NEPA Scene Staff

Wilkes-Barre hard rockers Lifer explore social media in ‘Hate Me, Love Me’ music video

Wilkes-Barre hard rockers Lifer explore social media in ‘Hate Me, Love Me’ music video
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From a press release:

First active in 1999 and the early 2000s, the Wilkes-Barre-based hard rock band Lifer is reunited and entering a very different decade in the new music video for their latest single “Hate Me, Love Me” that explores the polarizing, and often harrowing, nature of social media.

According to vocalist Nick Coyle, who is also the guitarist of Cold, the band turned to esteemed director and producer Frank Sepko of ConversionWorx Media to convey the song’s sobering but timely message in the historic Irem Temple that was once their hometown’s primary performing arts venue in the early 1900s. The community of Luzerne County is currently raising funds to restore the building.

“The ‘Hate Me Love Me’ video depicts our society’s obsession and interaction with, and on, social media,” Coyle said.

“People casting judgment, whether positive or negative, without really knowing the whole story. Only we decided to show it through the lens of the protagonist – portray what it looks like to not care what anyone thinks.”

Engineered, mixed, and mastered by Coyle at Woodhenge Studios in Dallas, Pennsylvania, the “Hate Me, Love Me” single was released late last month and is the fourth new track since the band’s 2018 reunion.

Featuring original members Coyle, guitarist Aaron Fink (also the guitarist for Earshot and former member of Breaking Benjamin), and drummer Tony Kruszka (originally Lifer’s DJ), Lifer added bassist Mike Morgan (The Drama Club, Pan.a.ce.a), helping to diversify the group’s sound and leading many to tout the lineup as their strongest to date. Kruszka and Morgan are featured on all of Lifer’s new material, including “The Start of Something Else” (which premiered on NEPA Scene in March of 2020), “Born Again,” and “Lightning in a Bottle,” which were all written, recorded, and released during the pandemic.

According to Fink, the band plans to release a five-song EP later this year, encompassing the previously-released four singles and a new track slated for this summer. This will be Lifer’s first collection of new music since their 2001 debut self-titled full-length album (produced by Alex Lifeson of Rush) through the major label Universal Music/Republic Records. It featured such standout tracks as “Boring,” “Not Like You,” and “Ugly,” paving the way for the band to contribute their hit single “Breathless” to “The Scorpion King” soundtrack, which was certified gold by the RIAA.

Lifer will play these songs and more at their first concert in over a year on Friday, June 18 at 8 p.m. at the River Street Jazz Cafe (667 N. River St., Plains) with Scranton alternative rock band University Drive. Tickets, which are $12 in advance or $15 at the door, are on sale now at

See NEPA Scene’s review and photos of Lifer’s 2018 reunion show here, photos from their 2019 set at the F.M. Kirby Center in Wilkes-Barre here, and watch Episode 76 of the NEPA Scene Podcast, where Coyle and Fink discuss their formation and early connections to Breaking Benjamin, the burgeoning local music scene at the time, their big break on MTV, Lifer’s breakup and later reformation as Stardog Champion, revisiting Lifer’s music all these years later, and more, below:

Photo by Amy Bezek Photography