Jamey Jasta Talks Upcoming Hatebreed Album, New Song ‘Immortal,’ Touring + More
Hatebreed frontman Jamey Jasta was the guest on Full Metal Jackie’s weekend radio show. In the interview, Jasta talks about the plans for a new Hatebreed album, the song "Immortal," touring + more. Check it out below:
A new Jasta tune, "Immortal," was just released for UFC Fighter Matt Brown. What's the major difference between writing a song for an album and writing one with a more specific purpose like UFC entrance music?
I guess first the length and watching his walk outs and trying to time how long it take for him to get to the cage. Sometimes he will run or jog and also I have heard this from other MMA fighters they like to keep their heart rate down so they try not too fast of a song or too crazy of a song. So, I wanted to make this have a different kind of energy. He just got a new fight against Tim Means, at UFC 189. But, still no word on if he is actually going to be able to use this song, there is always some sort of red tape with this stuff. If people like what they hear and they want to support the song, it is kind of like an experiment in a way, because I released the song myself. There’s no label behind it, I am trying to find out the economics behind releasing a song on your own. It has been a learning process. It has very cool and I have been able to make my money back on the recording and the mixing. Now I am hoping to get more people to actually buy the song they can go to jostahq.bandcamp.com. If the sales pick up, I will be able to keep doing this periodically.
It's been a couple of years since the last Hatebreed album. What will determine when you'll start the process of making a new album with that band?
Well, we are going to start writing in October. That’s kinda of the game plan. We were going to try it sooner then we got offered this Slipknot arena tour, and then we got offered festivals in July in Europe, and some festivals in the states and Canada in June. It’s like as soon as you are ready to get out they are ready to pull you back in. It is a good problem to have. It’s like here is still demand in the live setting, so that is cool. In September we are headed back to the U.K. So, it is going to have to be the last of September early October when we get back into writing mode.
Jamey, your taste in music is more diverse than just the categories used to describe Hatebreed. What music is furthest removed from Hatebreed that you listen to on a regular basis? Does it ever influence your ideas for Hatebreed songs?
Yeah, totally. I mean, I hear something that gives me a charge. As long as it gives me some sort of feeling, I will try to emulate that in my own way. I know you hear some artists say I get an idea from a riff in my head in the middle of the night and I get up and record it to my iPhone and something like that. Sometimes that will happen to me when I am listening to some classical or jazz or even some ambient type of music. Like I will switch around to different channels. My daughter has Pandora on her iPad. I switch around on that and listen to random stuff that I normally wouldn’t listen to. And then, I don’t know if it subconsciously goes in my mind, but usually when I have been listening to music in the early evening when I go to bed I am always like waking up in the night with different ideas. I have been keeping the phone or the guitar right by the bed and I will get up and I will riff out or I will hum the riff into my phone.
Jamey, during an interview for your podcast Kirk Hammett from Metallica recently told you about losing a cell phone with something like, 250 Metallica riffs. What's your own worst instance of losing or forgetting song ideas?
Just hearing you say that pains me again. It made national headlines, I guess, it was in the paper in England and Finland and even Australia. Then I started thinking about it, that's a serious tragedy. He could have lost an “Enter Sandman” or “Seek and Destroy,” or “Master of Puppets.”
My songs aren't nearly as impactful or influential as Metallica songs, but I've had a few that were nominated for a Grammy or meant something to someone. So I would hate to have it be lost, but unfortunately on a flight… I think it was in Italy. They said my bag could not fit in the overhead and I needed to gate check it. There was a line of people behind me, I wasn't thinking and I just said, ‘fine.’ I thought I had got my valuables out of it, headphones and things that were major but I realized I had left a hard drive and an iPod and a camera in the carryon bag. Then of course when I got the bag back, those were the three things that were gone. So, luckily I had some of the stuff on the hard drive backed up but I didn't have some of the demos that I had ripped onto the iPod backed up yet and I already switched to a new laptop. So that was a little bit of a headache, going into the old laptop and trying to find the riffs and demos. It could have been worse.
Jamey, you've always got something going on; bands, record label, line of apparel, podcast, media. Have you tasked yourself with single-handedly making sure metal arrives? Or if you just get antsy if you're not doing something?
No, I've tailored everything back so I can focus on the stuff that's more fulfilling and beneficial. The label, I've tailored back. I haven't released anything in a couple of years now and if I was interested in signing a band I would just help with the deal. I did a few smaller deals with a label called Razor and Tie, where I just A&R'd the record. Or with the last two Crowbar records, we put that out through eOne who are great. I don't really have a need to do the label.
With the clothing line, again, I've tailored it all back. I stick to the shirts that people want, the classic designs, and the hats, wristbands and bandanas that sell. I'm not constantly making new designs unless it has something to do with the podcast. Then with touring and everything, it seems like less is more. The less we play, the more I'm able to create and write and focus on stuff at home. When we do actually go out and play, and headline, we're able to sell out a lot of these bigger clubs because we haven't been there in so long. I'm trying to work smarter and not harder.
Tell us about what the next few months look like for you touring wise.
In June we're flying out to Ink and Iron, we're playing with Killswitch Engage and Dillinger Escape Plan in California. Then we are doing a big 20th anniversary home state, hometown show in New Haven, Conn., on June 19. Then we're doing the Amnesia Rock Fest with Slayer and Snoop Dogg on June 20. Then July is Europe, August I have some Jasta shows. I'm doing Heavy Montreal, which is going to be great. Now I'll be able to say I've played Heavy Montreal with Hatebreed, Kingdom of Sorrow and Jasta, which is a fun little achievement. Then we're going to the U.K. in September, then we're going to get this new Hatebreed rocking, start writing.
Many thanks to Jamey Jasta for the interview. Full Metal Jackie’s weekend show can be heard on radio stations around the country — for a full list of stations, go to fullmetaljackieradio.com.