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Katie Hate represents young faces in the rock scene

"There's a theme that we want people to catch onto eventually."

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The three guys in Katie Hate are young — all under 21. But it's not a young band, per se. Drummer Jake Saltzman and bassist Bobby Fello touched base with Max Theofilis and started making music together in middle school, after all.

The Penn Hills grads have gotten serious lately, and spent much of 2014 working — a little bit at a time — on the band's debut album. And while it's taken some time to perfect (and guitarist, singer and songwriter Theofilis insists the final product still won't be perfect), the first record is the least of the punk-flavored rock band's plans.

"We have albums planned ahead," Theofilis says. "At least five, with songs we're familiar with already. As soon as this album is finished, we'll have something to move on to."

Even as they break out of their teens, the three have designs on concept albums and big-idea stuff. Even if they're a little cagey about it at times. "There's a master plan to Katie Hate," Theofilis notes. "There's a theme that we want people to catch onto eventually. I like to write conceptually — not necessarily storylines, but just themes."

Katie Hate Bobby Fello, Max Theofilis, Jake Saltzman
  • Photo courtesy of Lydia Karlheim
  • Katie Hate (from left: Bobby Fello, Max Theofilis, Jake Saltzman)

While the band has the bulk of the first record complete, it's gotten this far without a single recording; aside from live YouTube videos, there's been no way to hear Katie Hate without going to see Katie Hate live. Despite that, the band has established itself in the ranks of a young crop of bands around the area. A Lovely Crisis hosted the first real show Katie Hate played, and Katie Hate returns the favor by having that band on its Punk the Halls show at Mr. Small's this Saturday, a sort of holiday-after-the-holiday event.

It's no small feat for a band so young — especially one still pushing for an early-2015 first release — to headline a sizable venue, but that's no doubt due in part to Katie Hate's commitment.

"We practice, for the most part, five days a week," explains Fello.

"At least 300 days a year," Saltzman adds with a laugh. "I'm not even kidding."

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