The Phoenix rises from the Ashes- Jade Simonetto speaks out.
Hate Eternal formed form the ashes of Eric Rutan's old band 'Ripping Corpse' who released 1 album 'Dreaming With The Dead' released in 91 on Maze Records/ Under One Flag here in Europe. Since the bands debut album the band went separate ways and Erik soon joined Morbid Angel for several albums and tours before forming this band 'Hate Eternal'. Eric has also done a couple of projects that really never made it, such as 'Alas', which was a shame really. Hate Eternal formed back in 97 bassist and co-vocalist Jared Anderson & drummer Tim Yeung & guitarist Doug Cerrito. Like all bands they have line-up changes and Tim left the band to be replaced by Derek Roddy (Ex Nile/ Malevolent Creation) and later on drummer Jade Simonetto joined the band with bassist JJ Hrubocvak. The band have recorded several albums both for Earache Records with their debut album 'Conquering the Throne' in 99 which saw the album been rather successful and was soon followed by 'King of all Kings' in 2002. The band soon later on signed to Metal Blade Records and released 'Fury & Flames' in 2008 and now their new ear splitting album 'Phoenix Amongst The Ashes' in 2011. The album was produced by Erik who is known for his work with Cannibal Corpse and Malevolent Creation as a producer. I managed to chat with drummer Jade about the bands new album and how they all got together to form this insane hard hitting Death Metal act. Here is what he had to say.
OK Jade, thanx for the call, hope your well. So let's start by asking you how the metal scene is right now over there in sunny Florida? is it still alive and kicking or is it slowly dying away?
"Well I'm doing great thanx. As far as I know the scene over here is alive and well, with bands like Cannibal Corpse, Morbid Angel, Malevolent Creation and Hate Eternal all doing interesting stuff and I am from Canada myself and I'm from Montreal."
As this is the 1st interview I have done with the band please enlighten me with how the band got together.
"I know the band was formed back in 97 and that is when he put out his demo tape and they were looking out for a deal and I know Eric has been doing the brutal music now for some time. He is a very busy person with his Alas project he did and other things like producing albums he really is a workoholic."
So why did he call the band 'Hate Eternal'?"
"Well I think it perfectly describes his emotional feelings in the way he was feeling and Eric & myself would share a lot of life experiences in terms of our child hood and and I know what 'Hate Eternal' means, to have that feeling inside. So I can understand what the name means to Eric and it suits the bands name."
Ok Jade moving on, what sort of musical influences do you all have as a band?
"Well for me, I am a little younger than Eric & JJ, so I do think I do have a lot of the same influences because I am more into the old school stuff going back to the 70's when my dad made listen too all this 70's stuff so I guess my tastes in music is a little bit more in the 70's. It's like if I ask kids the same age as me who Morbid Angel are they really don't know who they are, which is kind of sad really and I am 27yrs old. It's strange if they play in a Death Metal band but they have never heard of Morbid Angel, I really don't get it? its like if you don't know were your coming from then you don't know were your going too. All the good Death metal is from the 80's and 90's and it's mainly from Florida. I love Suffocation, there amazing live and when I see bands in the studio playing Death metal most of them take so long recording and when it comes to playing live they just suck! Suffocation are awesome live man."
I ever wonder what happened to Scott Burns, he was a really good producer for Death Metal back in the 80's, 90's. Do you hear or see him at all?
"I really don't know what happened to him?."
Before joining Hate Eternal what other bands were you in?
"I was in a band called 'Plasma Rifle' which I only did an EP with them and I didn't think I was in the band as a full time member I was just helping those guys out. After the EP I just parted ways with them and that is why I tried out for Hate Eternal."
So how did you hook up with JJ and Eric?
"Well it all started with the fact that I knew Derek had left and Eric had not announced anything that he had found a drummer or not so I just decided to hit him up and see what the deal is and that is when he let me know if I wanted to try out for the band. So I sent him some videos of me and put them online, so that is why I did those videos on 'You Tube' and I think that convinced him for me to come down and try out for the band. I really had my work cut out, as Eric had worked with some of the best Death metal drummers I knew it was going to be a tough ride. If I do anything wrong he will point it out and tell me, he is a great producer and he can hear when things are wrong. I think that is for the better, it helps me improve as a drummer. (Ed: who are your drummer influences, who has inspired you?) I would have to say Dave from Slayer, Pete from Morbid Angel who changed everything for me, Dave was a bad ass but Pete was doing stuff what didn't even seem human at that time and you would listen to Morbid Angel and think if it was real drumming. The you would see them live and think holy shit that's a real drummer!! I later on got into the drummer Virgil Donati from Australia who has worked with 'Planet X' with Tony Macalpine who is the most technical and versatile drummer out there. I also think that all the other Hate Eternal drummer are bad ass, I knew all the material before I even joined the band and I would even practice the songs all the time."
So when did you join the band? Did you do the last album? Also how would you compare the last album with that of the new album?
