Hatebreed and Shadows Fall are currently on the road together for Hatebreed's The Divinity Of Purpose tour. This week, Jamey Jasta from Hatebreed and Brian Fair from Shadows Fall are checking in with AP from the road to give you a look at a metal tour from their perspective in the first of this three-part blog series.
Jamey Jasta’s Tour Diary
January 31 – Flagstaff, Arizona at The Orpheum Theater
I got up late today, didn't really feel like venturing out in Flagstaff and I had some email interviews to do. So I slammed a green Monster Energy Drink, set up my laptop and started answering questions. After I finished my email interviews, I got to Skype with my daughter and my family. They were having a birthday party for her and my whole family was there except me, but I was happy to at least get to Skype with them and see their faces. When I got off the call I felt kind of bummed. One of the biggest downfalls of being in a full-time touring band is missing stuff at home like this. I've been missing family functions, birthday parties, holidays and other cool stuff for 14 years. Now that I'm 35, it takes a toll on me more—especially when people who don't have kids/families complain about petty things that don't mean shit. I'm out here on the road busting my ass trying to put on a great show and make sure people have a good time. Occasionally you run into ungrateful attitudes and it stings a little, but I'm lucky to do what I love so I gotta keep a positive attitude. I always say happiness is a choice, and today I really needed to choose to be happy.
Back to what I did: finished the email interviews, and then cooked dinner on the bus. We have a George Foreman grill, a skillet and some other stuff to cook with. We've been shopping at Whole Foods getting healthy stuff. Tonight I made coconut garlic chicken and spinach. I take three organic farm-raised chicken breasts, salt and pepper both sides and fry them up in a tablespoon of coconut oil in the skillet on medium heat. I get both sides cooked pretty good, flipping them a few times. Then, I throw in a heaping tablespoon of finely chopped garlic, and then add a whole package of organic baby spinach and let that sauté for four minutes. Once the spinach is looking cooked, I pour in some Thai coconut milk (about a 1/2 cup) and add three tablespoons of Frank's Redhot; I let it simmer for about 12-15 minutes.
Today I sliced the chicken breast through the middle just to make sure they were cooked all the way through because they were thicker than usual and the skillet heat was acting weird. You don't want to eat any raw meat out here on the road. You never know when you're gonna see the next clean bathroom, so you gotta make sure your food is cooked good! After dinner, I got ready for the show and caught a few songs of Shadows Fall; they were ripping it.
The club was surprisingly packed; I'd say over 500 people, which is great for a place we've never played. Our show was killer. We threw some new songs into the set, “Honor Never Dies” and “Indivisible,” and they went over great. People were singing the words even though our record has only been out for a few days. We also put some old songs back into the set: “Under The Knife” and “Burn The Lies.” After the show, I got to shower (thank God), and I shaved my head and trimmed the beard up so I didn't look too haggard for the L.A. show.
February 1 – Los Angeles, California – The Roxy Theater
Today turned out way better than expected. Normally I don't enjoy being in L.A. or doing shows here. It’s not because of the show itself—the fans are great and the response is always awesome. There are just too many people, guests, friends, etc. and not enough time to give everyone the attention they want, but today went surprisingly smoothly. It's nice that my real friends understand that I work constantly and am very busy, and as much as I'd like to hang while I am in town, it is just not possible. There's no love lost—I just gotta do my work and get it done.
I woke up and checked into the London West Hollywood, which is a sick hotel if you ever get the chance to stay there. They had a decent gym on the top floor, and I went up there and did 30 minutes of light weights, abs and cardio. I do two minutes of cardio (jumping jacks, jump rope, butt kicks) and then two minutes of light weights (chest flys, weighted squats, standing rows, bicep curls) and then bicycle crunches and sit-ups. I do these in circuits for 30 minutes then stretch and cool down by taking a walk or light run. Getting some exercise in on this tour has been the key to me staying focused and happy. It also helps my live show be more energetic. We got hooked up with a great company called MusclePharm when we went through Colorado. After my workout I do a scoop of banana cream combat powder from MusclePharm with a tablespoon of almond butter and a half cup of almond milk mixed with eight ounces of water. It's the best! After my workout, I hit the emails, confirmed a U.K. tour and a short second leg of our U.S. tour and did some merch designs that were due for my Kingdom Of Sorrow tour in Australia. One good thing about this tour is a few of the shows sold out so we're able to add in other dates in April! After that, we headed over to the venue to do a photo shoot.
On my way over, I saw some fans on the street who were excited to see the show and come to the meet and greet and SoundCheck Hollywood. It was cool to have the hotel and bus within walking distance from the club and in-store signing. The photo shoot was quick and then it was time to make our way over to SoundCheck Hollywood for our signing. The store is really nice and the staff was awesome and very helpful. The line for our signing stretched around the block and everyone was really cool and seem to really enjoy our new album. We got in another quick photo shoot and it was time to get some dinner. Again I cooked on the bus, but this time I just had a veggie burger on the George Foreman grill and some Amy's organic lentil soup. I got to call my daughter at home and talk with her, which was just the thing I needed to put me into the right mindset to play the show. Before I knew it, it was set time. I walked over to the Roxy and walked onto stage to a sold-out house. The set was super-fun. New songs went over great once again, which is a really good sign. Headed back to the bus and had half a scoop of MusclePharm bulletproof recovery powder with some water. It has melatonin in it so I get a real restful sleep, which was good because we had a long ride to Chico, California, next!
