Hatebreed’s Jamey Jasta Talks New Album, Upcoming Tour + Fan Interaction
After a massive tour with Lamb of God and In Flames, Hatebreed will kick off this year with a headlining tour in support of their sixth studio album, 'The Divinity of Purpose,' due out on Jan. 29
Hatebreed's headlining tour will feature support from Shadows Fall, Dying Fetus and the Contortionist. When we caught up with frontman Jamey Jasta, he spoke all about the upcoming tour, past tours and how their fans influence their future touring schedule. Jasta also spoke about the new label they're on, his view on the Randy Blythe trial and much more. Check out our interview with Jamey Jasta below.
Congratulations on your new label home, Razor & Tie. How would you describe the process of working with this label in order to put out this new album compared with past labels in general.
I think any time you put out a record, you just want to have the best team of people, and we’ve been very lucky that every label we’ve worked with always had a great team of people. Unfortunately, a lot of those people lost their jobs throughout the years because of the way that the industry has gone and because a lot of people just expect to get the records free – they can just go online on blogs and get the records for free, they don’t have to buy it.
With the way that the industry has changed, some of the people from previous labels have moved to Nuclear Blast in Europe and to Razor & Tie in America and they’re a company that’s actually growing as opposed to shrinking. It feels good that we have a good team of people behind us and we’re looking forward to getting this record out and touring in support of it – that’s all you want, you want people that like the band, people that care about the band. We’ve been lucky with pretty much every label has had those people and now we’re continuing with that.
Stoked to hear about your tour with Shadows Fall along with Dying Fetus and The Contortionist – how would you describe your relationship with these bands?
Well I’m happy for Shadows Fall right now. I feel like their last record is one of their best records and we’re labelmates – when I see people from New England, people from Connecticut, Massachusetts doing well, I’m really happy. They went on the Killswitch [Engage] tour. It’s just cool to see, we all kind of came up together at the same time and we haven’t toured with Shadows Fall since ‘The Rise of Brutality’ tour in 2004, so it’s going to be nice to do this again.
With Dying Fetus, we actually had them out with us in 2009 and I got to say they’ve just been one of the best bands that we’ve had out with us. Not only do they bring a great crowd and a lot of people that are more into that really brutal East Coast death metal sound, so our fans and their fans work well together, but also they are pleasure to have on the road with us.
The Contortionist are a newer band and they’re on eOne Records, a label that Hatebreed has worked with and that I worked with on my Jasta album so it’s cool to help them out – that’s a good band with a different sound that compliments the tour.
Any plans you can talk about after the this tour with Shadows Fall?
Yeah, ‘The Divinity of Purpose’ tour, the pre-sales are really good, so we’re thinking about adding another leg, like a short two week leg to get to the cities that we’ve missed – especially cities that we missed on the Lamb of God tour and the '10 Years of Perserverance' tour. The first show we’re doing is in Flint, Mich., and it’s almost sold out, so when that show sells out we’ll be able to add say a show in Toledo which is like 90 minutes away from Flint – so now we’ll be able to add other cities for a second leg I think.
It’s not definite yet, it’s not 100 percent, but I don’t feel like withholding the info helps me either. I do think if fans know how much buying a ticket in advance helps, especially in our case it can be the difference of adding the second leg or not. I think everybody who saw us on the Lamb of God / In Flames tour, they’re all tweeting us, saying, “Why don’t you do a headlining set?” Well this is your chance. I would love to add a New York City show, a Philly show, a Toledo show, a Cleveland show – there’s a lot of places that we missed on the Lamb of God tour and on this first leg that we could hit.
I saw you guys on that Lamb of God tour when you came to New York City and it was just mindblowing.
That was one of the best shows of the tour and because of that show we were like, “Okay let’s do Long Island on the first leg of ‘The Divinity of Purpose’ tour but now I could see, maybe we could do Brooklyn or maybe we could do Starland Ballroom. That’s the thing, there’s a lot of options for us but it really relies on the promoters and the demand from the fans - if Long Island sells out, we can add Brooklyn, if Allentown, Pa., sells out we can add the Starland show or maybe even an Irving Plaza show.
So it’s important for fans to know to push your promoters and get on social media – that’s really how the Flint show got booked. Our Detroit show was the same night as Rob Zombie and Marilyn Manson and even though it was the same night as that we still over 1,000 people at our show.
That just goes to show how die-hard our fans are and a lot of people were from Flint and a lot of people were like, “You got to come back to Flint,” and we booked the show because they told the promoter they wanted to see us. That show is going to be sold out in advance so we’ll be able to add Toledo like I said. It’s a good thing when fans are super proactive.
Also wanted to get your view and thoughts on the whole situation with Randy Blythe and if it ever came up in conversation with Randy during the tour, especially since his trial date was announced.
I just want Randy to be cleared, I want his name to be cleared so the band can go on and tour the world. I just hope that he gets a fair trial. I think soon, we will go back into fundraising mode, we did really good beforehand. We did a couple Hatewear shirts for him if people want to support they can go to Hatewearinc.com – we will go into fund-raising mode again to help with any costs of the trial. We’re trying to arrange a benefit show, as well.
It’s just been crazy because we did the tour and a lot of bands came together and donated guitars and things for his legal funds. We’re just hoping for the best outcome but really if you want to help as a whole – when you go to a show respect everbody at the show, respect security, respect people. People know that I’ve been saying this even before Lamb of God was around, I’ve been saying, “If somebody falls pick them up, if somebody dives, catch them” and we all have to be more responsible for that. We want shows to be an experience of value and positive experience at that.
2012 marked the tenth anniverary of ‘Perseverance.’ Why do you think Hatebreed has persevered throughout the years and been a powerful force in a crazy industry such as this one.
I just think it’s because we haven’t changed the recipe too much. I think we’re reliable as a go to band if you’re looking for something heavy. I think we have a good catalog of good, solid, heavy songs and that’s all we wanted to be – we wanted to be like the Ramones of crossover or the AC/DC of metallic hardcore. We just wanted to keep it simple, keep the formula to the point.
We’re just out here emulating the bands that we grew up listening to, giving our own take on it, our own approach. We’re lucky that it’s been meaningful to people and that’s what we want to do – we want to make sure that even though the songs are simple and short that they have meaning and that the lyrics hit home.
Even if some of the fans don’t want to listen to the lyrics but just want to rock out to the songs, that’s there too and we want to be that institution that you can go to. Maybe it’s not something you listen to everyday but when you want to hear something hard and heavy I hope that Hatebreed is the band that people want to go to.
Watch Hatebreed's 'Put It to the Torch' Video