Icepick Interview - Jamey
This interview was made in Sélestat the 15th of june 2006.
Laureline, O.S and Manu have met Jamey Jasta one of the 2 singers to talk about this new side-project and about his other projects besides Hatebreed.

First, how are you Jamey ?
Goog, good, no complaints! (laughing)

Well you've created a new band that is called Icepick. Could you tell us more about the original concept of the band?
Well, when I was roadieing for Cold As Life, I'm gonna say it was like '96, we were joking around saying "Ah well, let's do a side project band and whatever we'll all be in it” and, we needed a name so I wanted to name it Icepick. We had some songs, but nothing ever came about, and then in '99, I did a Crown Of Thornz show. They came up to Connecticut, they played for me and I got the new record and, there was a song called “Icepick”. And I was like I wanted to do a band you know called Icepick you know, whatever and got to talking with Ezec and we're like, “We should do a band you know, whatever for fun!”, cause we did a tour with Skarhead, Madball and Earth Crisis. We were hanging out everyday and we were like "All right, you know, maybe we'll do like a project band”, but that never happened. So then UFC approached me to do a song for a soundtrack called “Ultimate Beatdowns” and I had a song that I did'nt use for Hatebreed. And I had Ezec come and sing on it. And we put it on there. And then everyone started talking about it. So we're like "All right we gotta do a record" and we're like "Enough talk let's just do the record and just be done with it". So we finnaly got it out.

What’s hidden behind the name of the record, “Violent Epiphany”?
Well basicaly, when I was a kid and growing up in the city, like I was, everyday weather it was coming from my school or coming from where my mother worked you know in the city it's like, you gotta watch you're back, and you know, I have to be careful. So I had many different senario's where, I was jumped or I had my bike taken from me. I had to fight a lot in school, and coming to and from school so it was like an awakening the first time I didn’t defend myself. And my father was like "You know you have to defend yourself, you know! Do whatever you have to do!". It was like a real revelation for me to think like, wow, having never been physically attacked and brutally hurt.
I thaught, you know this, it would change my life compleatly and I never really wrote a song about it. So I thought let's connect with this record. Let me go back to that time and going back and forth with Ezec about different things in life where you really have to fight, it can be an awakening.

There are many guests on the record, like Freddy Cricien, Roger Miret, Ice-T, Pete Morcey… Was it like a dream to have all those guys on your music, on one song (“Real Recognizes Real”)?
Yeah, it was cool. We wanted to have all the O.G.'s on one track that's why we got Ice-T on it. Because we're like "If we’re gonna have all the O.G.'s of hardcore, we need the real O.G. you know... of Life". So yeah it was cool and that's the thing. Another reason why I did this record and used these songs for Icepick was, it was just a different vibe. It wasn’t like a thaught out real serious thing where we're changing stuff. It was like a snapshot of a moment in time. It was like "Do it, not think about it and just have fun!"

And to invite all those guys was it somthing that you did'nt think possible with Hatebreed?
Right, exactly! And I had to go and travel with my mobile studio. It was kinda like this, but with a computer and an amp and you know, it was a lot of work to get everybody on that one track. I had to travel to Boston, New York, New Jersey... It was cool cause none has ever done a song like that. So it was really cool.

“Violent Epiphany” was released on your label Stillborn Records, which has been created for Hatebreed at the beginning. Now, is its aim still to rise up hardcore stuff like Stigma, Subzero, Full Blown Chaos, Angel Crew… ?
Yeah, totally! It's just a way to give back and have fun. Unfortunatly, it's driven me into some debt and it's been a little bit of a headache you know so to speak. But it's worth it at the end of the day like I had a lot of fun making the records. When I did the Agnostic Front, “Another Voice” album, I put, you know thousands of dollars into that album. I owe them money. So when the time came to release it, Nuclear Blast approached me and was like "We'll put you're logo on it, we want to do it, we love the record!". That was great for me because I did'nt have to do all of the work you know. I don't have to make all the calls, it saved me a lot of headaches to have it released through Nuclear Blast. But what I'm doing now is I'm releasing stuff through Abacus in the U.S, and then Abacus/Alveran here in Europe. So it makes it easier, i'm not having to do everything.

