INTERVIEW: Wayne Lozinak – Hatebreed
Hardcore heavy weights Hatebreed return with a brand new album in the form of “Weight of The False Self”, out November 27th via Nuclear Blast. Renowned for their ability to provide an intense and cathartic release for their fans, Hatebreed challenged themselves and their writing style in order to produce material that is exceptionally relatable in a contemporary world flooded with overstimulation, emotional dampening, and lack of social patience.
We talk to guitarist Wayne Lozinak about the new songs, the challenges of covid, favorite tour stories and much more.
Andrew: So hows things? How have you been dealing with the whole pandemic this year?
Wayne: Just taking it easy, not really much you can do except try and be positive and hope for the best. The only thing we’ve really been able to do is we came out with a beer, I don’t know if you’ve seen that or not?
Andrew: Oh Ok cool!
Wayne: It’s called Breed Brew so we’ve been able to get that out and we’ve done a couple of socially distanced events where people can do kind of like a taste testing / meet and greet which was basically the closest thing I felt to being at kind of like a show atmosphere since last year. So other than that, relaxing, trying to stay positive and riding my motorcycle while I have the chance.
Andrew: Yeah I guess it’s a good time to take up a lot of your hobbies and stuff like that, what do you like to do outside of music?
Wayne: That’s about it. I always tell people it’s like I tour so much, if I’m not playing shows usually when I’m home I’m going to see other bands. I’ll go see big shows, I’ll even go see cover bands at the local bar. There’s not much else, music is my life other than riding my motorcycle. Not too many other hobbies I would say, kinda boring.
Andrew: [laughs] That’s alright! The exciting news at least on our end with all the Hatebreed fans around the world is the new album is dropping next week [November 27th] “Weight Of The False Self” and I had a chance to listen to it yesterday and you guys always seem to deliver the goods. How are you feeling about this new album?
Wayne: I think it’s great, it still has that same basic Hatebreed formula as your used to but I think we kinda took it up a notch on some of the songs on this album with the guitar production I think is a little heavier. We really worked on that with Zeuss our producer and there’s a few songs that I think are maybe slightly more technical, we got some more guitar solos which I always love the chance if I get to play some guitar solos because obviously we’re not known for that, there’s not many in Hatebreed’s setlist so I think this one came out really good.
Andrew: Yeah it’s a fun album to listen to and look, I’ve been a fan of Hatebreed for a number of years and you know what to expect when you get Hatebreed but you’re right, there’s a couple of moments here and there where you kinda see yourselves moving forward as far as the evolution of the band. Was there anything in particular that you were really trying to achieve on this new album?
Wayne: Just like I said, just slightly more advanced maybe and maybe surprise some of the people who weren’t maybe expecting certain things. Kind of like “Cling To Life” has kind of a long melodic solo in it and then “A Stroke Of Red” has a bunch of different elements I think you wouldn’t expect, like different combinations of things that I think worked really well together. So I think a lot of people will be surprised and happy with this new album.
Andrew: Is it difficult at this point in the bands career to really come up with fresh and new ideas?
Wayne: Usually we all get together in the studio for pre-production and just put the riffs together and it seems like it’s going to be hard but once we get in there everything just starts flowing and connecting it it was pretty quick actually. Songs just kept coming non-stop, there was no real break or anything or like a kind of lull. Surprisingly it’s still working.
Andrew: Do you guys have a bit of a formula process? I mean how does the band dynamic work as far as the creative process?
Wayne: Well Jamey [Jasta, vocals} writes all the lyrics and then it’s actually mostly Jamey and Chris [Beattie] the bass player who write the riffs, like riff ideas. It’s not like the old days where we get in the basement and jam and work on some songs, we’re in the studio so we’re just kind of putting different riffs and ideas and talking about them and then we can try different drum beats like fast, slow, different tempos to see what really works the best and then we can listen back to them since we’re recording all of it and then it actually come together in the studio while we’re recording and it’s amazing how they start out to just random riffs here and there that are everybody’s ideas and input and then they come out to a song in the end.
Andrew: Does that still excite you after all these years, to come up with ideas and all of a sudden it’s on a new record like that?
Wayne: Oh yeah definitely, especially when it’s they’re in their kind of basic infancy I guess you could say and once you hear a full production…because we don’t really hear the vocals until after, like Jamey is usually in there by himself doing the vocals so he’ll play us the vocals when it’s fully recorded and then ‘Woah!’ Changes the whole dynamic of the song so yeah, it’s definitely exciting listening back.
Andrew: Was this album in any way at all affected by the covid stuff? Did you have to delay it or was it all written and recorded before that stuff happened?
Wayne: We started recording it actually last November so it was pretty much done in January. So the recording wasn’t slowed down, the release was slowed down. We were supposed to start touring in March and then we were planning on releasing it in May so a couple of weeks before the tour was supposed to start, everything just halted. The tours got cancelled, the album got postponed so I’m actually glad that it’s coming out finally this year because I wasn’t sure if it was even going to come out this year or not so it definitely halted the release of the album.
Andrew: I know we were supposed to see you guys down our way earlier this year with Parkway Drive so we were a bit disappointed obviously but there’s not much we can do I guess.
