Jamey Jasta & His Kingdom

I Wanted To Share Their Story On The Record...

With a career that shows no signs of stopping, Jamey Jasta is in hot demand, with guest appearances with the likes of Napalm Death, Terror, Sepultura and Agnostic Front just to name a bare minimum, and the successes of Hatebreed, Kingdom of Sorrow, and his solo projects,  Jamey never overlooks the importance of staying affirmative. An activist for genuineness and with a taste for veracity, this Connecticut native holds the world in his hands. Metal As Fuck sat down to learn of a very satisfied metal head.  


This seems like more of a catch up than anything, I can’t believe it has been twelve months since we last chatted! “Time does fly”. How was the Hatebreed South American tour with Lamb of God? Did you all survive Mexico? “Yeah [Laughs] we did. Just” [Laughs] heading back soon for our own headlining tour”.


Last time we chatted there was a new album in the pipeline and sure enough it is launching around the globe over the next coming days, you had mentioned last year that now was the right time for a new Hatebreed album. What was the vision for Purpose of Divinity? “Well it had been three years since our last album; I was heavily involved with my solo work through 2010 and 2011. I seem to have created some new emotions and riffs and ideas and after all of the solo work I was all freed up to pump all these new ideas into Hatebreed, the juices were flowing we were ready to go with a new world wide deal, it worked out great, perfect timing. The album has reached number one rock record in the US that never happens! Granted we are on the same list as Justin Bieber”. [Laughs]


There is certainly a lot of buzz surrounding this album, rightly so, I’ve had a taste and I must say, she is full of grunt – what are the Hatebreed trademarks on the album that fans are always keen to hear? “Well we went back to the short song format, if the riffs were catchy and memorable we would use them, songs and material are so easy to overcomplicate so we had that very much in mind. You have to remember that we will be playing these songs for the next five to six years so you want the music and lyrics to be memorable”.  You had mentioned that you wanted to focus more on the lyrics this time around, needed new rousing thoughts, a strong theme – with song titles such as Honor Never Dies & Own Your World, where were you heading with your point? “I remember I use to visit my dad in the psyche ward of the Veterans Hospital as a kid, it holds a lot of dark memories for me and sometimes I would see patients there, who had no visitors, or no families ever come to see them and I thought that was really wrong. You can dispute war all you like but the point is, these men fought for something greater than themselves to protect their country and their people; they were someone’s father, someone’s son, someone’s brother. I wanted to share their story on the record”.


What is it that makes you want to motivate people Jamey? And when did you discover you were such an influential motivator?  “I guess it was our first US tour, like everything that could go wrong did, we quickly saw people go home or quit, this life isn’t for everyone.  I realised then and there that repetition and discipline is key for success, so I immediately started pumping everyone up to focus and get through the tour the best we could, yeah shit happened the important thing was that we kept going. Once Hatebreed had started to establish our name it was amazing to see that these attitudes were rubbing off on the fans; I saw our logo and lyrics tattooed on kid’s bodies! It was then I started to take the whole situation much more seriously than before, the lyrics of Hatebreed became more positive and we definitely saw an impact with the fans, so motivation and a positive vibe is our trademark. Personally I consider myself my own drill sergeant, whenever I doubt myself I look in the mirror and shout who has more heat than you?! No one! It’s my mantra”. Where has this album taken you personally as a musician/lyricists? “We didn’t need to change the Hatebreed recipe. It had just sparked a new way of thinking for me; I am hoping it has also sparked a new way of thinking for fans. You don’t want to have any drastic changes within a band for a simple cash grab, fans revolt in these situations, we are lucky Hatebreed has never had to succumb to that. It’s a clear case of; this is what I want to say regardless of what ever backlash comes from it. It is important to fight for what you believe in and I think the listeners of Hatebreed respect that and in turn own the piece of art to honor to artist”.   


Hatebreed fans have been known as the most energetic and fierce when in the mosh pit - Have you played any of the material from the new album live for them as yet? I understand there is currently a single out Put It To The Torch how is it all being received from fans? “It’s going over great, yes we have the new single, the fans are really getting onboard with it and are as enthusiastic as ever”.  Playing live and the bands nonstop touring, you were pretty much on the road all through 2012 and I understand have plans to promote the latest album internationally up until 2014 – have you guys stopped yet?  Not even for a breather, or a cup of noodles? [Laughs] we love to tour, we love to get out there, there is nothing like it. We had a break after our last European tour so that was pleasant. I mean when we do a world tour, we like to throw in some down time, space it out a little so the England and Russian stints; we had a lot of time in between to be with families”. Nevertheless you are nearly underway again with Kingdom of Sorrow for this year’s Soundwave Festival, eager to unleash it all? “We are especially keen to bring Kingdom of Sorrow to Australia to start laying the foundations for both Kingdom and Crowbar. Kingdom of Sorrow has been on hiatus for over a year so we are really grateful to get a slot on one of the best festivals in the world and also to say that we are very blessed – being able to tour the world as a job, it’s fantastic, you can’t beat it”. Hatebreed are very popular within the community in Australia and I have no qualms in stating that Kingdom of Sorrow will also go down a treat.


What are a few things that you simply can’t live without on tour? “Definitely my laptop, I really tried to leave it at home on a previous tour, I think I lasted a week or so, it’s just so hard when you have an album coming out, you really need access to your e-mail. I am getting into Games of Thrones, I am onto the fourth book, it has eight hundred pages! I’ll be reading that on the plane [Laughs] I think also, I am going to start making an effort to eat really good food, you don’t appreciate good food until you are on tour and just the amount of shit you have to eat to fuel the engine and none of it is good for you! So have your vegemite sandwiches ready Australia!!