2012 marked a major year for Hatebreed. Not only did it mark the tenth anniversary of Perseverance, but it had also been 15 years since the release of Hatebreed’s debut full-length, Satisfaction Is the Death of Desire. Yet despite celebrating its legacy on the road, Hatebreed proved they were far from reaching its peak by kicking off 2013 with a new album, The Divinity Of Purpose. We recently caught up with guitarist Frank Novinec to discuss Hatebreed’s new album, upcoming touring plans (spoiler: most likely WON’T include Mayhem Fest), what lead them to choosing Razor & Tie as their North American label home, and how Hatebreed is truly the ultimate “crossover” band.
Hatebreed celebrated the tenth anniversary of Perseverance on tour last year. How did the tour help influence the creation of The Divinity Of Purpose?
Not at all, really. It was just something we were doing to buy ourselves time to continue the album cycle for the self-titled album. So we figured “Alright, the record’s been out for 10 years, let’s do something special for it.” We were playing the majority of the shows the whole album in its entirety, but if we weren’t doing that at some of the other shows, a good part of the set featured songs from Perseverance as well. It was fun. It brought out old heads, which was cool because we were on tour with younger bands like Whitechapel and All Shall Perish. So they were bringing the younger kids as well. It all worked out, bought us some time and it serves its purpose. It was a good time for sure. Obviously, you mentioned the new record that we’re on tour for now, that came out a couple days ago. It’s been nothing but good vibes around Hatebreed camp as well for sure.
Well I ask that because though the album definitely has a “new” vibe to it, it definitely has an old school influence sound to it as well.
Well, we’re all fans of the old school. We have a lot of formulas that go into our record. Fortunately, we were able to mix those together and make the crossover record. We are a crossover band, and we were able make something that, like you said, was fresh. I think we did a good job of it. The thing I’m most proud of with the new record is how it’s a solid effort from beginning to end. It’s all killer no filler as far as we’re concerned, and as far as the majority of the reviews for the album are concerned as well. They’ve been overwhelming to say the least.
It’s kind of hard to believe that last year also marked the 15th anniversary of Hatebreed’s first full-length, Satisfaction Is the Death of Desire. What would you say has been the biggest change to occur in hardcore over the past 15 years?
It’s tough. Hatebreed’s always been a metallic band to me anyway. Hardcore to me is standard tuning. It’s raw. This is growling and it’s tuned down. So I think that the hardcore scene, as far as I’m concerned, has become more metal. There’s stuff out there now that they’re calling hardcore that’s just straight up death metal or hip hop influenced sounding almost to me and it’s just weird to me. I think that it’s changed like that. There’s still real hardcore bands out there that are still playing traditional style. Bands like Terror, Trapped Under Ice, Alpha & Omega and bands like that, and that whole scene and Reaper Records and Bridge Nine Records. But I think for that the term hardcore has been thrown around a lot and used in a lot of images. I don’t know if it’s good or bad. It’s certainly different than when you think of hardcore from the 80’, that’s for sure.