Hatebreed: Interview with the Band

Amanda: How did Hatebreed come together?

Matt: The band formed in ’95, some of the older cats would say ’94. It started out with a couple of dudes jamming in Bridgeport Connecticut – from then to now, the line-up has changed a bit, we’ve gone through a couple drummers, and a few guitar players, but the band’s been going pretty strong regardless- So far we’ve done four albums plus the cover album.

Amanda: What made you guys decide to do a cover album?

Matt: It started out in the studio, when we were in pre-production for our album Supremacy. At first it was just for fun – we had a bit of writer’s block, and were just bored, so we started doing cover tunes in the studio. It went from one or two, to everyone throwing in their own song choices.

Amanda: So it was pretty much just everyone’s favorite songs then?

Matt: Yea, Everyone had their choices of what we played, and next thing you know we had 20 or 21 songs recorded- A couple didn’t make it on the record, and are still floating around somewhere. It was really just for fun, and was done before Supremacy was even done. A couple of years later we just re-visited it, and thought wow, maybe we should put this out for the fans. We were proud of it, and we wanted people to hear it.

Amanda: What were a couple of your guys’ day jobs before you made it big and started touring?

Matt: Me personally, I worked at a carpet warehouse, I was the bitch, doing deliveries, lugging around rolls of carpet, and driving a forklift. Wayne, our guitar player, drove a coffee truck, or what you’d call a ‘roach coach’ to construction sites, and Frank worked at a tire store.

Amanda: So I’m guessing that touring is a little bit better than working at a carpet warehouse?

Matt: (laughs) Yea, it beats manual labor, just a little bit.

Amanda: How has the tour been going so far? It has to be pretty sweet touring with Cannibal Corpse, right?

Matt: Yea, it’s been great- It’s been really long, but we only have about a week left.

Amanda: Where do you guys go after Michigan?

Matt: We leave here, and go to Buffalo, New York. The tour started november 5th in Cleveland, and went all around the coast, and will finish in Philly.

Amanda: Do you guys have another tour scheduled after this?

Matt: After this, in between Christmas and new year’s we do our stillborn fest, which is just five shows in between the holidays.

Amanda: Where does that take place?

Matt: That’s all in the north east- New York, Connecticut, all close to home shows that we do every year.

Amanda: Where is Hatebreed’s favorite place to play?

Matt: I think it varies with each guy – we all have our own favorites.

Amanda: How would you say Hatebreed’s music has evolved, since the band first began?

Matt: I think the song structures have gotten more complex, nothing crazy- it’s still easily digested. The songs have also gotten a little bit longer, where as in the first album, songs were maybe one and a half to two minutes a piece. I also think we’ve injected a little more metal into the music, where as the earlier stuff was pigeon-holed, and more straight hardcore. We’ve never changed it up, and become a different band- we’re NOT that band.

Amanda: That’s cool, I definitely appreciate that as a fan.

Matt: I think that’s how we’ve kept such a solid and loyal fan base, because we’re not throwing any curve balls. Think back to the bands that were heavy at one time, and then were all of a sudden trying their hand at new metal just to kind of fit in, and keep going- We’re NOT that band – You know what to expect, when you go out and buy a Hatebreed album.

Amanda: What would you say your ultimate direction for Hatebreed would be?

Matt: To just keep doing what we’re doing. It’s good in this day and age, with the craziness of downloading music, and record stores shutting down, to be able to keep going and have a career, and a solid fan base, and a solid foundation overall, to be able to make a living being in a band.

Amanda: So you guys don’t foresee an end anytime soon then?

Matt: No not at all, I think we’re going to be writing some new material in April, in between touring. We’ve got some plans for the future, some surprises.

Amanda: what would you say are some of your crowd pleasers when you guys are on stage?

Matt: I think Persevearance is a big one, I Will Be Heard and Destroy Everything seem to be the biggest hits, the ones that everybody expects to hear, but there’s also other ones such as Doomslayer, Proven, and Defeatist – A lot of the songs that we’ve done videos for.

Amanda: My favorite is probably never “Let it Die”, do you think you guys will be playing that tonight?

Matt: We played it last night, we kind of vary the sets from day to day. There isn’t a set list, we just kind of go for it once we’re up there, you never know what you’re going to get.

Amanda: What do you notice about the music scene today that you dislike?

Matt: It seems that a lot of the newer bands out there today all sound the same. They’re all going after the same musical style, and the production value of a lot of the records are so similar, that you don’t know one band from the rest. I don’t know if it’s because I’m getting older or something, but I find myself asking more and more,’who is this?’ Nobody really stands out- Back in the day, you knew it was Exodus, or you knew it was Slayer, or Metallica. Everybody had their trademark things going on, and now-a-days you just don’t see that.

Amanda: What advice do you have for people who want to form their own bands, or are just starting out?

Matt: It’s back to more of the DIY type of thing. There’s not really a need right away to get involved with a big label, you can really just start pushing your cd’s and selling them yourself online, or on websites or at shows. When you’re recording you don’t need to go into these big studios anymore, people are doing it at home on their laptops. I think it’s really important to be as cost efficient as possible, and to extend that into everything you do – just really being as self-sufficient as possible.

Amanda: What are you guys listening to these days?

Matt: I always find myself going back to older stuff as far as metal. I was just listening to Kill Them All the other day, and Sepultura, and I’m always listening to Slayer.

Amanda: Who is your favorite band to tour with?

Matt: Probably Slayer overall, we’ve toured with them like six times, and they’re my favorite metal band.

Amanda: what’s the best way for fans to gain access to your music?

Matt: All our websites, hatebreed.com, MySpace, Twitter, Facebook – You can go to our web store which is off www.Hatebreed.com, as well as all the main stores, and itunes.

Amanda: Any last words?

Matt: Thanks to all the fans that keep coming out to our shows – We’re a touring band, so we tour the shit out of every country in the world, so you keep coming out, and we’ll keep coming back!