Weight of the False Self

Hatebreed

Weight of the False Self

With their eighth album, Hatebreed doubles down on the deep grooves and crushing breakdowns that have made them one of the most popular hardcore bands of all time. “A Hatebreed album is always going to be a Hatebreed album,” drummer Matt Byrne tells Apple Music. “We don’t lose our identity with trying to do rap rock or ballads or anything like that. But we always try to add some kind of new spice into the pot to keep things fresh for us as well as our fans.” Weight of the False Self does just that, offering slight tweaks to the proven Hatebreed formula on “Cling to Life” and “A Stroke of Red” while delivering chest-beating displays of dominance on sledgehammer opener “Instinctive (Slaughterlust),” the pounding title track, and the ’90s-style throwback “This I Earned.” “If you’re a Hatebreed fan, you’re getting exactly what you want,” Byrne says. “If you’re not a Hatebreed fan, what can I tell you?” Below, the drummer takes us track by track through Weight of the False Self.
Instinctive (Slaughterlust) “This song has all the elements of Hatebreed—all the things that Hatebreed has come to be identified with and all the things that our fans have come to know and love about Hatebreed. It just starts punching you in the face right off the bat, and it has what I like to call the caveman-style drumbeat, with half-time on the hi-hats. It's got a fast part. It's got the breakdowns at the end and a very deep groove. It’s the perfect song to begin the record with.”
Let Them All Rot “This one has a different vibe compared to some of the other tracks on the record. It’s got a cool riff, and the gang vocals kind of bounce along with it. It’s uptempo, so coming out of ‘Instinctive,’ it’s a good shift for track two. Lyrically, I think it's taking the standpoint of ‘Let's look at corporations and the government and Big Pharma—how they really don't give a shit about us.’ They’ve got the most money, and they’re pulling the strings.”
Set It Right (Start With Yourself) “This is one of my favorites on the album, and I like that it’s at the beginning so people can hear it immediately. The drums are all about endurance on this one, especially with the feet, because the kick drum hugs the guitar riff for the entire song and there’s a lot of chugging. So you’re really getting a workout there, but the song is about groove. It’s got a strong backbeat, and the cadence of the vocals is really cool. You can’t help but bob your head when you’re listening to this song.”
Weight of the False Self “The title track has this buzzsaw-type riff that really drives the song. It’s got a tricky drumbeat that took me a while to really nail, but the song itself is a perfect anthem, I think, for when we play the big open-air festivals in Europe. When you happen upon a song like this and it just clicks, we always think of Europe, because we spend so much time over there and they have those huge festivals with like 100,000 people. Everyone’s going to be singing along with us on this one. It’s really catchy.”
Cling to Life “‘Cling to Life’ is kind of a breath of fresh air on the album. The album has so much force behind it, just beating you over the head, so this is one of those songs that throws a different dynamic into the track list. It’s something you don’t typically hear from us, I guess. It’s slowed down a little bit and it’s got a deep groove that really airs it out. Lyrically, it’s talking about how there’s always something positive to latch on to, no matter what you’re going through. Hang on and you’ll get through it.”
A Stroke of Red “This is another one like ‘Cling to Life,’ and I’m glad they follow each other, because, like I said, they add a different dynamic to the rest of the album. When I hear the finished product now, I’m like, ‘I hear Megadeth in that.’ It’s got that metal, driving, almost rock beat—that ‘Symphony of Destruction’ type of vibe. So it’s a completely different dynamic for us, and I like that it’s right in the middle of the record, like a good segue, a good intermission.”
Dig Your Way Out “This is definitely the fastest song on the record. It’s warp-speed hardcore punk—nothing but fast all the way through. It’s got cool double bass and toms with a tribal vibe, and then of course a crushing breakdown at the end. You gotta have that breakdown—it’s part of our identity. But the song is just fast. If you’re in your car, you’ll be doing 90 miles an hour listening to this thing. It just sets that type of pace.”
This I Earned “This song has a vibe kinda like ‘Before Dishonor’ from [1997’s] Satisfaction Is the Death of Desire. The groove is what really made me love this song, and the lyrics are great. It’s got a lot of familiar elements of what we talk about in Hatebreed—if you want something, go for it. Don’t take no for an answer. Don’t let anybody get in your way. Go after what you want and obtain it.”
Wings of the Vulture “This has got what I like to call the ‘Hatebreed bounce.’ It’s got that half-time caveman feel, but it’s got a bounce almost like a hip-hop song. It’s a pretty straightforward song—it’s not that complicated—but it’s another one where you play it live and the crowd will be jumping up and down. That’s the trademark bounce.”
The Herd Will Scatter “The title is great. You take out the shepherd and the herd that follows him will scatter. This song was great for me because it starts out with a drum solo, and what drummer doesn't want to flex a little bit and show everybody what they’ve got? We’ve done plenty of songs that have a drum intro or some kind of little drum hook to start out a song, but never straight-up eight bars of drum solo. Beyond that, it’s a great thrash song with a fast beat before the bottom drops out and you have a groove part. I’m looking forward to playing this one live.”
From Gold to Gray “It was great to hear this song develop, especially with the guitars. We did about four guitar tracks on each song, so as it got layered and thickened up more, it was really cool to hear this song fill out and become what it was—because at first I wasn't so sure of it. I wasn't completely sold on it. But it definitely has a place here, and it's a good song to trail the end of the album off with.”
Invoking Dominance “It’s a perfect closer in that this is another one of those songs that has these elements that are fresh and new and, dare I say, experimental to us a little bit. The intro on this song is very melodic, very layered with guitars. There’s some harmonies going on there, and then it’s full-on thrash guitar, a lot of groove with the drums, and it’s just an angry-ass song.”

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