When it comes to Bakersfield, the music scene has made a come-up from what it was even just a year ago. In the case of the local indie rock band, Hate Drugs, they are on the map. From touring around towns and cities across America, they have made a name for themselves and the 661. 

Don’t just take it from me. Take it from their over seven thousand followers on Instagram, impressive turnouts at concerts, or 10 million streams on Spotify. I got to speak to the singer and frontman of the band, David Caploe, and find out how they keep their individuality in an industry that is ever-evolving.

Photo Permission: David Caploe, via Instagram


What did the moment look like when the band came up with the name “Hate Drugs”? 


“[As] the ‘Hate Drugs’ came up, we weren’t even a band yet. We were just a bunch of guys jamming together and we were always joking around about different band names. “Hate Drugs” just kind of stuck!”


Your music videos possess a new-found technicolor theme. Who comes up with the concepts and how much creative control is distributed between director and artist? 


“We’ve worked very closely with Keaton Punch on a lot of our videos. It’s pretty collaborative. We usually meet up and discuss ideas and we trust Keaton’s vision so much, he’s always pushing the envelope.”


How does the band keep its identity while trying to grow and make it further in the music industry?


“I think at the root of it all is our friendship. We’ve spent a lot of time together, we’re basically family at this point. Everyone brings a unique perspective and experience to the group and I think that’s what really sets us apart.”


Your single, “Too Many” seems to be a play on your most recent EP 222. Was this just simple wordplay, and if not, can you explain the intention behind it? 


“Yeah the song was written before the EP was named, in fact we started writing it in 2019. When the song was finally ready to be released, we had been constantly seeing angel numbers in our day to day life and sending them to each other. We thought it would be a funny play on words, and it was so relevant to what we were talking about at the time.”


As the frontman of the group, how do you showcase your talents without unintentionally overshadowing your band members?


 “ ‘Hate Drugs’ is really special. Each member of the band has such a different vibe and a strong sense of identity. I think it’s really easy for people to find something that they can identify with in each of us . It feels very balanced. I don’t think overshadowing has ever been an issue. Each of us leave it all on the field (as they say) when we perform together.”


How do you guys represent Bakersfield while touring in other towns and cities? 


“We always talk about Bakersfield when we’re on the road. We wear it with pride. It’s fun to give people a positive representation of Bako.”


What can we expect from Hate Drugs going into the new year? 


“We’re starting work on a new album. I think this will be a really cool and different new season for ‘Hate Drugs’.”

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