Room Thirteen catches up with Jamey Jasta before Hatebreed's headline gig at the Mean Fiddler. Far from the spitting concentration of rage seen on stage, Jamey talks about the value of fans, Grammies, death wishes and supermarket soundtracks...

R13: What time did you get in today?
JJ: Oh...we went to a radio station...I don't know which one...
R13: So the media means a lot to you then!
JJ: Hehehe, yeah. We've been walking around all day- I've seen so many kids on the street who wanted to say Hello or ask for tickets for tonights show.

R13: Does that happen frequently when you're over here then?
JJ: Well, if it's like this and there's a sold out show that the kids want to go to, they always try to talk to us. But no, it's cool.

R13: Do you try to get the tickets for them?
JJ: I was able to at Dublin because I was in a hotel and our tour manager said there were two names on the guest list and I didn't have a clue who they were... but I got 'em in.

R13: Do you find a lot of your fans are a little bit obsessive?
JJ: Some are...But I'm glad that kids care enough about our music to be like that about it. It's great when they let me know how our music has helped them.

R13: How have your tours in the last year been?
JJ: Well... Before we came here we had two weeks off- we were at the Grammies. We were nominated for the best metal performance. Slipknot, Killswitch Engage and Motorhead were nominated. We lost to Motorhead- but that's good! Before that, we did the Big Day Out in Australia and New Zealand with the Beastie Boys, Slipknot and System of a Down... and a tour of Japan.

R13: How was Japan?
JJ: It was great. The fans over there are not so much obsessive, as kind. People bring you gifts... I got these fantastic teacups, finger warmers, gloves... When we were with Slipknot, somebody did a painting on a canvas- like 20-foot long- in oil paints.
R13: Well that's pretty cool...
JJ: Yeah! I took a photo of it- I thought that it was absolutely fantastic!

R13: Do you find that a lot of your fans are quite creative in that way?
JJ: Definitely. Well, we've seen a change over the years... Before the Internet, people were more likely to give us letters or poetry- I used to get a lot of lyrics written by people inspired by our music. As kids started getting more computer-savvy, we started to get a lot of computer-generated art. A lot of graphic designers like us!

R13: Do you always make the effort to reply when a fan writes you a letter and puts their contact details on it?
JJ: Well, we lost our PO Box. We were on tour for three months and it expired. We had boxes of mail. We paid the money, but we didn't get that PO Box back! We're hopefully going to start a brand new fan club and compile all the addresses and get in touch with everyone who contacted us. With emails, I always try to get back to people. I'm pretty accessible as far as online is concerned... It's tough but as far as letters, if people took the time to write you a letter you should always get back to them even if it is just a postcard or a sticker. It's why we're trying to get this new fan club up and running. We're going to have the guy who deals with Metallica's online fan club show us how to look after it properly.

R13: Are you going to be directly involved with the fan club?
JJ: As much as I can be. I'd really like to, but I've been lagging with my site and the Hatebreed site obviously because working with Universal is very tough... getting things done is hard because it's such a massive machine. I've also been sorting things out for my side project Icepick- burning CDs, printing covers... my days are pretty full right now.

R13: Have you got a death wish or something? That's a lot of work with your label and your own site...
JJ: Yeah... I...I've definitely spread myself a little thin, I must say. I've gotta figure out what I've gotta do and stick to it. I'm going to have a lot of time off from Hatebreed after this. We came back to do another tour because the Unholy Alliance tour did so well. The kids were like "25 minutes? That's not enough!" so we decided to come back and do a proper tour. Our set tonight is about an hour and a half, which is enough for the EP, the albums and some new stuff. The response we've had for our new stuff has been insane! It's all down to how well Roadrunner have promoted the album here. If you go to a store, you won't see our other two albums- just Rise of Brutality!

R13: Do you see your record label as a problem? Some people have said that you shouldn't have changed to Universal...
JJ: I think there are very few people with a real problem with our label. The album released on Roadrunner has been the most successful. Road Runner look after us well. I could complain about being on Universal in the USA but it would take away from the time and energy that I need to put into other things.

R13: How do you balance your time between Hatebreed and your other various projects?
JJ: Well, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday I'm in my office if I'm home. I'll run the label, all the websites, the clothing line. On Friday I take the Headbangers Ball and at the weekends I'm normally recording.

R13: So why the side project on top of all this?
JJ: It's another outlet... I can try out crazy solos...punk type things- the stuff I can't get away with in Hatebreed. Our 4-song demo is really varied.

R13: How varied is your musical taste? Do you change your music when you're on tour?
JJ: Yeah, when I'm on tour I listen to stuff to get me in the mood for the show... I've been listening to a lot of Pantera. I'm into doom and stoner kind of rock so I'll play Crowbar some stuff they might not have heard.

R13: ...and at home? What's your most mellow album?
JJ: Uhh...probably Beck or The Mars Volta. I've also been listening to a lot of hip-hop. Everyone in our office is into hip-hop...
R13: You just go with it?
JJ: Yeah! (laughs)

R13: What's the most surprising album in your collection then? I seem to have a knack of hating a band viciously for three months, then buying the album one day on a whim.
JJ: See, that's where they get you. They push something down your throat so much you end up loving it! I'll hear a song playing in the supermarket and I'll have to go out and buy the album. There was on band... I'd never heard of them before and I really didn't want to like them at all because they're a radio rock band. For some reason, when I saw the CD in the sale, I bought it. They're called Crossfade- heard of them? They're like Creed meets Nickleback.
R13: Wow, well I'm sold on the idea. I'm going to go out and buy the album solely on what you've said!
JJ: (laughs)

R13: So what do you look for when you're hunting for bands for your label? What's the most important thing when there's a band who might be signed?
JJ: I look at how they get along- how they interact with each other. I like to work with band who are... less of a democracy because sometimes it's a case of too many cooks in the kitchen. But also I like it when bands are close-knit or include siblings. I like that about bands...
R13: Bands with siblings know how to fight and make up afterwards, right?
JJ: Yeah... I also look for bands with a lot of drive. I hated the first demo of one band, but they put so much effort into it that I signed them anyway. If a band is kind of complacent and will only play one show a month, I don't want to work with them.

If you couldn't catch Hatebreed on their latest tour, you can still check out their music on the latest full-length album 'The Rise of Brutality' and see Jamey presenting the famous Headbangers Ball.