Niclas Müller-Hansen of Sweden’s Metalshrine recently conducted an interview with vocalist Jamey Jasta of Connecticut hardcore/metal masters HATEBREED. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Metalshrine: The new album [“The Divinity Of Purpose”], where did the title come from?
Jamey Jasta: I wanted to have a title similar to “Satisfaction Is The Death Of Desire”, which is like where it poses a question and people go, “What is that?” It makes you think and sparks a thought. There was a couple of different things that kinda inspired, all of which were something unfortunate, and someone we know who had gotten sentenced to eight years in jail. It was a situation that probably could have been avoided, but there’s two sides to every story and for better or worse, it’s someone we know and it’s a shame because it could have been avoided and we don’t get into situations like this because we have music. I thought, “Thank God music came into our lives when it did!” Because it was all like divine intervention. Same thing with my daughter. I was leaving to go on tour with AGNOSTIC FRONT in Europe and got to the airport and we basically imploded as a band, we broke up. I think we fired the drummer or the drummer quit and then our guitar player got into a fight with our old guitar player. None of these guys are in the band anymore. I went home and my father had just moved in with his girlfriend and they didn’t even have furniture yet and I went to their place. They were like, “What are you doing here? You’re supposed to be in Europe.” and I just said “We broke up. We’re not going to Europe.” And they said, “Are you kidding me? This is a huge opportunity.” I said, “It just wasn’t meant to be.” And then the phone rang and my girlfriend was, like, “I gotta talk to you!” She came over and she was crying and I knew something was up and she said, “I’m pregnant.” So it was good that I didn’t go to Europe, so I was there to kinda deal with the situation and then I had to tell my family and my father said, “You gotta move out!” The shit hit the fan. I was 20 and I had this band that was falling apart and that became the purpose. I started thinking about all these little things and it might have inspired the title. It’s like, some people they find something that they love. I know a guy who’s an engineer and it’s his lifeblood. He loves his work and loves doing it. It’s like a spiritual process for him with all his engineering and I can see that when you find it can be like almost a spiritual experience or a divine intervention pointing you in the right direction. We bounced around other titles but that one just kinda… because I already had the song I just felt that it was gonna work.
Metalshrine: Do you ever get… what do you say… blocked, coming up with titles?
Jamey Jasta: Yeah, and sometimes you wanna just, I don’t wanna say dumb it down, but you wanna simplify it so that it’s as palatable, as discernible as possible so people really get it. “Perserverance” was like, “Fuck it, people will say it’s generic, but that’s what I wanna call the record.” And I think at the time we couldn’t agree on the title so we were, like, “Yeah, that’s fine. One word. Put it on a t-shirt, put in on a CD, it’s fine!” But it worked because of what we had been through when we toured for four years and had problems and one guitar player, God rest his soul, he’s not with us anymore, but he was going through a lot of problems at that time and it worked for that title. Then with “Rise Of Brutality”, which was a real hardcore, crossover record, so we wanted it to be like… the world was in such a fucked up place post 9-11 and heavy music was in a good spot because people need an outlet, so that’s a snapshot of that time. Maybe not the best record title, but it’s a good snapshot of that time. With “Supremacy”, it was like deconstructionism, let’s take the word back. Supremacy over anxiety or depression or inner demons. “Why do all the racists get to use that word? Let’s take it back!”. But now with this, let’s spark more of a thought.
Metalshrine: Nuclear Blast then? What made you go German?
Jamey Jasta: Honestly, everything with TESTAMENT and KREATOR. If you put out a great record, I don’t wanna say it doesn’t matter what logo you have on the back of it, but it does matter what people you have. The chain is only as strong as its weakest link, I really believe that. When “Rise Of Brutality” came out, they fired everybody. I joked around that there was like tumbleweed flying around every office. I was so hands on with that record and back then I had an assistant, a guy named Jay. He helped me tremendously on that one. He did the artwork at the very last minute. We had no graphics department, so he did everything. We said, “We need a poster for retail!” and I said, “Well, who do you have?” and they literally put the HATEBREED logo and they put the title in Impact font and I go, “Wow, this is your art department?” and they went, “Well, everybody’s fired.” That was the poster and people went, “Really, that’s your poster for the album? It’s just the logo on a black background.”. I tried to tell people with Universal because people were telling us, “Oh, you’re on a major label. It’s gonna be cool. It’s gonna be radio rock and you’re gonna sell out.” And I’m, like, “We do everything! We’re the label. There’s nobody there. Basically we’re giving them something to distribute.” They were more of a distributor than a label, so with Nuclear Blast, they’re picking up where Roadrunner and eOne left off with the last two records. Look what they built for TESTAMENT and KREATOR? It’s very impressive. Think about it! TESTAMENT charted higher than some Roadrunner records, and that’s a big deal. I mean, they made a great record.
Read the entire interview from Metalshrine.
“The Divinity Of Purpose” trailer:
“Put It To The Torch” lyric video:
Photo credit: Clay Patrick McBride