We said that you’ve worked with Ice-T for Icepick. Is the new Bodycount record could be released on Stillborn ?
I wish but it's already done and actually it's already coming out on Escapi Music. But on the american version of the Icepick cd we have a Bodycount song that comes with it on a bonus cd. So everyone's been talking about the new Bodycount cd. It's good too. The record’s good.

You seem very into the hardcore scene, and whereas a lot of new hardcore kids seem to criticize a lot of the stuff that you do behind the scenes with Headbanger’s Ball and Hatebreed. And on the other side of it, it seems that you are totally into hardcore. How did you react with those critics?
I don't really think about it. Just because it's like I don't really call it the vocal few. It's just little kids who don't know. They think that they have an idea of what it is but it doesn’t really bother me cause I'm secure with myself. I don't need to tear anybody down or I don't need to insult, or tear anybody down to build myself up. Know what I mean? Cause I've already built myself up you know?

You also appeared as guest on many records of different styles like Terror, Agnostic Front, Sepultura, Ill Nino, Napalm Death, Necro...
Yeah yeah that was fun... (Laugh)

... What’s the most important thing for you to decide to do or not a guest appearance ?
I stopped doing them recently because, just cause I feel like I'm on every record. I appreciate that people want me to sing on the record, cause it's cool to do different stuff. But I probobly won't do it for a while. Probably just do my own stuff, but Napalm Death, that was an awesome experience. Because that's one of my favourite bands. When I was fifteen I went to go see them on the “Campaign For Musical Destruction Tour” in '93, and it was one of the most violent shows ever like, Carcass, Cathedral, Napalm Death, Brutal Truth and it was just a pit, the whole place was going crazy from start to finish. And I was like, I need to be in a band like this one day, and just have everybody going crazy so...

Do you consider you're stuff on you're site to be complementary stuff of you're label. Like rising this kind of music?
Yeah, that's just another thing to, you know, give back where I can. I have to update it. It's really out of date right now. I gotta have someone help me with it. The guy I had helping me with it just had a daughter and he's very busy right now. So he does'nt really have time. I'm gonna have more interviews, more reviews and more music on there. I'm gonna have like downloads, and wallpapers and icons. I'm gonna make it really cool.

What are you're actual feelings on the hardcore scene?
I'm happy right now for like, First Blood and The Warriors and a lot of the bands that are coming up, that have new records out, that are doing positive things. I'm happy with a lot of the older bands that are still around, it's great to see bands like The Hoods and Shattered Realm and Agnostic Front, Sick Of It All and Ignite. We've known each other for a very long time you know, I feel happy to be apart of it.

Is there some other bands you would advise us to discover?
There's some good bands from Connecticut right now. There's Brothers In Arms, there kind of like the big new Conneticut band. Back in november we did our ten year anniversary tour. We played with a bunch of good bands, and I was suprised to see the ground swell of it. Right now theres kind of a big extreme scene who are more in tune with the death metal side of things. Like theres Suicide Silence and these guys from Job For A Cowboy. But there’s also guys who are more in line with traditional hardcore. It's good to see the unity and people with open minds and different bands playing with each other.

Between your own site and Headbanger’s Ball you certainly met a lot of legendary guys. Which one impress you the most ?
Probably Metallica. I was nervous to meet them, it was like you know... But when I got to talking with them it was really cool to see how down to earth they were. They’re really just regular people.

