Hatebreed’s Jamey Jasta Talks ‘The Concrete Confessional,’ Longevity, Touring + His Podcast
Hatebreed frontman and podcast host Jamey Jasta was the guest on Full Metal Jackie's weekend radio show. Jackie got some insight from the singer about the band's latest album, 'The Concrete Confessional,' discussed the longevity of the group and also touched upon their tour dates with DevilDriver, Devil You Know and Act of Defiance. Check out the chat below.
What has changed most about your priorities and your views of the world in terms of what you feel is important enough to express through music?
Well for this record, I was like, look, it might be a little bit of a bleak snapshot, because of everything that is going on in the world and our election, but I wanted to have a couple positive anthems on there. But mainly, because it is supposed to have this juxtaposition of something that’s solid and hard and heavy with something that’s like an admission or sharing some pain or getting something off your chest so to speak, like a confessional. To have that juxtaposition I needed to have a little more balanced than usual and you can’t have the positive without the negative. So I’m interested to see how people interpret the lyrics. So far so good with the first song, "A.D.," because no matter where you stand in politics you can agree that something needs to change and it needs to change soon otherwise we are in for a rude awakening, which I think has already begun.
Where does the title come from and what is its significance?
To have that juxtaposition, how do you make something so hard, so heavy, so in your face, but also have that honesty and therapy? For a lot of people, a confessional is getting something off your chest and absolving yourself of sins and there are all these themes on there. A song like "Seven Enemies" is about the frustration of dealing with people who are going through all these tests in life and sometimes that is very testing on your own patience or your own mental well being. So dealing with people’s issues, dealing with relationships, dealing with the world around you, the violence, the poverty, the corruption in the government -- all that stuff is on this record and it’s interesting, because with the election coming up, we have never touched on anything political on our records prior to this. If we did, it was very veiled or very set in the record. This time it’s out front and center in two songs called "Us Against Us" and "A.D.," which is getting a great reaction. It just goes to show you when you push it up a little bit topically it keeps it interesting and a lot of people said, "I like this direction." So having it all fall under that Concrete Confessional umbrella wasn’t boring, especially wanting to show that we can have the anthems, but we also have to talk about real world issues and real social issues.
You and Chris and Wayne have known each other since the start of Hatebreed. What's the biggest advantage to having that familiarity and longevity in a band?
I think the biggest advantage is that the fans come to know the recipe and enjoy the recipe and it’s become an institution. Matt's been in the band since '99 and Frank's been in the band since 2006. So over a decade. You see all these revolving door lineups and you see these bands having to reestablish themselves, because in the business when you lose a guy or replace members there is always this want for the industry to have your real estate be worth less. With Hatebreed and this lineup we’ve proven ourselves and the issues that you have when you’re a young band are all behind you and now the point is to be an institution and keep it that way and keep this line up rocking and go out there and leave it all on the stage. This record is a good example of this lineup at its top form.
Are you nostalgic for the upcoming tour with DevilDriver, Devil You Know and Act of Defiance? You'll be out with Howard from Killswitch and Matt from Shadows Fall, both of whom came up with Hatebreed in the New England metal scene.
I am not really a nostalgic person, but with those two bands, I’m looking forward to having them out, because they are current and have new records coming out. None of us are trying to rest on our laurels or trying to revisit the past. We are out here to promote new records. Sure we pepper in songs from every record and it’s a very career expanding set, but as far as being in the here and now I think it’s a good representation of the best that metal and hardcore has to offer. Putting three headliners on one show is more bang for your buck and all three of us can go out and headline on our own. So it’s great to see everybody coming together for the best show the fans can possibly get. That’s what you want to do, you want to give the fans the best lineup and with the pre-sales being as good as they are, it's shown that we made the right decision with this package.
What's the most unexpected thing you've experience while interviewing people for your podcast?
I guess the most unexpected thing is when someone really doesn't know about me or hasn't heard the podcast and they don't know anything more than I'm just some guy there to interview them. That's made for some interesting episodes. I had Kimbo Slice on, and he was great. I showed him pictures and video of Hatebreed playing and he's like, "That's awesome!" I showed him a mosh pit. It was really fun and cool. Then someone like Buzz from The Melvins, I think he was just a little annoyed and a little tired of doing press but he even turned out to be cool. He had no idea who I was. I don’t think he ever heard of the band but it still ended up being a very popular episode. Sometimes that type of thing happens, and it keeps it interesting for me because the podcast is a way for me to force myself to be social, to learn about other people and their music or message. It's a great way for me to interact and have another career path and also be able to keep up with all of my listeners and fans.
Because you don't have enough career paths, right? [laughs] Obviously you have a lot of touring going on. What can we expect from Hatebreed and also from you, Jamey, since you've always got a lot of different things going on.
Just gonna get out there, hit the road hard in support of this record. Hopefully release two videos coming up soon and announce more shows. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we get a big support slot, but the way this headline tour is selling I think we might be in the position to add a second leg. We're in a good space right now. We'll just see how the rest of the year pans out. We've got Chicago Open Air, Rocklahoma, River City Rockfest, and all these big festivals. For a band like us, 20 years into our career to have new opportunities and go out and play with Scorpions or Five Finger Death Punch and bands that are on classic and active rock radio charts, it's a great way to expose new and old fans to some heavier music and just keep our name out there. We're very grateful and happy to be a part of it.
Thanks to Jamey Jasta for the interview. Hatebreed's 'The Concrete Confessional' is out now and is available to purchase via Amazon and iTunes. Look for the band on tour with DevilDriver, Devil You Know and Act of Defiance at these stops. Find out where you can hear Full Metal Jackie’s weekend show at this location.
Hatebreed's Jamey Jasta Talks The Concrete Confessional