Jamey Jasta ‘Prepared’ to Be Off Tour for Next Few Years If Need Be
Jamey Jasta was the latest guest on Full Metal Jackie's weekend radio program. The Hatebreed frontman touched on the band's latest record, Weight of the False Self, which was more collaborative in nature and experienced a delayed release as a result of the pandemic.
He admitted he would have liked to be able to tour around the time of the release, but then expanded upon everything else that has kept him busy over the last year, which is quite a lot. In fact, he's not even very eager to get back on the road and is prepared to hunker down and keep his current projects in motion for the next few years if the situation regarding the live concert industry doesn't turn around in the near future.
Read all about what has kept Jasta so busy directly below.
Great to have you back on the show. So honored that you continue to do the weekly 'Pick from the Pit.'
It's my pleasure. I love when the bands hit me up and are so grateful not only to get on your show, but just have a song that I actually pick. If people wonder if it's really me listening and going through [it all]... I've been listening to more and more music throughout this whole quarantine.
Even though now we're doing some more stuff here and there, I look forward to hearing a lot of these tracks and it's promising to think that all these fans are getting inspired and all these artists are getting this fire lit within them. I love hearing all these new songs, so it's great.
Let's talk about Hatebreed's latest record, Weight of the False Self. It was finished early last year, but its release was delayed. What was the silver lining to the album arriving much later than expected?
Seeing everybody get it for the holidays was cool.
In hindsight, it was probably a mistake to release it without the chance to tour on it, but I see bands are re-releasing their [new] records with deluxe versions and they're doing other things to promote it, whether it's videos or placement in Twitch streams.
This whole situation with not being able to tour has caused us to become more creative on how we can promote the record.
Hatebreed, "Instinctive (Slaughterlust)" Music Video
You struggled with writing songs for this new record. How did such an unexpected deterrent ultimately rejuvenate your creativity?
Somebody said it's easy to complicate things, but it's hard to simplify them and that really resonated with me. It was something that I've thought about throughout the whole process.
We're a meat and potatoes band. We just try to bring the intensity to every record, but there's only so much that you can do when you're trying to play to your strengths. We've never been one of these bands that noodles around or meshes with progressive time signatures or any of this type of stuff. We like our influences and we've had the same influences for 20 something years.
The reason why we've had the staying power is because we're not always switching up the recipe. By reconnecting with those influences and then also reaching out to Matt [Byrne, drums] and Chris [Beattie, bass] and Wayne [Lozinak, guitar] and saying, "Hey, send me some ideas and let's make this more of a collaborative effort," that really helps.
Chris writes on every record, but this time around having him write a little bit more and come up with some metallic thrash stuff we had on The Rise of Brutality and the self-titled album, but didn't showcase as much on the last one as we wanted to... those came out.
Twisting Wayne's arm and getting him to write a song was fun. I went back to my usual lyrical influences and stepped out of myself on some of the lyrics too.
Hatebreed, Weight of the False Self Album Art
You're working on another album with Dee Snider. What makes your sensibility about metal so compatible with his historical and generational perspective?
The energy and the passion and the drive that Dee has still after all these years is incredible.
I don't think a lot of people know that Dee really kicked down doors for heavy music in so many different ways behind the scenes. Of course in the news and at the [PMRC] Senate hearings and all the stuff that he's famous for... The songwriting and the anthemic messages that bring everybody together and everything that he's done with Twisted Sister brought us to this point.
Having a poster [of Snider] on my wall when I was in the sixth grade to now working with him, writing melodies, writing lyrics, writing riffs... it's just been this incredible experience that I wouldn't trade for the world.
There's this feeling that we're more powerful working together than we are alone and that's a really good feeling to have, especially when Nick [Bellmore, drums] and Charlie [Bellmore, guitar] are bringing these great ideas to the table.
Dee Snider, "Become the Storm" Music Video
After me championing them to be in the band, Dee making them band members and collaboratively writing this record has just proved that we're stronger together.
A song that I write melody wise — if I'm humming a melody in my head and I'm writing a riff and a hook that I can't ever perform on my own with Hatebreed, Jasta or Kingdom of Sorrow, to then envision Dee's voice doing it and have him get into the studio and do it, it's like having this musical kid where then we saw it go on and live this new life.
We saw him go all over the world touring the last album and everybody in the front row was singing the songs from it. It was just such an intense and rewarding experience, so this time around, it feels even better now with everyone collaborating and Dee writing lyrics and it being this new, but similar experience.
Communication and connection are unilateral threads through recording, performing, producing, podcasting... basically everything you do. Why is establishing a connection with other people so important?
Without that feedback and that positive vibration, you just get stuck in this rut. You need those ideas and affirmations and you need to know that it's making a difference. Sometimes it comes later on — you can make a record that's critically panned that 10 years later someone goes, "That record changed my life. That record got me into heavy music..." and you never know [what can happen].
You don't want to not do something just because your circle might be small, or your scene might be small where you live, or maybe you don't have a cool record store or a cool venue that does shows. When you reach out and you do all these different things — podcasting, running a review site, booking shows or whatever it is that revolves around your passion and something fulfilling, even outside of music, you do need to have a community around it.
The collaboration and the communication is what makes it stronger and what makes it grow. I'm sure there are solo artists and people that do things that can seem like they're alone on an Island, but they're not. They have a team of people or they have a community that supports them and that's part of the success. That's something that you realize the more years you put into this.
The coronavirus pandemic changed the routine of every touring musician. What aspects of that different lifestyle will you try to incorporate once it's safe to go back on the road?
I'm not sure yet, because I really feel like my life had to change so drastically to acclimate, to not being in a different city every day and not waking up on a tour bus that just the thought of getting on a tour bus fills me with all this doubt and all this uncertainty, which is very bizarre.
I'm almost going to have to restart my life in a fresh new way and retrain my brain because now I'm so ingrained in this... I don't want to call it a sedentary lifestyle, but it's almost like I've gotten used to this idea of being a stay at home podcaster, or a stay at home producer and writer. I still want to release and record albums and constantly I find myself writing music, but playing and performing is just so far in the rear view.
I'm going to have to mentally prepare and we've done this a couple of times throughout this whole craziness [of the pandemic], but then it gets pushed back again. Then you're kind of back to square one of this doubt and uncertainty that it's even going to happen and when it does happen, are you going to be able to acclimate?
Hatebreed, Live in 2017
I'll rise to the challenge if and when the time comes and if it doesn't, I think I'm pretty prepared to look further down the line if it means 2022, 2023, 2024, 2025... I just continue to invest in my songwriting, my production skills, my podcasts and my podcast network, which we just signed [Killswitch Engage singer] Jesse Leach to and his podcast launched March 2nd.
We have great sponsors and great subscribers and with Patreon up and running. That's been a really nice security blanket, knowing that people want original content and they want a monthly music show and they want the movie podcast and everything that comes with the Patreon subscription.
When the time comes and we get out there back on the road, maybe I'll just try to bring that routine and that normalcy to the road, but it's going to be hard.
Thanks to Jamey Jasta for the interview. Follow Hatebreed on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Spotify and get your copy of 'Weight of the False Self' here (as Amazon affiliates we earn on qualifying purchases). Find out where you can hear Full Metal Jackie's weekend radio show here.
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