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Hatebreed‘s Chris Beattie: ”No matter what you do in life, but especially as a bass player, you’ve got to keep learning”

Chris Beattie
(Image credit: Mark Horton/Getty Images)

”We did our last tour with the Dropkick Murphys, and  our last show was October 15, 2019. We got home and started exchanging ideas back and forth, and then we started demoing the new album. I was done recording by the second week of December 2019, a couple of months before the current pandemic. We had a full tour booked with Parkway Drive slated to start in April 2020, so we can’t wait to go play the new stuff.  

“I have my own signature Jackson bass. I’ve had it for over 10 years now. We keep it simple in the studio: I just like that SansAmp crank. We knew we wanted a dirty sound and we didn’t want to go too crazy with effects, so we just cranked it and got it as dirty as we can. It’s my go-to pedal that I use on tour. I have a few of them, just in case. 

“No matter what you do in life in general, but especially as a bass player, you’ve got to practice and you’ve got to keep learning. There’s no point where you’ve reached the pinnacle. You have to love your instrument: it has to feel like a part of you. When I started, I was 14 years old and I would play seven or eight hours a day in my room. As a kid, I would get every issue of Bass Player magazine – I still have tons of them. I couldn’t wait to open it up and see what was in there.  

“One of the kids I grew up with was a musician who played everything. He was a drummer and a guitar player – everything he picked up, he was good at it. I would go over his house and see him playing drums and I was like, ‘Let me try and learn this.’

“He taught me some stuff, and I started practicing and took a couple lessons. I guess I was just guided towards bass, and then I fell in love with it. I won 500 bucks on a scratch-off lottery ticket and bought a metallic blue Charvel. I wish I still had that guitar.

We’re not a super-technical band, but we have some cool melodic parts that we toss in there, and I work on those bits

“So when you dive into an instrument, you have to go all in on it, but I know it’s different for today’s kids: I don’t know how long I would practise if I had a phone right next to me and I was being distracted by seeing the screen go off with a message. 

“That way, you’re not able to immerse yourself fully into what you’re doing. It’s like a constant distraction all the time. At the same time, I watch some of the YouTube stuff, and there’s some amazing players out there these days, so it’s not all bad by any means.“

“I’m diving back into bass right now. I took a little break to clear my head when the pandemic started, so it feels like everything’s new again. It’s awesome, because when you take a break you just want to learn again. You find cool things to play. You almost need to step back sometimes and reassess everything. I’m in love with the bass again.

”We’re not a super-technical band, but we have some cool melodic parts that we toss in there, and I work on those bits. My favorite part of playing bass is writing something new and sending it to the guys to check out. I also watch Scott’s Bass Lessons: his videos are cool, and he always has amazing artists on there.

“You can’t ever give up on yourself or your band. You’re gonna hit some roadblocks, and there’s going to be times when no-one comes to your show. It sucks, but you have to play like it’s someone’s first time watching you play. You can’t get discouraged. I understand why so many people give up, but as I see it, you can’t give up on your team.”

  • Hatebreed's Weight of the False Self is out now via Nuclear Blast.