An institution can be relied on. Its foundations don’t shake due to the winds of change or tides of trends—no matter how volatile, omnipresent, or tenuous.
With steadfast determination, drive, and dedication, Hatebreed cement themselves as one of heavy music’s strongest institutions on their seventh full-length offering and very first for Nuclear Blast worldwide, 2016’s The Concrete Confessional. Since 1994, the Connecticut quintet—Jamey Jasta [vocals], Chris Beattie [bass], Wayne Lozinak [guitar], Frank Novinec [guitar], and Matthew Byrne [drums]—has risen to the ranks of hardcore and heavy metal elite with a GRAMMY® Award nomination, main stage slots on festivals, and countless fans worldwide. 2013’s The Divinity Of Purpose earned their highest entry on the Billboard Top 200, bowing at #17 with impressive first-week sales in excess of 17,000. Thankfully, Hatebreed will carry on their tradition of playing high-intensity shows to the masses. Hatebreed will return with DevilDriver to Pittsburgh at Mr. Smalls in Millvale, June 7, 2016. We caught up with bassist and founding member, Chris Beattie, while he was prepping for a show in Salt Lake City, Utah:
|PMM:|| You guys started off in Cleveland the other night. How was that?
|Chris :||It was great man. Sold out show. Packed that place. The whole deal, we hadn’t been there in about, I want to say 17 years. Last time we played there was with Motor Head, at that venue (The Odeon). It was amazing man. A great kick off to the tour.
|PMM:||You guys even did a really special thing, spreading one of your fan’s ashes right?
|Chris :||Yeah. That was actually cool man. His friends came to the show, and said he’d passed away and stuff. He was actually buried in a Hatebreed shirt. He asked … His final wishes were to be spread on stage where we played. Jamey did that through ” As Diehard as They Come”. It was really cool that they sprinkled it around stage, and we just kept playing. It was actually an honor for us that someone was so into the band to be able to do that. It’s really cool.
|PMM:||How long have you known your tour mates DevilDriver?|
|Chris :||We go back with them quite awhile actually. I mean maybe I got to say over ten plus years. We haven’t ever really done a tour like this together, but we’ve definitely been on Ozzfest and things like that. We always crossed paths.
|PMM:||Speaking of Ozzfest, you’re going to be doing that in September right?
|Chris :||Yeah. The Ozzfest meets Knotfest. That’s going to be awesome. We have to play the same day as Black Sabbath. It can’t get any cooler than that right?
|PMM:||No. That would be like a dream come true. That’s pretty awesome.
|Chris :||Yeah, yeah, yeah. I’m pretty psyched to be honest.
|PMM:||Did you ever think that you would still be around playing with the popularity that you have, back in 1994 when it began?
|Chris :||No, not really man. It wasn’t even about that. It was just about making heavy music, because we just wanted to do what we wanted to do, write heavy music breakdowns. It wasn’t like really like … we weren’t thinking way into the future like that. Now twenty-one, twenty-two years later, it’s still going, and it’s actually bigger than it ever was. It’s pretty amazing man, just the way things have turned out. It’s amazing man, you couldn’t have asked for anything more really.
|PMM:||Your fan base seems to grow every time I go to one of your shows. It’s more and more packed.
|Chris :||Yeah. I mean we were talking about this morning. Me and Wayne. We have dudes all around the world with Hatebreed tatoos, and spreading some guys ashes on stage. That’s just not a run of the mill band. You know what I mean? That’s really dedication to our music and what we do, and our fans are awesome. It’s like nothing but love for us, and then we give the same back. We couldn’t do anything without them. I don’t know man, it’s just pretty amazing. It just keeps growing and growing and growing. We’re just along for the ride as well man, and we hope to keep giving good music and doing our part of it.
|PMM:||Do you attribute some of that to that you guys don’t stray too far from your formula? I’ve heard people call you the AC/DC of hardcore. You do some different stuff, but you don’t go too far out.
|Chris :||Yeah. I mean yeah actually we’ve matured a little bit, but not matured to the point of our real fan base. Our loyal fan base that’s been around for years and years, and they’re like, “Ahh that’s a little bit too much for me.” We do some stuff, but it’s not overbearing. Yeah, I mean I just do what we do. We’ve been around for quite a many years.
|PMM:||Where does your inspiration come from as the “song generator” of the band?|
|Chris :||I don’t know man. It just goes through spurts, like I’ll have a … when we’re on the road and stuff like this. It’s really hard to sit down and concentrate and get in that mode. I’ll just go home, and when I know we have some time. I’ll start messing around with stuff man. I’ll send stuff to Jamey, and me and Jamey start talking about stuff here and there. He has his own stuff. I don’t know. It just happens man. Sometimes I’ll fire up a joint, and I don’t know I get inspired that way. Sometimes I’m just hanging out, and I’ll just get something in my head and I’ve just got to put it down. I usually always have something readily available to record on.
|PMM:||With the new record Concrete Confessional, you guys definitely stick to some really, really heavy stuff. Not only musically, but also lyrically. You generate a lot of that with your writing. How does that come out of you?
|Chris :||A lot of ideas … there’s more that get tossed away actually. It’s just like a jamming process. I’ll just sit down and jam. For hours. You have something cool out of it. Jamey’s really good at (coming up with) lyrics. Yeah, I don’t know. I don’t even know where the inspiration comes from man. It’s just there. It’s hard to explain.