2/2 – Chico, CA at The Senator Theatre
Woke up pretty late today, wasn't feeling sore thanks to my MusclePharm products! Got in a long walk around town. Chico is a cool place. I always like playing here. Normally, we see Gary Holt from Slayer/Exodus here, but he was out of town. Chico has the best authentic Mexican food, and it comes from Gordo's Burrito Truck on East eighth. They are open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and I get the shrimp taco plate. It's like drugs for my mouth! Chico has a cool small-town America vibe that is always a nice break from the hustle and craziness of the bigger cities. When I walked back to the venue, I was told I had a lot of phone interviews to do. After what felt like four hours of straight talking my voice felt pretty shot so I made some Throat Coat Tea and started stretching for the show. I went into the club and saw a few songs of Dying Fetus' set. They always rip it. The crowd was pitting and was loud. I always remember playing this venue because it was one of the first places we opened for Slayer back in the day and actually got a huge “Hatebreed” chant, which surprised everyone. It's memories like that one that make it all worth it. For five guys who come from nothing to have came so far in such a fucked-up industry, it's good to still be doing what we love. With the album being so fresh and the pre-sold ticket count being low, I did not expect to walk onstage to 500 crazed fans. We switched up the set and added some songs off Supremacy like “Defeatist” and “Spitting Venom;” it's awesome to see people still remember those tracks. After the set, we had a great meet and greet and spoke to a bunch of awesome Hatebreed diehards. I never get tired of seeing Hatebreed lyric and logo tattoos.
Each one comes with an awesome story of overcoming life's struggles and draws us closer to our fans. It’s such an honor that people will take us to their grave! After the meet-and-greet, I checked some emails and saw that my manager thought we might debut at No. 1 on the Hard Rock Chart in the U.S., so I'm keeping my fingers crossed! Got in my bunk around 2 a.m., read a few chapters of Storm Of Swords (Game Of Thrones book three) and went to bed with visions of dragons, knights and princesses in my head.
Brian Fair’s Tour Diary
February 3 Reno, Nevada – Knitting Factory
After an overnight right through the mountains and desert, we arrived in the Biggest Little City In The World. This was going to be an action-packed day. Not only did we have a show at he Knitting Factory with Hatebreed, Dying Fetus and the Contortionist, it is also Super Bowl Sunday, and there is a skatepark within walking distance. I grabbed our merch guy Mikey T. and headed out to find the Idlewild Skatepark. After my GPS app sent us a mile in the wrong direction, we finally found it. Locals were killing it, and we were lucky enough to get a ride back from a dude that used to be a roadie for Coalesce and Bloodlet! The guys in Hatebreed turned their dressing room into a Super Bowl party, so I settled in for the big game. As a diehard Pats fan, it was tough watching the Ravens and Ray Lewis run out of the tunnel leaving a trail of deer antler spray behind him. Wacky Super Bowl. The 49ers shit the bed in the first half; halftime was way too long; there was a power outage and the Ravens almost coughed it up before being saved by a missed pass interference call. Lame.
Now it's show time! We hit the stage at the Knitting Factory and unleashed the metal. Fun show and a great crowd. After the show, some dudes wandered off to lose money in the casinos, but I decided to lay low and stuff my face on the bus.
February 4 Ogden, Utah – Kamikazes
It was a bumpy ride through the mountainside night. I didn't get much sleep so I'm on a mission for caffeine. We are playing a headlining show on an off-date from the Hatebreed tour at a place called Kamikazes. It's an old church that has been converted into a bar that sees some serious hard drinking. It's obvious from the start the audience are here to party! The beers are flowing, as well as shots of a locally distilled liquor similar to Jäger called Underground. This stuff tastes like Grandpa's old cough syrup. It was cool to see the support the local bands received. It all starts by supporting your local venues that still bring in metal shows. It felt good to headline for the first time in a long time. We dusted off some old tunes we hadn't played in a while, and the crowd were going off from the first note. After the set, we hung with the local metalheads for a few drinks before calling it a night. Another long drive to Colorado. Buckle up!
February 5 Colorado Springs, Colorado – The Black Sheep
Woke up really excited this morning. My wife is flying into Colorado today to join us on tour. She is currently five months pregnant with our first kid, so being away from home has been really tough. I can't wait to see her. Since I have a few hours before she lands, Mikey T and I headed off to find the skatepark that is near the venue. This place blew my mind when we rolled up! Two huge concrete bowls, crazy street section, tons of banks and transitions and a wood vert and mini ramp. Skate paradise. Got a lot of tricks back today. The skating resurrection continues. I hope my old-ass knees can keep up. After a killer skate session, it was time to rock and roll. It was a sold-out show tonight so the club was packed nuts to butts. After the first song, I realized tonight was the perfect time to perform the “crowd surf to the bar, take a shot of Patrón, then crowd surf back to the stage in time to sing” move. The band kicked into the intro of “Still I Rise” and I front-flipped into the crowd and began my journey toward the bar. I made it across the club, pounded the shot of Patrón and was sent back toward the stage by the crowd. I made it back just in time for the first line. The crowd raged through the entire set. I tried to monkey bar toward the soundboard and actually lost my wedding ring, but a fan quickly recovered it up front. It was an unbelievable show. Thanks to Colorado Springs for raging with Hatebreed and us. After our set, I hung out at the merch table with my wife watching Hatebreed kill it. It's pretty amazing to think that our little girl was feeling the vibrations of Shadows Fall in the womb. Rocker from birth! Can't wait to see what else this tour has in store.