Those accustomed to "Hey There Delilah" will be surprised to hear this angry, conflicted breakup song by the Plain White T's, but the group was very much a pop-punk band at this time, and "Hate" was their first song that charted. Released as their major-label debut single (on Hollywood Records), it reached #68 in November 2006. Hollywood then re-released "Hey There Delilah," a ballad from 2005, which shot to #1.
This was written by lead singer Tom Higgenson, who sings from the perspective of a guy grappling with the end of a relationship. He won't say he hates her, but he really, really, really don't like her, and wonders what he saw in her to begin with.
In an interview with I Like Music, the band's drummer, De'Mar Hamilton, was asked if the Plain White T's had lyrics concerning relationships that people could relate to. He replied: "Personally for me, there's a song we have called 'Hate.' I think a lot of our songs can have a personal affect on basically anyone. I think that's the beauty of our lyrics, they're not that hard to get, but at the same time people can relate to them and say 'wow I know what this guy's saying,' especially with the song called 'Hate (I Really Don't Like You).' It's a little bit personal to me because I have been through that situation where I think it's the best thing ever and I'm all excited and telling all my friends about it and she winds up to not be for real. That's kind of what the song's about."
Plain White T's made a music video for this song that shows Tom Higgenson walking down a city street as all hell breaks loose around him. At the end, he sees the girl he's been railing on the whole song, and seems to have a change of heart. It's hard to hate someone you really love when she's standing right there.