The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world
INTERVIEW 2013 Jamey Jasta Hatebreed Kingdom of Sorrow








JAMEY JASTA frontman of HATEBREED and KINGDOM OF SORROW is uncompromising in his approach to music and relentless in everything he does. It's great to have a new Hatebreed album out and to see Jamey on the way to see us with Kingdom of Sorrow as part of what looks like the best ever SOUNDWAVE bill! He's got plenty more to say, so read on...




Mark: Hi, how are you Jamey, must be about time to get on stage?


Jamey: We are in Wichita, Kansas, and we are at a show which looks like it’s going to be pretty good.


Mark: It’s great that you are supporting the new album, “Divinity of Purpose”. I just got a chance to listen to that, and it’s great, it’s a return to what you guys do so well! How’s the tour going so far?


Jamey: Thank you. It’s going great, we had a sold out show last night in Grand Junction, the kick off date in LA was sold out, and Hollywood sold out, so really no complaints! It’s a short tour, and we’re telling everybody, look, this is only going to be a little batch of dates in America, as we are starting the world tour cycle. I am going to Australia with my other band Kingdom of Sorrow.


Mark: That was my next question, you are coming over with Kingdom of Sorrow, rather than Hatebreed, is that a scheduling thing because Kingdom of Sorrow, has been on the back burner for a couple of years?


Jamey: We did the Rock Star Energy Mayhem Festival in 2011, and we thought we were going to have a hiatus after that. Since Hatebreed did Soundwave, last year, Kingdom got offered the tour this year. There’s no way I can turn down a tour like that, in one of the most beautiful places on earth! It’ll hopefully lead to a Hatebreed tour, because when I’m down there, I’ll be able to talk about the new record that’s out and maybe generate some excitement to come back and do a tour with Hatebreed.


Mark: That sounds good, and when you say it like that, it must be too good an offer to refuse, especially with Metallica, Anthrax, and Slayer on at Soundwave as well!


Jamey: Yeah, it’s going to be great and we’re looking forward to it. I finish the tour February 17th, and then I go right to rehearsal with Kingdom of Sorrow, and then we get on the plane, February 20th.


Mark: How was the recording process for the new album?


Jamey: Everybody had such a good work ethic, and it was good to record near to home in a friend’s studio. Just having it so close to home and making it a good working environment, helps the creative flow of the whole thing. We were so prepared, it was three years since the self-titled album came out, so it was good timing, and it was good we didn’t rush it. We had seventeen demos and we just kept the best twelve, and those were the ones that made the album.


Mark: We love the lead track; “Put it to the Torch” it’s getting a lot of video play over here at the moment. I was a little confused by the video, is there a deep meaning behind the circus performers and the fire, I took it as a guy being beaten down by things outside his control?!


Jamey: Yeah, I think the video cut went over people’s heads a little bit. But, if you really look at it for what it is, it’s about a character that’s been hurt and drawn to this situation by unknown forces, and when he gets to this place he’s pleased there’s different characters there, but once he’s there he realises that the real fight has just begun. A lot of people look at it as hard-core, metal, and all heavy music as, basically, like we are freaks, especially in main stream music. We just went to number one in the hard rock charts, here in America, and number twenty on the Billboard. We were up against Justin Bieber, and we saw some of the hate from the Bieber fans, screaming, and that’s how some people look at it, but they don’t really know the story of how we got here! That’s kind of what the video says; you don’t know the back story. Some people got it, some people didn’t, but it’s our most viewed video, in the shortest amount of time, and it got people talking, and I think that’s what art should do. Art should pose a question, and it should make you think and feel, and that was the purpose of the video.


Mark: Six studio albums in, does it get harder to decide what to play live? I know you are famous for not having a set list.


Jamey: Yeah, it does. Last night some drunken guy landed on stage and knocked over our guitar cabinets, and one of our roadies had to tackle him before he knocked over all the bass equipment. I thought our roadie was going to kill the guy, so I ran over and said “Don’t kill him, take him back stage and get him out of here!” It was the second time he’d done it, the first time he knocked over a bunch of shit!! When I got back on stage I had no idea what song we were doing! I was going to play a song we’d already played! That’s the only drawback with having no set list, sometimes things happen and you don’t know where you’re at! It’s also good because it keeps us all on our toes, and I don’t get complacent and I don’t forget the lyrics because we have over a hundred songs in our catalogue, I have to be on point to make sure I know all the lyrics.