"Yes I did the last album 'Fury & Flames', it was my 1st album with the band. Well when I did the 'Fury & Flames' album was I trying to show off my speed and talent as I was new to the band and I was trying to show the world that I was a 23yrs hot shot showing people how many notes I can play & because of that I think the album suffered. Nowadays I try to play to the songs rather than my ego and it's about the band and not myself. If I could go back and redo the last album I would and I think that goes for anybody really. We as musicians just keep on getting better and better and I listen too the 'Fury & Flames' and I see myself getting better with progression."
When you record our albums do you use anything like Pro-Tools? Any tricks?
"Well we all use pro-tools its just a matter of how much you use with it and I am telling you Jason, when the bands who use it use too much stuff with it it all becomes mechanical and they will regret it one day later in their life's. We had the real deal with the recording of the drums on this album, there are some parts were you can hear that I am getting tired doing blast beats and that is been a real drummer and there isn't a real drummer who hasn't made a mistake were all human."
Moving on lets talk about the new album 'Phoenix Amongst The Ashes', so why the title? Did you also have any other titles for the album?
"Well the last album 'Fury & Flames' is obviously about death and fire and chaos, and basically a lot of the emotions that Eric was writing about when Jared Anderson died it was a difficult time for him and I also think it has tribute to him in a more positive way, in a more resurrected, rebirth way a life after death. It is a continuous step forward from the last album in a more positive way. Well we write the music for the album and I ended up going back to Canada after my drums were complete and we had no album titles and no lyrics and I think Eric goes into military mode and gets into a frame of mind and later he started to let me know what the title of the album would be and the lyrics too. I think the production on this record is awesome & I feel that my drum performance shines through."
So who writes the songs and lyrics? I guess it all down to Eric?
"Eric writes the lyrics, but we all collaborate together as a band and I would say that Eric writes a lot of the material as this his is brain child but JJ had a lot of the writing part on this new album, maybe even more than any other past member of the band has done. He through a lot of ideas at Eric which some of the ideas worked and some did not. I have complete control over my drumming."
So what songs on the new album stand out for you and why?
"Well I really do like 'Lake Ablaze', & 'The Eternal Rules' just because they are such fast songs for me to record and I had such a hard time trying to play these songs when we recorded them. Listening back now I feel so proud of my performance as I played that stuff and sometimes you can hear my stuttering and getting tired. One of my favourites is 'Hatesworn' as it just as such a bad ass grove man and its just me playing like an army of death and there is nothing you can do about it."
How did this album take to record?
"Well we went into the studio for pre-production and JJ would be down for a few sessions at a time and I would be in the drum room doing my drum parts whilst Eric did his parts. At the end of the night we would all get together and practice certain song & put it together which we did in September and most of October. I was doing the drum tracks for about 2-3wks and the cool thing is that Eric owns the studio so there was no time limit and if we feel we can make a better recording the day after we will re do the song."
Are you happy with the way things are turning out between you and Metal Blade?
"Yes things are going great for the 2 of us, there more like a family and we are the children and they are our parents and they treat us with a lot of respect and they put a lot of work into our band with advertising and promotion. We have worked with a few indie labels but they really don't know how to treat their bands best of times."
As the band have done 1 DVD 'The Perilous Fight' through Earache, will you be doing a new DVD in support to this album on the forthcoming tour?
"Well we were talking about this the other night and we plan on doing a few more records and we will do a live DVD somewhere along the line. I don't think the timing is right yet, we have to make sure the album does well and we need to do another 1- 2 records before we consider doing a new DVD."
Do you have any new songs wrote for the next CD?
"Well we have ideas, but right now we are completely focused on what we are doing now with touring for this record. Maybe after the tours we may continue to write more new ideas for the next album."
So what sort of albums reviews has the new album been getting? Good or bad ones?
"Well basically they have been good and fair so far, Eric has been getting some great feedback from the new album, especially from the fans. We have put a song on our website for the fans to check out and they love the album, we get some great feedback from them so we know it's a great album from what the fans are telling us by the one songs they have heard. We put the song 'Haunting Abound' on 'You Tube' and like Is aid it's getting a great response."
Will there be a promo video for this album? If so for which song?
"Well we are not sure which song we will do a promo video for 'Haunting Abound' but we are not sure yet. When the time comes we will sit down and really think about which song we should do a promo video for."
So your about to go on tour around the UK and Europe, who will the tour be with and how excited are you about the tour?
"Well we are doing shows in London, Manchester, Essex I think and I am looking forward to getting over there and drinking Newcastle Beer by the pint. We are playing with Obscurer, Beneath the Master & Devile from Japan."
Well Jade, thanx for doing the interview, best of luck with the tour. Do you have anything to say before we finish the interview?
"Yes thanks to our fans for their dying support, check out the new album, it's brutal and heavy and come to our shows if you can. Peace Jase!!!"
Thanx to Andy @ Metal Blade for the interview.