Hardcore heavyweights, Hatebreed recently released their eighth studio album, “The Weight Of The False Self” and we caught up with guitarist Wayne Lozinak to get a deep dive into the record and his life during the pandemic.
“The Weight Of The False Self” will be your eighth studio album. How would you say it stands out compared to the previous releases?
Well, I think just as far as the guitars go, working with Chris “Zeuss” Harris, obviously we’ve been working with them for a long time, so we got together. We wanted to make the guitar sound a little bit bigger and even heavier than previous albums. So, we actually combined two different heads for the tone. We used our normal Marshall head that we normally use, and then blend in a little bit of a 5150 EVH head. And even we did four tracks of guitars just to thicken it up. I think just for the guitar tone alone, I think it sounds bigger and beefier. As far as the music is concerned, it’s still the basic, I think, formula that we’ve always been doing and that you’re used to hearing with a Hatebreed album, but I think on some of the songs, we just wanted to take them to the next level and maybe add slightly more intricate type metal stuff and different things. I think that some people are going to be surprised with some of the songs. “A Stroke of Red” has a lot of elements to it, and “Cling to Life” has a melodic longer solo in it. So, I think we just up the game a little bit on this one.
What challenges did you guys set for yourself when writing this record?
Just like I said, just basically keep it the same because you don’t want to stray too far from the formula and disappoint the fans that have been there forever. We still want to make it sound Hatebreed, but put just a little bit more maybe mature or progressive stipe music and stuff than on previous albums.
Guitarist Frank Novinec was recently interviewed and said, “We’re not just out here having to make hardcore kids in the basement of America happy anymore.” And he went on to further say that you guys have to make new fans and old fans happy at the same time. Did you ever feel limited when writing The Weight Of The False Self?
No, not really because we’ve tried, like I said, this one’s probably slightly different, where we’ve done, we experimented a little bit, but we still want it to be natural like us. We still want to play the same heavy music that we’ve always done. It wasn’t really a challenge because I think every album we try and do maybe a couple small things here and there different, but we know it’s still Hatebreed at the end of the day.
This is the sixth album that you worked with producer Chris “Zeus” Harris. What’s the main characteristic about Zeus that makes you guys keep working with him?
He’s great. Working with him is, I love it. We’ve known him over 20 years now. He used to play in a band back in the day, Push-Button Warfare in Massachusetts. We’ve known him forever, but working with Zeus, he knows exactly how to get the best of our sound. He’ll let us know like, “Nope, that’s not good. You’ve got to change that. You’ve got to change this here.” Or I’m playing and he’ll be like, “Ah, try that again. Nope, do it again.” And he knows how to get the best sound out of us. Plus, him being just a good friend, it’s really relaxing in the studio. We’re just friends and hanging out. And then, me and him, after a session, we’ll even go to the bar and have a couple beers after too, just hang out. I love working with him just for the relaxed atmosphere that he brings and he knows how to get the best out of us. Zeus actually, he came down to us and worked in a studio here in Milford, Connecticut. Actually, he recorded another band, Cruel Hand recently, and then he calls me up and he’s like, “Yo, I’m in town. Let’s go to the bar!” So then, we met up and just hung out. He’s great.
It’s not even a question of ever using another producer. You guys are just going to keep going with Chris?
Not to me, but you never know. I wouldn’t think we would need to, but who knows what will happen in the future, if other decisions are made. But as far as I’m concerned, I wouldn’t want to use anyone else.
As a band, you guys are constantly on tour, and now, this has probably been the longest you’ve been stuck at home, right?
Oh, definitely. I don’t even know what to do with myself. It’s just part of our natural lives even, just to be on tour most of the year. Especially when everything’s shut down. Me, when I get home from touring, most people are like, “I don’t even want to hear a guitar or anything,” but I’ll go see other bands play. I’ll even go to the bars and watch the local cover band play because I just love music, it’s such a big part of me and I just love it so much. Not only is it my job and source of income, but it’s what I do for enjoyment too. So, this is a horrible time right now.
Now that you’ve been home for so long, have you gotten used to it and will this change how the band tours? Some bands I’ve talked to have said, “You know what, it’s actually been great having this time at home. I don’t think we’re going to tour for 150 days out of the year anymore.”
No, we can’t really do that just as far as the money and businesses concerned because you don’t really make that much money selling albums anymore. So, the reason we tour so much is to keep the income coming in and that’s just what we’ve been doing forever. I think that’s why we’re still here after all these years, just staying out there in the public eye and playing shows and making it work. But the only thing that would change stuff would be if there were pandemic rules in place. But I think if everything gets back to normal, we’re just going to go back to business as usual.
This album was recorded and finished in January, but it had to be delayed. Was that more of a band decision or was that more of a label decision?
That was mostly the record label decision because obviously it’s a business at the end of the day. The whole reason, you want a successful album when you make it for the band and for the record label. So, you can’t tour on it and you can’t promote it. It puts things of lesser value, I guess you could say. But I didn’t even know if it was going to come out this year at all. So, I’m just happy that it’s coming out next week actually. But it was supposed to come out in May. We had a whole world tour planned with Parkway Drive that was supposed to start in March. Yeah, I guess there was a little bit of both, but I think Nuclear Blast actually shut down mostly. They weren’t even doing anything anyway. So, we didn’t really even have a choice. Literally the album was at the pressing plant to be pressed, the vinyl and everything in it, they stopped it. Just put a hold on it, and that was it. We had to just wait to see what the best scenario would be as far as the record label was concerned. And plus, we don’t want to have it come out, and then by that time we toured, it’ll be old. You want it to be semi fresh.
Would you say there was anything positive about having the album pushed back?
The only thing that we actually, I don’t know if you know, we had a beer come out during the pandemic. That was one good thing where we weren’t playing shows, we didn’t release the album, but at least we had something to give the fans and have. It’s called Breed Brew. We actually had a couple socially distanced events where it was a beer tastings/meet and greet thing, where we signed stuff, took pitchers, played music and stuff. That was cool.
Have you written any songs in this past eight months quarantine that you wish made the album?
No, I haven’t even. We were in the studio so long and just waiting for this album to come out, we haven’t thought about doing new stuff or anything like that. That wasn’t even a thought to me. I was just waiting for this to come out.
Any plans for a Hatebreed livestream?
I’ve told people, for us, it’s more of the crowd, our live show. They want to jump all over each other and let all the regression go. We’re not really the type of band where you just sit on your couch and watch us. But I’m open to it. We don’t have any plans at the moment, but next year if it seems like it’s a good idea, I would definitely be into doing that.
Livestreams have been really cool. For the past couple of years, DVDs and Blu-rays have fallen off. Right now, a lot of bands are doing these livestream shows, putting it out for 48 hours, and then later on, remastering it. For example, Behemoth is remastering their show and putting it out on an actual Blu-ray.
That’s cool. I like that idea. I’d be into that. I’m probably one of the last people that still actually watches live DVD concerts and Blu-rays.
Any updates on getting the Hatebreed Brew into stores? (Since the interview, it is now available for order at HalfTimeBeverage.com)
Actually, it’s in the works right now. Right now, you can only get it in Connecticut, but we’re working on getting a… There’s a lot of legal stuff involved with getting it distributed outside of Connecticut. So, we’ve got to work on that first, and then once that’s all set, we’re going to get right on that, definitely.
Anything you’d like to say to the readers at Metal Insider?
Just order the album at Martyrstore.Net. It’ll be out November 27th everywhere and hopefully, you guys get it and like it.
Grab your copy of Weight Of The False Self here!