Jamey Jasta still has big ideas after nearly twenty years of Hatebreed!
Hatebreed frontman Jamey Jasta is a busy man, but never too busy for Rock Sound. As new album 'The Divinity Of Purpose' hit shelves and inboxes he jumped on the phone with us to talk about new beginnings, grand legacies and the dream gig still on the metallic hardcore pioneer's wishlist. Jasta, we love you, have a read and you will too.
So, how was 2012 for Hatebreed?
“It was great! We celebrated the 10th anniversary of ‘Perseverance’ – which was our breakthrough album. We did a US tour where we played a whole load of stuff from that record – we had a great time dusting off all those old songs! We brought out Whitechapel, All Shall Perish and Deez Nuts, which was a great package. Then we went into a tour with Lamb Of God and In Flames, and that was nice because we didn’t have to headline – we could just go out there, crush it, and enjoy the rest of the show! So yeah, busy year.”
The new album is called ‘The Divinity Of Purpose’ – can you explain the meaning behind the title?
“It’s about trying to spark a thought – it could be that feeling you get when you’re doing something that you love, or when your life takes a turn for the better. For me, I’ve always been lucky in that that purpose always shows its face – it’s like divine intervention, in a way! Like when my daughter was born, I straightened my life out, I became serious with music, the second album blew up, and we became serious musicians. Now, every year, I feel like I gain a new purpose in life. So music has always been that one constant purpose, and this album is our homage to that!”
It sounds like a classic Hatebreed record, but do you feel that much has changed in your world since your previous album [2009’s self-titled]?
“Well, the main change is that everyone’s a bit older and wiser, and over the last three years we’ve established this line-up – with Wayne as our permanent guitarist. He learned all these songs and plays them flawlessly, he’s just a great asset to the band, and has helped us expand our sound with his technical prowess. As for actually making the record…we just worked longer and harder on it, because you can always over-complicate things, but you can’t always over-simplify them. We want to be like the Ramones or AC/DC of crossover, so we want to keep things simple.”
A decade ago, metalcore was in its infancy compared to today – now metalcore bands are ubiquitous. How does it feel to be one of the biggest bands of your genre?
“It feels good, you know, it feels like the work paid off! For a long time, we bore the brunt of a lot of criticism and scrutiny, but I’m happy that we’ve progressed throughout the years, and we seem to gain an audience from whatever show we’re on – be it a punk show, a death metal show, a hardcore show, or even a big rock festival, we just go out there and give it 110%. We do have the best fans, especially in the UK – the Bloodstock show earlier this year proved that!”
There are numerous bands out there who have been influenced by Hatebreed, some to the extent that they’ve blatantly ripped you off. How do you feel about that?
“There was a time when I would go to Best Buy, and just about every new metallic hardcore CD on sale there would have a sticker saying “For fans of Hatebreed” – and I started collecting them! I have about 60 now. I thought to myself “Wow, we’ve become a marketing tool for other labels!” – and I guess that means we’ve done something good. We have a formula, it works for us, and we’re just happy that a little hardcore band from Connecticut has been able to have that impact. Plus a lot of bands have openly said that we’re an influence on them, so I don’t feel like they’re just ripping us off.”
Your last record was on Roadrunner, but ‘The Divinity Of Purpose’ is on Nuclear Blast. What prompted the move?
“Well, it was partly due to some great people, who we’d worked with at Roadrunner, moving on, but also because Nuclear Blast has had a lot of success with bands like Sabaton, Kreator and Testament. And I think that sends a strong message to the music industry to support bands that have been around that long, and promote records that are just as good as their ‘classic’ ones. There’s a lot to be said for aligning yourself with respectable career artists, and not just jumping on the next trend, the next big thing.”
Anything more you’d like to achieve as a band?
“Oh, definitely. Our main goals are to open for Megadeth and Metallica – if we could do those someday, that would be amazing. I’ve said this in just about every interview, and I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but you know…Metallica have taken out Down, they’ve taken out Machine Head, Mastodon, Gojira…I feel like Hatebreed’s gotta be the next in line somewhere!”