When in London recently, we grabbed Frank Novinec from HATEBREED and had a natter about what the guys have been up to since we saw them last and also what the future holds for Hatebreed as we enter a new year, which includes some writing…
The last time you were in the UK was the Reading and Leeds Festivals, so how was that?
It was cool, it was cold I remember, but the shows were good for us. We’ve been here quite often this year, we did a UK tour supporting Machine Head earlier in the year, so this is our third time here just this year.
How does this headline run differ from playing those bigger venues in support of Machine Head?
Well, obviously when you’re supporting a band and the majority of the people there are likely there for [the headline band] but it gives us a chance to play in front of new people which is great for us this late in our career. Us coming back and doing the smaller venues is more what we’re about, it’s more personal and intimate for the kids to feel like their at one with the band. It’s not really a rock star thing where they’re down there and we’re up here, it’s more personable.
You’re known for being the kind of band who prefers to play 15 small shows rather than 4 big ones – even if you know you could sell them. Is that because you want that exchange between you and the fans of the energy, the music and the commitment?
Well, I prefer playing both – they both have their advantages. To play a big festival and win a huge crowd over by the end of the set is a great feeling, but the energy and electricity in a small room is unbeatable. Everybody has a good time. It’s funny because I’ve talked to a lot of people on this run who’ve been saying; ‘This was so much better than the show you played with Machine Head,’ and ‘It was so much more crazy.’ Y’know, they both have their advantages.
Obviously it must be tough being away from your friends and family, but what would you say is your favourite part of being out on the road?
It’s fun to get up on stage and play every night, that’s why we did the band in the first place. It’s good when you’ve been off the road for a while to see the guys, hang out with them and find out what they’ve been up to – things like that more than anything. At this point in our career, to just be able to go up there and play and have a good time, that’s what it’s all about at the end of the day. That’s why we started the band, that’s why I picked up a guitar and started playing as a kid, to be able to perform and play to people every night – whether it’s a hundred people or 10,000 people.
So, tonight’s the last show you’re playing in the UK – where do you go from here?
We do the Stillborn festival, which is Jamey’s record label and goes down the East Coast in between Christmas and New Year’s, then it’s really open for next year. We’re going to be writing material for a new record – we plan to have a new record out next year – and I think we have some festivals lined up in Europe and Australia, and we might be trying to get on Download or something like that, since we didn’t do it this past year. I think we have one or two shows in the beginning of the year, but other than that we don’t really have anything concrete until the summertime and those festivals in Europe. I think it’s going to be time to really relax and write some material. We might not be busy as a band, but we’ll definitely be doing things. If we’re not on the road, we’ll be writing.
Are you looking forward to writing and getting some new tracks laid down?
I’m looking forward to some time off! (laughs) No, I am definitely, it’s been a while since the last record and we’ve got to make something fresh and make the people hungry for the band again. We’ve toured this record all over the world for so long now, it’s time to give them something new. It’ll be a good experience coming up with some new Hatebreed material for our new full-length.
When you look back over this album cycle, what would you say have been your highlights?
Well, we just got back from the South Pacific – we were in Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand, Korea and Taiwan – places we’d never been to before. We’ve been a band for at least 15 years, and we’ve been all over the world, but to be able to go some place we’ve never been before is always rare and exciting. That was a highlight of it, for sure. There were a lot of things we did – obviously we did Reading and we had a good spot on there, we were direct support for Kiss at Graspop festival which was a dream come true for me, they’ve been my favourite band from when I grew up to this day. [It’s been a highlight just] being able to continue to tour and do well and play festivals. We did Mayhem festival in the States – which is a very big summer festival comparable with Ozzfest – headlining the J