 Rejects, which was Hatefuck’s predecessor.

My job was to drive the band – at that point still Kevin, Shawn, Nate and Ralph – to the show. I played the role regularly. My hands off stance on intoxicants made me a good fit. I could drive. They could drink and do whatever drugs they wanted in the back of the van. They took advantage of the opportunity.

I had driven them around as the Rejects a lot, but driving to this Hatefuck show was different. Before we even left Green Bay, things went crazy. We pulled into the Burger King on 29 so the guys could grab some snacks and take one last piss before we hit the road. I waited in the car. I don’t eat meat.

A minute or so passed and the doors of the joint flew open. The guys bolted across the parking lot and jumped into the van, yelling at me to drive away fast. I followed orders, knowing full well that these guys didn’t bluff about quick getaways. Anything could have happened in that restaurant. Chances are, whatever it was, it was not legal.

I drove fast, but not too fast. Speeding would only attract police, I figured. When we were far enough away, I pried the story out of them. Shawn had jerked off all over the men’s room, smearing his cum across the walls of the stalls and elsewhere. Someone had walked in as he was completing his jizz vandalism. Good reason to get out of there.

Halfway to the show, we had a blowout. Spare tire? Fuck no. Plenty of Rhinelander beer. No spare tires. This was Hatefuck. I made a tow truck come for us. Somehow, Kevin and I landed in the cab with the driver. The guy had been a total dick over the phone, pissing about our lack of a spare. When he found out he was towing a band, he got excited. I listened as Kevin tried to explain to this hairy motherfucker, who totally reeked of weed, that Hatefuck wasn’t exactly like Pearl Jam.

By the time we arrived at Nate’s Dungeon, every one of us was fuming. The blowout had flipped a switch and everything felt tense, ready to boil. I knew it was going to come out during the show.

Hanging around in the backyard before the bands started playing, I noticed this kid hanging around who kept fucking up Nate’s shit. The dude broke Nate’s clothesline by hanging from it like a jackass. Any other day, I might have been hanging from the clothesline myself. Not that day. I don’t think Nate cared, but it pissed me off. I called the kid on it. He walked away.

Hatefuck played. I had tunnel vision. All I remember was stomping around that basement, making one circle after the next. I didn’t even really see what the band was doing. I didn’t see them stripping down. I didn’t see the vacuum cleaner go into Kevin’s anus. These are things that I found afterwards when I overheard all the “Holy shit, did that just happen?” discussions taking place in the backyard.

Holding On were the evening’s headliner. Minneapolis straight edge. Good band to include on a bill with Hatefuck. The band started and I got my tunnel vision on. In the middle of my mosh, I noticed the jackass who had fucked up Nate’s clothesline messing with my little brother. I plowed the dude into the wall and put two, maybe three, fists into his teeth before the crowd separated us. I stomped up the stairs to the kitchen, where Kevin was hanging out. When I showed him the blood draining out of my knuckles. He smiled.

I didn’t punch that kid because he did anything all that bad, not really. I did it because it seemed like the direction the evening should go in. Actually, that’s not accurate either, because it implies that the punching was premeditated. It wasn’t. That’s the thing about Hatefuck. There was violence. However, none of that violence ever seemed forced. It seemed to come about because it was the natural course of things.

In other words, violence only came about when it was right. When it wasn’t right, it didn’t come. My favorite Hatefuck show was when they played with Fat Day at a pavilion at Bay Beach in Green Bay on a sunny late afternoon. This was when their lineup had solidified as Kevin, Shawn, Nate and Tim. The show was hot, sweaty and serene. There was no violence, just smiles. That’s when I realized how awesome Hatefuck were. They never hesitated to let their emotions flow through their music. If they were in a good mood and feeling positive, it came through. If they were feeling negative, they could play the same songs, but everything came out differently. It just so happened that they were more likely to be feeling negative.

The most important thing about Hatefuck, the thing that differentiated it from Zone 13 Rejects, was that it was all-inclusive. It wasn’t just music. It wasn’t just four dudes. Hatefuck was a convenient, and often appropriate, label slapped on Kevin, Shawn, Tim and Nate’s lives from about ’02 to ’05. Everything those lives encompassed – people, places, thoughts, emotions, everything – was HFK. It seems grandiose, but it’s not, at least not anymore than life is.

To celebrate this part of life, shows were played. Drinks were consumed. The letters HFK – Hatefuck Krew – were carved into flesh in beer-soaked basements.

So, in a way, every time I hung out with those guys, I was part of an HFK show. It didn’t matter if the band was playing or not. Maybe we were just smashing shit or doing some vandalism. Maybe we were encroaching on punk parties and starting brawls…

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I remember when Hatefuck broke up, I was going to be in the next band. Plans for a new musical project were being hashed out around a keg in some Green Bay basement. I mentioned to Kevin and Shawn that I played tenor sax. They thought the idea was cool. Bottles were smashed, not in celebration, but because that was what was done at these things. I tried to pin someone down to a time when we could practice. Nobody really cared. I pushed. A time was set.

The next Sunday at noon, the predetermined practice time, I arrived at Brock’s place. Brock was wasted. He tried to get his bass out. Didn’t happen. Shawn was in the bathroom. I think there was a girl in there with him. The shower was running. Kevin wasn’t there. I sat on the couch, wondering if I should take my sax out and warm up. I decided against it.

I sat on the couch for half an hour as Brock meandered in and out of consciousness next to me. Shawn never came out of the bathroom. Realizing that this probably wasn’t the right band for a straight edge dude who likes to keep a rigid schedule, I took off. Better to just observe, I decided. And drive the van.

I witnessed the birth of Pink Reason. A basement show, of course. I walked in and it was surprisingly packed. Candles were lit all over. Cigarette smoke was heavy enough to take the place of a fog machine. It rubbed in my eyes, bringing the scent of booze and body odor with it. Dax, the first singer of the band, rose up in front of the crowd. His face was covered with duct tape, with only small openings for his eyes and mouth. The shrieks of this deaf man were so fucking shrill that they made my skin crawl. Kevin, Shawn and, I think, Nate, made music that seemed like a pretty natural progression from Hatefuck.

I’m pretty sure a fight broke out that night before I left.

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2 thoughts on “Hatefuck: The True Story of a Wisconsin Hardcore Band

  1. Christy Handlen says:

    I’d like to start out by saying you’ve spelled my brother’s name wrong. It was Shaun. Also, I have pictures of some of the events that you’re talking about in this article. And I have a HateFuck T-shirt.

    1. freaktension says:

      Funny story about that. Hanging out in the kitchen of the blank house. I asked Aaron, who I had just met, if his name was Aaron or Allen, and he told me Allen. Then he told me Aaron. Then I asked your bro how to spell his name, he told me S-H-A-U-N. Then he told me S-H-A-W-N. The result of fucking with me? I now refer to Aaron as Aaron/Allen, and I constantly spell your brother’s name wrong. Doesn’t mean I don’t care.

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