Wayne: Right, we had a world tour with then. We were starting out in Europe and we were going to do Australia, then we were going to d all the festivals in Europe and then we were going to do the US and all with Parkway Drive. So we postponed it to next year, we’re supposed to start in March but I don’t know if that’s happening, it doesn’t look too promising with the covid.
Andrew: Yeah it’s difficult isn’t it, it’s one of those things. Touring is obviously a big part any bands career, especially with Hatebreed, you must be itching to get back on the road again.
Wayne: Oh yeah it’s actually the biggest part of Hatebreed’s thing because album sales and all that, it’s not really what it was because if you really want to kind of make a living of it you gotta tour and we’re used to being on the road so much. This is the longest we haven’t toured I think since the band started so it’s really weird not to just be out there and playing and living our normal lives, you kinda get used to it as kind of your normal life kind of thing and just the enjoyment and happiness of it all.
Andrew: Yeah it’s a big adjustment but I guess when things do finally open up and we get to see touring again, I think there’s going to be a big surge in audience members coming in and losing their collective shit in a way.
Wayne: Yeah I hope so! I feel like every band is going to tour at the exact same time so there might be too many shows for people to choose from.
Andrew: I don’t think there’s such a thing as too many bands to choose from, I love it to be honest!
Wayne: Oh me too! There are some people that think that too [laughs].
Andrew: [laughs] I guess it all comes down to money I suppose if you have it.
Wayne: Yeah exactly right.
Review coming soon!
Andrew: Yeah it’s been so long since we last saw you guys in Australia, I was just thinking the last time I personally seen you was probably 10 years ago so I don’t know if that was the last time you were down here?
Wayne: Oh no I’m just trying to think the last time, because we did Soundwave, I think that was 2012 and I think after that we actually did Australia Warped Tour, I can’t remember what year that was. That may have been the last thing we had done. But Soundwave is one of my favorites, especialy when you’re playing with all these bands and you have to fly to each show because they’re too far away so it’s like a plane full of the whole tour so that’s always cool.
Andrew: There’s a couple of questions that I do want to ask you and it’s something I like to ask bands who have had a bit of a career for themselves and one of those questions I like to ask is favorite tour stories and stuff like that. Is there any particular story while being on the road that really sticks in your mind?
Wayne: Oh man there’s so many, trying to even think of one. I think to me, growing up I was a big Ozzy and Zakk Wylde fan so we got to tour with them. It was in the US, Black Label Society, us and the Butcher Babies and we would just hang out all night drinking and watching the show and I think just getting to see Zakk Wylde hang out and walk by our dressing room and talk with us and everything and then at the ed of the tour he actually gave me one of the vests. That was a proud moment in my heavy metal history as a young kind, so that’s definitely one of my favorite moments I have to say.
Andrew: Very cool! That must have been one of those pinch yourself moments when you meet your heroes and influences like that as well.
Wayne: Oh yeah definitely. Even just for them knowing who I am, I mean all the bands – Slayer, Exodus – all the bands that I grew up with and then we’re getting to tour with them and hanging out with them all the time, it’s great.
Andrew: How did you actually get into guitar in the first place?
Wayne: Well the first band I ever got into was when I was a little kid and it was Kiss. So my father had Kiss records so I think I just started listening to his records because obviously the look with the makeup and everything and the fire and blood was always very cool as a little kid and then I just went from there. I started listening to Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Ozzy, all that stuff and my father also had a guitar, he didn’t really play that good, he kinda played the basic but I would just kinda mess around with it every once in a while. I didn’t really know what I was doing until maybe around 12 or 13 I started taking lessons and then that was it, once I started playing stuff it just became everything to me.
Andrew: Yeah that amazing, everyone has a different story and a journey into how they got into music. Do you remember the very first band that kind of made you decide you want to play guitar?
Wayne: I think it was just a combination of everything all at once. Kiss got me into it but I guess I can’t even remember, it was so long. I remember I was a little kid, probably 3 or 4 years old when I started listening to Kiss records and then by the time I was probably 8 I was fully listening to metal records like Ozzy. I would say my 2 influences probably when I started knowing how to play would be randy Rhoads and Kirk Hammett, once I heard Metallica for the first time when I was 12 then that was it, just changed everything.
Andrew: And on the flipside obviously Hatebreed has had a huge influence on so many bands over the years as well, not just musically and lyrically but in life in general because you guys have a really positive meaning that I think people latch on to. That must be a great feeling to have, that people really use you guys as a source of inspiration as well.
Wayne: Oh yeah definitely. Especially like, we have meet and greets and we’ll see people and they’ll say how we saved their life and it got them through the day and this and that and to be able to play real heavy music and cool sounding music I guess you could say, so that people can go to a show and go crazy and let out their aggressions but then also take in a positive message besides all that, that’s just a great feeling. It’s always good to hear when people let us know that.
Andrew: Yeah definitely. Well hopefully we get to see you guys down here in Australia next year, fingers are crossed for that one as we’re so keen to see you guys. Do you have any words for the Australian fans before the possibility of that happening?
Wayne: We just appreciate every time you guys come down to a show. Hopefully we get there soon and you can pre-order our new album “Weight Of The False Self” at www.martyrstore.net and it will be available everywhere on November 27th.