HATEBREED Frontman Discusses Upcoming Covers Album, DVD Release

The Miami New Times recently conducted an interview with HATEBREED/KINGDOM OF SORROW vocalist Jamey Jasta. A few excerpts from the chat follow.

Miami New Times: So your solo shows are just so you can play whatever you want?

Jasta: The solo shows are, I play songs from all three bands, and then I have the kids vote online for the rest of my set. Like, I just did Pennsylvania and Taunton, Mass. And Pennsylvania was very much a more old-school hardcore type of show, so they voted for AGNOSTIC FRONT, they voted for MADBALL, so I do those songs. And my band can play anything. And Taunton, Mass. was more of a metal show. They wanted to hear SEPULTURA, PANTERA, SLAYER.

Miami New Times: You mean songs by these other bands that you've guested on? Or covers?

Jasta: Yeah, I'll do whatever they vote for. And then kids write in, and we add it to the poll. I've only done six of these nows. So it started out in Delaware as a benefit for the American Cancer Society. We had 400 people there, it was awesome. Karl from EARTH CRISIS came out and did EARTH CRISIS song. We did a bunch of covers SKARHEAD, AGNOSTIC FRONT. People loved it we did HATEBREED hits, ICEPICK songs, KINGDOM OF SORROW.

So then they flew us out to Austin to do this Monster Energy drink showcase, so it was Texas, right? So we had to do PANTERA. And the crowd went wild. So it's just really depending on the place. But it's fun because, like, this little one we did in Mass., we had like 500 votes on the poll. So I thought, Man, this is gonna be a big show. And when we showed up, it was good, it was like 250 kids, but these kids were diehard they were on there, voting multiple times to make sure they got the set they wanted. So it's kind of like, by the people for the people.

But I am doing a solo record and it will come out next year!

Miami New Times: So when are you working on that?

Jasta: It's almost done! I've been like, ahead of the game, really! We did a KINGDOM OF SORROW record two years ago, but that just came out in February. People think that that's new, but it's really been done for two years.

Miami New Times: Why did you sit on it for so long?

Jasta: Because of red tape with the label. Because DOWN's label Kirk [Windstein, KINGDOM OF SORROW guitarist and vocalist] is in DOWN, and that's a huge band. And then with HATEBREED, the label said, No, DOWN's a priority, and HATEBREED's a priority, so those records have to come out first. So HATEBREED's record came out in August of '06; DOWN's came out in September. So it was actually good, because then everybody was really hot on those records, and it gave this record time to breathe. But then the KINGDOM record's done I'm doing Ozzfest with KINGDOM, and a little tour. And then the HATEBREED DVD is going to come out. And then the HATEBREED covers album is going to come out, which has METALLICA, MISFITS, CRO-MAGS, JUDGE all these cool covers. So we can go do a tour and do these cover songs. And then my solo record.

Miami New Times: How did you pick the covers?

Jasta: The record's called "For the Lions". All the artwork is based around all these different stone lions, and it's basically because each band is like a lion in their own game, like a leader. So we tried to think of each genre and subgenre, and grab a band that really affected us. It's coming with like a 20-page liner booklet with stuff from each guy about when we got the record, when we heard the band, how it affected us. And we chose the MISFITS, METALLICA, JUDGE, CRO-MAGS, D.R.I., NEGATIVE APPROACH, AGNOSTIC FRONT, MADBALL, SHEER TERROR, OBITUARY.

So we did a lot. And only 12 are going to make it on, because that's like, the industry rule or whatever. We wanted to make it more, but. It came out great. It's new vocal territory for me. I worked with an engineer who is very, like, hard on me to get everything right. I didn't use any vocal effects or anything. It's like, real singing on METALLICA and MISFITS. People are going to be like, Is that even HATEBREED? They're not even going to know. It's tuned down, it has our touch. We HATEBREED-ized every track. Like, the MISFITS track is crazy, I play it for a couple people and they were loving it.

Miami New Times: Which song is it?

Jasta: "Hate Breeders!" Which is where we got our name. And when we were in L.A. last, Glen [Danzig, original MISFITS frontman] came out to the show. And he gave us big opportunities. We played here with DANZIG. We played the whole DANZIG/SAMHAIN reunion tour and this was when we were still in a van, all sitting on top of our gear because we didn't even have a trailer. And this guy's giving us money every night, giving us food, hooking us up. So that was the number-one song we wanted to make sure we did justice, to pay homage to him.

Miami New Times: What about new HATEBREED material? It's been a couple years. Why do a covers record now?

Jasta: Because we basically lucked out, and we are free agents, so we can do anything we want. We're not on Roadrunner

Miami New Times: What about Koch, don't you have a deal with them now?

Jasta: With Koch it's three projects: It's a DVD, a covers album, and a live album. And the live album we record on the 27th, and it's recorded, produced, and engineered, and will come with a mini documentary of the show, all done by Vinnie Paul from PANTERA. And that's a totally different thing from the DVD we just shot. And then we have the covers album. So that gives us time to find a label who really believes in it, who really wants to push it like a real project. Not just a contractual obligation like a lot of these bands do DVDs, and put a couple thousand copies in the store, and that's it. This is a real release. It's not just something we're giving to the label as a bonus. We did this deal with Koch specifically because it's going to be everywhere it's going to be at Wal-Mart, it's going to be at Best Buy. We're going to tour on it. It's going to be a real thing, not just a piece of catalogue.

Miami New Times: So are you working on any original material?

Jasta: Oh yeah.

Miami New Times: How long before it comes out?

Jasta: It's going to be another six months. Not that much longer.

Miami New Times: You said your deal with Koch is just for these three projects. So what's next?

Jasta: Well, I imagine we're really just going to wait for the right producer. I still think that the sky's the limit, and I would work with anybody who we could all agree was going to take the band's sound to a different place. Like if they said Rick Rubin, I would like, freak out! But if they said Ross Robinson, I'd be open to discussing that; if they said Bob Rock, I'd be open to discussing that. But the way that the industry is right now, a lot of bands are doing records themselves. Maybe we'll do the record ourselves. I don't know. It's all in discussion.

Miami New Times: Who else is on your producer wish list besides Rick Rubin?

Jasta: I don't know, I just want to work with somebody that's just more or less a song person. I don't care if it's a metal person, a pop person. Like, Zeuss is a great producer, a great engineer, and I love the tones on the last two records; they're my favorite production. But then there's records I like the production of like, I love SYSTEM OF A DOWN's production. They've got a great, clear, clean production when it's heavy, it's heavy; when it's melodic, it's melodic. We don't have that type of sound, so I don't know how it would translate with us, but I'm willing to try. I'm willing to try stuff.

We'll see. I mean, we're not going to go too crazy; we're not going to fix what isn't broken. But I want the people who hate us now to fully despise us when they hear a new record, you know? Because that way the people who really love it will really love it even more!

Read the entire interview from the Miami New Times.

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