Connecticut’s Hatebreed came on the scene in 1994 after a landmark demo tape that many hardcore freaks still hold and cherish. Their seventh record and newest album is called The Concrete Confessional and comes out this Friday, May 13th, 2016 on Nuclear Blast records (and can be preordered here). Those looking for the group’s trademark sound will not be disappointed. as the album is unrelenting from beginning to end. Metal Insider caught up with Hatebreed’s founding member and bassist Chris Beattie on the eve on the start of their European tour.
Hatebreed is now in a position to bring anyone cool along for the ride. Why choose bands like DevilDriver and and the like when there are so many underground acts?
We’ve taken out a lot of bands in our twenty-one years as a band. We have definitely given back to the underground music scene and helped many bands out. It’s hard to please everyone but we try to put the best package we can to tour with. DevilDriver is a good support band and their record comes out the same day as ours. We think we’re bringing a good package on the the road.
The band’s last record The Divinity Of Purpose came screaming out of the gate and landed at No. 20 on The Billboard 200 chart. Do you feel the same kind of buzz with The Concrete Confessional?
The Concrete Confessional has been getting really good reviews. We released the song “A.D.” a few weeks back and the response from our fans has been really positive. We feel we have written another very solid Hatebreed record from start to finish and all our fans around the world are very excited. We haven’t strayed from our formula and I think the record will do very well.
Besides Jamey Jasta, you are the band’s sole constant member. You played the now-defunct Cattle Club in Sacramento, Do you remember the place and the band’s shows in that town?
So many clubs that promoted hardcore have come and gone. That was a long time ago but if I remember correctly it was a pretty tight stage and we walked out of there covered in sweat. Probably around the time Satisfaction is the Death of Desire came out.
The band’s writing process includes you sending ideas to Jasta which then, ultimately, becomes a new song. Any songs harder to write and why?
I think it’s easier to write now. We have so many ideas when it’s time to put songs together. Sometimes we’ll have something really good that just needs a part or something to make it work. When we come across these situations, we usually work on something else and come back to it with fresh ears. I’ve taken parts home and reworked them to make them fit. Jamey sometimes goes back to demos and hears something that we never did and will make the whole song come together. If something is cool but not working, we put it to the side and maybe it shows up on another album.
Have you ever thought of having your own label to help fledgling new bands or friends of yours?
No, I don’t have the time. I’ve seen what hard work it is to run a label. It’s very time consuming and unless you’re willing to completely dedicate yourself to making a label work, it’s going to be hard to be successful. Especially since record sales have declined so much in past years, you have to be on your game and be creative. We have a very busy schedule with Hatebreed and I am pretty busy at home.
Were you in contact with Lou Richards before his untimely death in 2006 since he exited in 2002?
I saw Lou here and there after he left. He was one of my very best friends and we had some really great times. It’s unfortunate what addiction does to people. It’s a real disease. I feel like I lost him before he passed away. It was sad to see a friend change so much. We as a band talked with him and told him we’d get him help but he didn’t want it. We all knew each other a very long time and thought we could but in the end it wasn’t enough to pull him away from his addiction.
On a lighter note, what horror directors besides the obvious Fulci and Coffin Joe do you worship? Why?
Some of my favorites are Alfred Hitchcock, Clive Barker, Wes Craven, John Carpenter, Tobe Hooper and George A Romero. I think Alfred Hitchcock was a genius. Psycho is terrifying. He invaded your privacy making your worst fears come true. Tobe Hooper was just brutal and he really changed the landscape with Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Nobody could have imagined that kind of horror and that people actually existed like that. It was a parent’s nightmare come true. George A Romero gave us the birth of zombies that spawned a whole new genre of terror. There would be no Walking Dead if it wasn’t for him. John Carpenter brought Michael Myers to life. Whose mind hasn’t drifted on a late October night after hearing something outside? Made trick or treating terrifying.
You rarely sit idle in a town. What is your favorite activity during the day?
I like to get off the bus and out of the club. Been doing this for a while now and I’ve seen the inside of every club in the world. I like working out. It keeps me sane when I’m on the road. I’m also into checking out cities and seeing what they have to offer. I’ll walk a few miles and if I’m lucky I’ll find something interesting take some pictures. I’m big into sporting events too. Frank and I have seen a lot of games at baseball stadiums in the summer. Also, I have a nice collection of baseballs from each stadium.
Are you endorsed fully by Jackson?
I am a Jackson endorsed artist. I have my own signature series called the Chris Beattie model. I have now for about ten years and they take care of me. I’ve built a great relationship with Jackson and they let me design my own model of basses. Very honored to be part of their family.
You must miss your son on the road. Are you planning on regular Skype sessions with him and your wife for this tour?
I always FaceTime and/or talk with my wife and son. It’s hard to leave but Hoya (from Madball) told me once that when you’re home, you get to spend all your time with your family. He’s 100% right. I see parents working regular 9-5’s and they’re lucky if they see their kids an hour or two a day. So while it’s a little rough leaving, I spend a lot of quality time at home and I do what I love to do. I consider myself very lucky in that respect.
How do you feel about after show food? Why do bands still keep that on their rider? Seems like a big waste since few finish what they ask for.
After show food is the devil. I try my hardest to not each a bunch of food after the set. Sometimes you give in though. Playing for 1 1/2 hours does make you hungry but I try to watch what I’m eating. We always take our food with us, too. We don’t like wasting food. We’ll bring it to the bus if we don’t eat it because our crew works way harder than we do and they’re usually hungry.
Favorite songs to play live? You must have quite a few.
Well we have quite a few songs to choose from now. “Tear it Down” is one of my favorites. Seems like no matter when we play that in the set, it re-energizes the crowd. “Empty Promises” is always a good one. It’s been fun to play since day one. Same thing for “Doomsayer.” It always seems to crush no matter where it is in the set. “Indivisible” and “Dead Man Breathing” are my two favorites off of Divinity of Purpose. Lots of energy and gets the crowd going nuts.
What music are you bumping as of late and who should people watch out for (metal or otherwise)?
Been listening to the new Deftones (Gore), Black Sabbath (everything), Rancid, Carcass and Samhain. I think people should watch out for the new Crowbar and the Live Motörhead record.