Hard-core rockers Hatebreed were already a popular, bigger-than-underground concern before frontman Jamey Jasta took over hosting duties on MTV2’s “Headbanger’s Ball.” But he notes that his stature — and, by association, the band’s — has been bolstered by his role with the show. “I think I’m defi nitely waving the flag for (heavy) metal, and a
lot of people respect that,” says Jasta, 29. “Before ‘Headbanger’s Ball,’ people didn’t realize I was
such a big fan of all sorts of metal. They looked at me like just a hard-core kid or a guy singing for this crazy, loud, hardcore band.
“I really felt like I could go in there and make a change, not only for us but for the community in general. If anything, it’s helped tons of other bands and kept us sort of out there at a time when hard-core music has really been thrown to the wayside while more metal and crossover stuff has exploded.”
Jasta, meanwhile, almost imploded before making Hatebreed’s fourth album, “Supremacy.” Watching the Connecticut group’s manager battle a brain tumor, he says, “was kind of like a catalyst of all these other negative things that started to enter my life,” and for a time he even thought about quitting the band.
But a 10th anniversary tour in 2005 rekindled his exuberance.
“I was just having fun with it again,” Jasta says. “I went out, had a good time every day, talked to fans every day, had two sold-out hometown shows in New Haven. ... It was just a real spirit-lifting tour that made me feel good about doing everything again.”
Hatebreed, Exodus, Napalm Death, First Blood, Despised Icon and Detroit’s the Black Dahlia Murder perform tonight at Harpo’s, 14238 Harper, Detroit. Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $20. Call (313) 824-1700 or visit
Send your thoughts and comments to