|PMM:||You guys have worked with Zeuss quite a few times. You guys seem to have a special relationship. What does he bring out of you guys? What does he add?
|Chris :||He’s like one of us, one of our own, from the same mold as us. We’re able to talk to him, and he kind of gets what we’re going for. You can just talk to him and be like, “Hey, I was thinking this, but I know we should try this too.” He’s really cool working with different things. He’s not afraid to really tell you if it sounds like shit, or if it sounds good. I think that’s important, because a lot of people will just tell you what you want to hear. He really cares about what he’s doing, and he cares about us. He knows what we want to do. It’s just having that sixth person really understanding what you’re doing, and when you know you can get an honest opinion from somebody. They’ll tell you you suck if you suck, or not. That really helps, and it makes you push harder and think about more what you’re playing and this and that.
|PMM:||What advantage does going with Nuclear Blast have for you guys?
|Chris :||They’re fans, and they really supported us on the last record. They told us that they’re going to work their hardest to get our music out to the most people. They seem very relevant, and they’re always at every show we do when we’re in their countries. They’re really good to work for. They’re fired up about it. Some of the other labels in the industry are kind of, you’re on this label, but you don’t get that love. They have actual fans that have been involved in music, and have been fans of us for years. It’s really cool, and they know what we’re about. They don’t try and get involved in all the writing process and this and that. It’s just good having somebody on your team, that you know is going to work really, really hard for you and understands who you are, what you are, what your mission is. I think that’s really important nowadays, especially for record labels.
|PMM:||You guys are coming into Pittsburgh on June 7 to Mr. Smalls. What are your thoughts about Pittsburgh?
|Chris :||Oh we love Pittsburgh. We’ve been coming to Pittsburgh for probably twenty years man. It’s a real loyal crowd. We played the American Eagles place (Stage AE). We played the Altar Bar on the other side of town. We’ve been playing for years in Pittsburgh, and it’s still a working class city. I think people in Pittsburgh get what we’re all about. Where we’re from in Bridgeport, Connecticut, it’s a hard working class society. You guys get that man, you guys really know the struggle and what it’s like to have to deal with the day to day shit. Always had good shows there.
|PMM:||Are you excited for Star Wars Rogue One to come out? (Chris is a known Star Wars fan)
|Chris :||Yeah, that’s actually pretty cool man. I checked out the trailer a bunch of times, and I think they’re doing a really good job with it. It ties into all the parts that are kind of left out in between all the stories. I guess they’re using pretty much some of the books and what not, but it’s cool to fill in the stories in between all the major films.
|PMM:|| Last question, what do you think about the Misfits reunion?
|Chris :||That’s great man. I’ve been waiting for that for years. I’m glad that those guys actually go together and give the people what they want man. That’s going to be huge. Everyone will want to see Danzig play with the Misfits and Doyle. I don’t know, I think it’s going to be awesome. I think it’s going to be huge. I’m glad those guys are doing it man. All their differences, and all their bullshit aside. It’s going to be great for all the fans that were never able to see that kind of stuff.
Hatebreed have come a long way from the East Coast’s storied nineties underground scene. Their journey has seen them achieve a 2005 GRAMMY® Award nod in the category of “Best Metal Performance” for “Live For This,” sell over 1.2 million records, and land a #1 debut on Billboard’s DVD Chart with 2009’s Live Dominance. Moreover, they’ve annihilated audiences from Mayhem Fest to OZZfest Japan and Download Festival to Wacken, Hellfest, and beyond.
Now, The Concrete Confessional fits right into the bold, bloody, and beating heart of the Hatebreed institution. Come see it live @MrSmalls June 7 or check out a city near you below…
19 Regency Center Grand Ballroom, San Francisco, CA**
20 Ace of Spades, Sacramento, CA**
21 The Glass House, Pomona, CA**
22 Echoplex, Los Angeles, CA**
23 The Marquee, Tempe, AZ**
25 Warehouse Live, Houston, TX**
26 Republic New Orleans, New Orleans, LA**
27 Gas Monkey Bar & Grill, Dallas, TX**
28 Rocklahoma, Pryor, OK
29 River City Rockfest, San Antonio, TX
31 The Masquerade, Atlanta, GA**
1 Hooligans Music Hall, Jacksonville, NC**
2 Baltimore Sound Stage, Baltimore, MD**
3 Underground Arts, Philadelphia, PA**
4 Starland Ballroom, Sayreville, NJ**
5 Virgin Mobile Corona Theatre, Montreal, Canada+
6 The Opera House, Toronto, Canada+
7 Mr. Small’s Theatre, Millvale, PA+
8 Upstate Concert Hall, Clifton Park, NY+
9 Higher Ground, South Burlington, VT+
10 Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel, Providence, RI+
11 Toad’s Place, New Haven, CT+
** Devil You Know supports
+ Act of Defiance supports
16 Den Atelier, Luxembourg, Luxembourg
17 Hellfest, Clisson, France
18 Fete De La Musique, Geneva, Switzerland
2 With Full Force Festival, Roitzschjora, Germany
3 Tuska Open Air, Helsinki, Finland
6 Essigfabrik, Koln, Germany
8 Resurrection Fest, Viveiro, Spain
9 Out & Loud Festival, Geiselwind, Germany
12 Festival de Quebec, Quebec City, QC
13 Mavericks, Ottawa, ON
15 Chicago Open Air, Chicago, IL
13 Dirt Fest, Crofoot Festival Grounds, Pontiac, MI
26 Reload Festival, Sulingen, Germany