Matt Byrne talks UK tours, Hatebreed downtime and working on his chops



Hatebreed blitzed the UK at the tail-end of 2010 with a batch of long overdue headlining dates. As they melted faces country-wide, we sat down with drummer Matt Byrne to get the skinny on returning to the UK, what 2011 has in store and the demands of playing small, sweaty packed out clubs.

How was the UK tour for you guys?

"We hadn't been over to the UK on our own for a little while. We did a couple of shows with Machine Head early in the year. The shows with Machine Head were large venues and it's good to be back in a smaller pub/club atmosphere where there's no barricade, our fans can stage dive and we're closer together on stage. It's like going back to us where we came from."

Do you prefer these more intimate shows over the bigger support slots?

"We prefer both. Obviously we like bigger shows and festivals like Ozzfest and the Mayhem tours, but we came from the smaller clubs so whenever we're playing in that atmosphere it always feels good to come back to where we came from."

How's 2011 looking for you and the band?

"We'll take some time off. We have some shows peppered in the first six months of the year, we have some stuff going on here and there."

Any plans for a new record?

"It [a new album] was talked about but I don't think we're going to get working on anything initially, I think we're going to take some time off."

Will some time off be a chance for you to get back working on your chops?

"I think I'm going to take some time to myself and get back to practicing and work on some chops and beats outside of the heavy metal world. Just get back to basics and enjoy playing the drums and not having to do a gig every night, just getting back into the instrument. Sometimes I go home and hit the pads hard and others I just go and relax."

What's your set-up of choice at the minute?

"It depends on the size of the stage. Some nights I'll strip it down to a five piece, others I'll use the full double kick drum set-up, it all depends on how much space is up there. Every night is different for me. I never set up the entire eight-piece kit, I always knock a few pieces off. It doesn't bother me."

Rich Chamberlain

Rich is a teacher, one time Rhythm staff writer and experienced freelance journalist who has interviewed countless revered musicians, engineers, producers and stars for the our world-leading music making portfolio, including such titles as Rhythm, Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, and MusicRadar. His victims include such luminaries as Ice T, Mark Guilani and Jamie Oliver (the drumming one).