Author : Ryan Bonevitch
“Sometimes standing for what you believe means standing alone” bellowed Hatebreed front man Jamey Jasta midway through their 20th anniversary show in their hometown of New Haven, CT. That statement, an excerpt from the song “Honor Never Dies” is truly a mission statement for Jasta’s band and alludes to the their persistence and perseverance to get where they are today.
Hatebreed certainly doesn’t stand alone today, as they have gained millions of fans worldwide and play for sold out crowds on a routine basis. On June 19th, 2015, Hatebreed took the stage at Toads Place to commemorate 20 years doing what they do best, and they did just that on this night.
What is truly remarkable about Hatebreed is that they have never caved to the demands of record companies or producers that wanted to change their sound. Take a listen to their latest release from 2013, “The Divinity Of Purpose.” Then follow that up with their debut release “Satisfaction Is The Death Of Desire” or even their debut EP from 1995 “Under The Knife” and you’ll hear the same brutality and heaviness that gained them their reputation as one of the heaviest bands around.
While some may criticize the band for not evolving, there is no reason to stray from what works, and in Hatebreed’s case they are certainly not alone. Bands like AC/DC and Slayer have set the standard for sticking to what works and giving fans what they want. Hatebreed has no doubt followed in the footsteps of their heroes by delivering one brutal album after the next over the last 20 years. They have racked up millions from records sold and even received a Grammy nomination.
For this particular show, the band pulled out all the stops and ensured no one in attendance went home without a smile on their face… and maybe a few bruises. Fans were treated to a career spanning set that left little to be desired. The hits like “Perseverance”, “In Ashes They Shall Reap” and “I Will Be Heard” were all there alongside some rare tracks from “Under The Knife” and “Satisfaction Is The Death Of Desire”. It was apparent the band was playing whatever came to them and threw the set list out the window early on.
At one point the lead singer, Jamey Jasta, even looked at his drummer Matt Byrne and said, “I’ll let you pick the next one.” While mosh pits were plentiful, this was a fun loving and peaceful metal crowd that came to see a great show. There was certainly a sense in the air amongst the sea of Hatebreed fans that they were witnessing something special. And they certainly did as the band played nearly 2 hours regardless of the fact that they had to board a bus bound for Canada to play Amnesia Rock Festival in Montebello right after the show. “There was no way we were missing this show,” said front man Jamey Jasta despite the scheduling mishap.
Jasta, one of the most recognizable and renowned front men in all of metal, lived up to his reputation. As a former star of MTV’s “Headbangers Ball”, he has become a brand unto himself. Whether it’s his own clothing line called “Hatewear”, his podcast titled “The Jasta Show” or his two other bands “Jasta” and “Kingdom Of Sorrow”, the man certainly has a significant presence in the metal scene.
His stage presence and command of the crowd is second to none. Pair that with his brutal vocals and you’ve got yourself one of the best metal front men in the world. The guitar duo of Wayne Lozinak and Frank Novinec truly cement Hatebreed’s sound with some of the most crushingly heavy guitar riffs ever recorded. Alongside the flawless rhythm section of drummer Matt Byrne and bassist Chris Beattie, the band is a well-polished unit and it shows.
Hatebreed will play several European festivals over the summer before heading out on Motorhead’s Motorboat cruise in September. The band has confirmed that they will then enter the studio and begin working on their follow up to 2013’s “The Divinity Of Purpose” in the fall. Be sure to check out Hatebreed.com as well as JameyJasta.com for all information on tour dates, VIP packages and Hatewear apparel. Also be sure to check out Jasta’s podcast “The Jasta Show” available on iTunes, Soundcloud and various other services.