A few weeks back, I talked with Hatebreed guitarist Frank Novinec before the bands rowdy show in Portland, OR, at the Wonder Ballroom. Unfortunately if you missed Hatebreed in your city this year, you're going to have to wait until 2014 - but while most of you wait, get ready for a brand new Hatebreed album in January 2013.
First off, how are you?
Good, everything's going good.
This is the 10th anniversary tour for Perseverance, how's the response been so far on this tour?
Pretty good. It's a nostalgia tour, so we're playing every song off the Perseverance record, as well as a few hits. It's good, some of the older people that were here 10 years ago are coming out to support. We have Whitechapel, All Shall Perish, and Deez Nuts out on this tour, and they're bringing some of the younger kids, so I think that's a good mix, we're having a good time.
With some of these younger kids coming through the door, has there been a bit of a renewed interest in the band's older material?
Yeah, absolutely. When you set out to do a whole record in it's entirety, it's a bit of a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" kind of deal when you have a catalog as large as ours. It's hard to keep everyone happy, but we're a band that does a good job at being a crossover band, with the hardcore scene, metal scene, punk scene, rock scene, etc. It's our job to make sure everyone is having a good time, and we keep it high energy, and there's a lot of crowd participation. I think the kids who aren't familiar with our older material, or even are unfamiliar with our band at all are having a good time.
How hard was it picking the other portion of the setlist aside from Perseverance?
Well, aside from this tour, we don't have a setlist - Jamey just yells out any song, and we have two seconds to remember how it goes, and we start playing it, and that's still the case really.
That makes it a lot of fun then.
Yeah, it is, it makes it fun especially for people who come out to multiple shows, you never see the same show twice. We're kind of stuck to doing stuff like "Destroy Everything", "To The Threshold", and "Live For This". The Perseverance songs take up a good 40 minutes of the setlist, it's a little bit different for us, but it's been fun.
What does the Perseverance record mean to you? If I'm not mistaken, you didn't record on this record, correct?
Right. Well, these guys were my friends since they started the band. I was playing in Integrity at the time in 1995 when they started the band, and we would trade shows with them. Some people might know we put out a split 7 inch with them in 1997. Having them be friends of mine and seeing them selling 100,000 records on Victory and seeing them on Universal. Perseverance was the record that really took the band all over the world, it's the number one selling Hatebreed record in the U.S., and the XxX soundtrack and all the things was going on at the time when the record came out. It's special to be a part of it, it's special because they're friends of mine, and I'm having a lot of fun celebrating it, being a part of the fold.
From that record, which song do you look forward to playing every night?
There's only three songs that we haven't played since I've been in the band, and that's "Judgement Strikes" and "Below The Bottom"...actually, it's just those two. I like to play "Below The Bottom", it's got a nice little groove to it. It's just good to be out on tour, and be a successful band after this long, with everything that's gone on with the music industry, we're just happy to be able to tour this far into the album cycle for this record. As everyone knows we have a new album in January, so this is fun, being able to play some songs we haven't played in awhile is great.
This new album in January, does it have an album title yet?
Not yet, and we're looking at 13-14 songs for an end of January release date.
Are you going to continue to release this on E1? Or will it be released on a different label?
That's going to be announced real soon, we're not allowed to say that quite yet. But in a few weeks everyone will know what label we'll be putting it out on the states and worldwide. I think this record is a bit more of a harder one than the last one, but we try to walk that fine line...we're the small fish in the big pond in the rock world, the big fish in the small pond in the hardcore world, and we just try and walk that fine line and keep everyone happy, but I think there's something on the record for everybody, and everyone will enjoy it.
When the self-titled album came out in 2009, I recall reading Jamey saying something to the effect that you guys were taking the catchiest stuff and throwing it out there. Is this new album one that disregards what's catchy or what?
Yeah, it's a pretty straight forward record - you have a couple of guitar solos here and there, a couple of fast songs, etc. There's some stuff that reminds me of Slayer, and there's some stuff that reminds me of The Exploited. But it's all crossover music, that's what we do. It has that Hatebreed groove, it's got Jamey screaming over it, it's definitely another chapter in Hatebreed.
With this new album, what are you guys trying to do in 2013 touring wise?
Well as anyone knows, we tour all over the world, any place that'll have us, and that's why it takes us so long to put out a record, 2-3 years. We just plan on touring all over the world - Europe, South America, Australia, The U.S. a few times over, Canada.
Ideally, would you like to tour with more radio rock packages, or what you've been doing as of late?
Well, we enjoy doing both, we like opening up for larger bands in the arenas, and smaller places like tonight and have the energy with all the diehards, that's what made the band successful in the first place. You can't keep everyone happy all the time, but all the right decision making and taking younger bands like Deez Nuts out is all part of the recipe for success.
Anything else you'd like to add?
We're glad to be back, and I know it's been awhile since the last record, but hang tight everybody, and we'll be back. Thanks for the interview.