Can you maybe explain your goal when you started to do that ?
Just to get videos played and make a change. I really felt a lot of the so called people involved with the scene. It's a lot of talk and not a lot of action. Everybody says MTV sucks, big corporations suck and I said “well what are you doing to make a change?” So I went in and I made a change started playing Agnostic Front, Madball, Sick Of It All, Sworn Enemy, in tune with Napalm Death, Bolt Thrower, Obituary. I said “You gotta play extream bands you know!? It's Headbanger’s Ball!”. When I grew up it was like Slaughter, Bon Jovi and Mötley Crüe, and I did'nt like those bands. I would wait all night to see one Entombed video, one Morbid Angel video or Life Of Agony or Biohazard. I said we should make it for kids to see all different types of music, not just, one genre. So we represent everything. We have powermetal like Hammerfall, Manowar, Dragonforce. You also have like the extream bands like the Red Chord and Voivod. It represents all different types of music so people have careers now. It just blew up when it came back.

Do you choose the videos?
I don't program the show no. But when a new video comes in I say make sure you play this video or make sure you get this band on. So it's been cool to be like, you know. When I go back this friday, we have Shadows Fall coming on and we got Vinnie from Pantera coming in. Recently we've had a bunch of good guests so. We have more commercial bands coming on too. We've had Atreyu, and Avenged Sevenfold come on, people love those bands. There huge in America so, you know, you have to have both. But hopefully someone who likes the bigger bands will say "Oh! I wanna check out this Terror or First Blood!” and hopefully they learn and have an open mind.

You also have another side project called “Kingdom Of Sorrow” with Kirk from Crowbar/Down. Maybe you could tell us more about it?
That record is pretty much done. That was a really fun record to make. That’s like a totally different style than Icepick and Hatebreed. It's slow, sludggy, doomy, there's some melodic stuff, I do some clean singing. It was fun! Kirk's one of my oldest best friends. When I first saw crowbar in '96 he treated me like a brother. He's just a really great down to earth guy. So being able to work with him was an honour.

How did you come into hardcore?
I was lucky, I had a club like four blocks away from my house. When I would be in the car driving with my father or mother I would see all these people lined up on the street with mowhawks, skinheads, hardcore kids, straight-edge kids. So one day I walked by and I looked in and I heard all the music, and I was seeing everybody going crazy. And the guy said “six bucks or six dollars”. So I went in and I've been hooked ever since.

As we said you have lots of activities with Hatebreed, your side-projects, as producer, as label manager, you're site, Headbanger’s Ball, your clothing line... Ice-T is a bit like that also and we could see that his music was a little bit worse when he started to cumulate much activities. Aren’t you afraid of that ? Don’t you think you could be even better on staying focused in less things ?
Yeah, that's why I've hierd out those stuff at Abacus to do my releases and I have a new personal assistant. I have a new management for my clothing line (Hatewear) and for all my other stuff. Just cause I don't want it to hinder the creative process of the records, that's the most important thing. So yeah I definitly thaught about it. I'm doing too much, it's taking away from the creative self.

And could we imagine as a next step for you to become an actor or something like that... Have you already thaught about that ?
No. (Laughs) I've done a couple of movies but, I know where I gotta draw the line. All that is just waiting around. It was probobly the easiest five hundred dollars I've ever made. But it's not worth it. I waited like thirteen hours to say like "I'm going to get the car!" and that was it. That was my line in a movie. It was like all day, all night, waiting, waiting, waiting and like finally "you". Fuck that! (Laughs)

To finish, as we can see on you're myspace page, a picture of you and Sob from Merauder. Could you maybe tell us a funny story that happened with him?
Well, one time I was on the road and we were supposed to meet up with Merauder. And they did'nt show up and I was trying to get a hold of Sob and find out what happened. And I finnally did get a hold of them and I found out that they went to the wrong venue. (Laughs) Like they showed up and thought that it was'nt happening. So they were all pissed off. So when we finally did end up playing together. We used to play together a lot you know like in 97' and 98'. It was never a dull moment because as soon as we hit the stage Sob would beat every one up at the show pretty much. Weather it was like thirty kids or a hundred. He would just annihilate every one at the show. It was fun to see that people just terrified. There’s a lot of good stories like that.

Jamey tattoos' interview

Interview Laureline, O.S & Manu
Translation Nick Kryla/Manu