Hatebreed, Wayne Lozinak Interview – ‘Weight of the False Self’ + More

2020-12-10

Interview: Wayne Lozinak of Hatebreed talks about the hardcore band's new album, "Weight of the False Self."

Hatebreed – Story by Anne Erickson, courtesy photo

Wayne Lozinak of Hatebreed joins Anne Erickson to talk about the hardcore band’s new album, “Weight of the False Self,” how the band has matured musically over the years, the passing of Eddie Van Halen and more in this extensive interview

After several months in limbo due to the ongoing pandemic and concerts being postponed, Connecticut hardcore band Hatebreed are back with their latest album, “Weight of the False Self,” out now via Nuclear Blast Records. The set is one of Hatebreed’s heaviest yet, with layers of guitar and thick, deep tones and rip and roar.

Hatebreed lead guitarist Wayne Lozinak spoke with Anne Erickson of Audio Ink Radio/Publications about the new album, the state of metal music during a time when touring isn’t happening, the recent passing of Eddie Van Halen and more. Read the full interview below and hear it via the Audio Ink podcast on Apple Podcasts here and Spotify here.

Anne Erickson: Congratulations on the new album, “Weight of the False Self.” Hatebreed was originally going to release this in May, but everything got pushed back due to the coronavirus pandemic. Tell me about the journey behind this album.

Wayne Lozinak: Well, we actually started recording in last November. We were in the studio doing pre-production at the beginning of November, and then we started recording in late November into December, and I think we actually finally finished it in January. So, it’s been done since January, and we were supposed to start touring in March, which, obviously, that got canceled a couple of weeks before the tour was about to set off. We were supposed to release the album in May, and then, just everything came to a halt. I wasn’t sure when it was going to come out, so I’m actually glad it’s coming out before this year was actually over. It’s already been a year now, almost, since we recorded it.

When I listen to the record, I think it’s one of Hatebreed’s heavier albums. Would you agree?

I think so. It still has some of the basic– we try not to stray from the original formula, I guess you could say, too much. I think it still has the same basic Hatebreed style that everyone knows. But, I think, we tried to get a little heavier with even the guitar tone. Working with Zeus, our producer, and everything, we did a slightly different and even, maybe, a little more technical, not too crazy, but a little more technical playing and some more solos on this album. I think it came out great.

It’s funny, because a lot of people say that heavy bands tend to mellow out as the years go by, but I love that you guys kind of did the opposite.

Yes. Me, too, actually.

What do you think makes this record stand apart from Hatebreed’s other releases?

We really worked with the producer on the guitar tone on this one. We combined two different amps to make it slightly heavier and more tracks of guitars. So, the guitars really stand out more on this album compared to the rest of them. Then, I think Jamey, vocally, maybe slightly pushed in certain directions that he doesn’t normally do. There’s no clean singing or anything like that, but for what we can kind of get away with without changing our sound dramatically, I think it’s just a little slightly stepped ahead of the other stuff we’ve done.

I feel Hatebreed has developed a nice maturity over the years with your songwriting and lyrics. Do you feel you guys have grown?

Oh, yeah, definitely. Especially compared to the early days, it was pretty much just basic. I mean, we’ve always still taken a combination of hardcore and metal and brought them together, but it was definitely more basic and simple songs back in the early days. Some of them are a minute and a half, like two riffs and done! We’ve definitely tried to mature a little bit over the years.

My favorite track of the album is “Cling to Life.” Tell me how that song came together.

Jamey wrote the basic actual riffs and all that stuff, which I like it a lot, obviously, because there’s actually a pretty decent solo in it… Normally, he’ll write parts and come up with stuff and be like, “Okay, this part, you’re going to do a solo from here to here.” It was actually longer than I normally get. I was like, “Oh, keep going? Perfect!” It’s more of a melodic and metal solo. It’s probably the most melodic metal solo that we’ve had on any album. I definitely liked this one a lot. The song, itself, is a lot slower. We don’t need to play a million miles an hour, every song. I think this one is one of my favorite ones on the album, actually.

In what ways does it feel different releasing a new album during the coronavirus pandemic?

I’d say it’s definitely kind of a bum-out, because we can’t go right out and tour on it and play the shows. I don’t even know when we’re going to– supposedly, the next tour is supposed to start in March, but that’s only if people are touring at that time, because we still have no idea if it’s even going to be happening. I’m glad it’s being released, because it’s just been sitting for a year, and I want people to hear the songs, but it kind of sucks that we can’t go out there and play them live for everyone.

Are you guys going to do a live stream or something like that with the new music?

Anything’s possible, but I think, for us, it’s not the same, because we need the crowd and the energy of the crowd. People want to come to our shows and get their aggressions out and move around. We’re not really the type of band where you just sit in a seat, and they kind of stare at us and watch. The whole show vibe includes the crowd going crazy, too. But, I mean, anything’s possible.

What are your thoughts on when traditional touring might actually return?

I would like it to be March, but I have no idea. It’s hard to tell, because nothing has really changed, you know? They’re saying there might be a vaccine or could be, and then some people are saying it’s not going to be ready for another year and that people aren’t going to want to take it because it’s still so new. But then, there’s places like Florida that are open completely, 100 percent, and they’re like, “Yeah, come on down and play.” But, I don’t know about that. (Laughs)

What are your thoughts on losing the great Eddie Van Halen?

That’s, like, a whole end of an era. I mean, I grew up in the ’80s, and he, obviously, completely reinvented the guitar. The song “Eruption” that everyone knows came out in, like, 1978, and no one was doing that back then. I think that just changed everyone’s approach to playing rock or heavy metal guitar in the ’80s. And, then everyone was trying to copy him. Obviously, no one has ever been that great as he was. It’s definitely a horrible loss just for the music scene, in general, but I’m glad I got to be here and witness him as new albums were coming out.

We’ve lost a lot of great musicians this year. What are your thoughts on losing Frankie from Quiet Riot? I know you’re not a drummer, but everyone loved Frankie.

Oh, yeah. Actually, we did a festival in Canada, and Quiet Riot was playing, and he wasn’t even there. I’m like, he’s the only guy from the old school lineup! I think that, actually, the bass player, Chuck Wright, I think he was on one of the albums, and he was in the band back then. Johnny Kelly from a Typo-O Negative and tons of other bands was playing drums. So, I didn’t even get to see him, but he’s definitely another legend back from the ’80s, too. It seems like every month, someone else is going. We’re just getting older, and I guess, and it’s inevitable.

It’s the season for giving thanks. What are you thankful for this year?

I’m actually thankful that I’m still here and my friends and family are here and haven’t been affected by the COVID-19, as you know, a lot of other people have. So, I’m just happy for being healthy, even though everything’s shut down. That’s the one good thing I’m still happy for.

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