Mark: It must be great for the fans, as I remember going on a few tours, and seeing the same band play the same set every night! Some bands have been doing it for years! This way you make it interesting for the audience as well as yourselves. There was a lot of experimentation on the last record, “Hatebreed”, what did you get out of that, as you have obviously now returned to the fold?


Jamey: The thing with the last album, was I guess the thing we got out of that, was that we became a real global band. We went to places we had never gone before and we had some big songs on that record like “Everyone Bleeds Now” and “In Ashes they shall reap”, so those will always be in the set. We did a big arena tour, with the band Five Finger Death Punch, and that was on the album cycle, so it introduced us to a lot of new fans. Whenever you try a new influence in your music, for a lot of people out there, it’s such a change, especially in the hardcore scene. These people are still listening to albums from twenty years ago; they literally don’t want to buy new records as they are still playing the old stuff. I respect that, because I do a lot of that too. But, for Hatebreed we feel like we are only as relevant as out last record. We are not writing off the first or second album because a couple of our albums were big, people don’t realise that “The Rise of Brutality” was huge and “Supremacy” was just as big, if not bigger in a lot of places. Because the hardcore and the punk scene is very small insular kind of environment, they all say “I don’t like anything after the first album!”, and that’s fine, it is what it is. We have audiences from every era, every walk of life, not just people who are in to punk /hardcore music. We did years of touring with Slipknot, and big metal bands. It’s always going to be the vocal minority of people who are super loud and “whiney”, if you change your sound. This record is good, all our records are good, we don’t have, and there is no era of Hatebreed, there are no funny outfits, there’s no left of centre, no song we are embarrassed to play!


Mark: It is quite unusual these days, usually people have a few skeletons in the closet. It must be really liberating, to play both the hardcore and the punk scene, and get out there with the metal heads as well. One of the descriptions, I have always loved about your band’s sound, is “Celtic Frost hardcore!”


Jamey: Yeah, somebody put that on our Wikipedia or something! For some reason the media really latched on to that, but I don’t know. Some of those bands, like Celtic Frost, slowed the tempo, and even in the later years, they slowed the tempo even more, but they had some double bass and that’s why somebody said I said that, but that’s not what I recall. I think we are a traditional cross over band, I don’t even think we are metal core. There’s a whole new generation of metal core, like Trivium, Killswitch Engage, then there’s bands with like Iron Maiden, or Swedish metal influences. I just see us as a hard core metallic band!


Mark: Are you a big fan of Tom (G. Warrior, Celtic Frost’s leader) and the guys; are they one of the bands you enjoy?


Jamey: Tom G Warrior? I love Frost and I appreciate what they did but when I was getting in to metal music I was getting in to older guys on the scene, then when Celtic Frost came out with ‘Cold Lake’, these guys were like completely heartbroken and accusing them of selling out blah, blah, blah and when I was a kid it stuck with me. I mean no disrespect, they are legends. The music business is very tough to get ahead in, but with our music and our message we would never change that drastically.


Mark: You seem to be a very busy person, with Hatebreed, Kings of Sorrow, and your own record label, plus other stuff that’s going on. What’s happening at the moment outside of the two bands?


Jamey: Not much, everything is just on the back burner for now. I have a couple of new ideas for projects but I’m in the process of re launching the company for the summer. I’ve just had a lot of down time, and I’m not doing anything with my label right now, so it’s good just to focus on Hatebreed and that’s what I’m going to do for the rest of the year. Maybe I’ll do a couple more Jasta or kingdom of Sorrow shows, but my schedule is so booked up with Hatebreed stuff, press, in store signings, appearances, radio shows, it’s nice not to have too much, I don’t want to burn out! I burnt out on this last record really fast, we had a top selling DVD, and a top 50 Billboard covers album in May 09, and a studio album that was top 40, that was September 2009, and at that point it was just too much, in a short space of time. So, I did Kingdom stuff and a solo album in 2011, and now I’m just back in Hatebreed mode. I’ll still write music and I’ll still do stuff, but, I’ll put the label to the back right now.


Mark: If you could have been a fly on the wall for the recording of any album, at any point of time, what would it have been and why?


Jamey: Probably, Slayer, “ Reign in Blood”, so I could see all the Slayer guys in that time, and just to see what they were thinking, that’s a real good, intriguing record for me, in an intriguing time.


Mark: Thank you so much for your time, and looking forward to seeing you with Kingdom of sorrow in February/March.


Jamey: Thank you so much, I appreciate the interview. Looking forward to coming over to your shores in a few weeks. Bye.


Jamey was interviewed by Mark Diggins February 2013





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