When Hate Eternal frontman Erik Rutan decided to take the band’s new line-up from a trio to a quartet, he enlisted death metal veterans Alex Webster (Cannibal Corpse) on bass and guitarist Shaune Kelley (Ripping Corpse) as well as a sick young drummer from Montreal, Jade Simonetto (of metalcore sensations, Camilla Rhodes) whose furious skin bashing provides a scorching backdrop for Fury & Flames, Hate Eternal’s fourth studio album. Rutan comments that Jade’s “dedication to extreme drumming and groove has made him the perfect drummer for Hate Eternal.” Jade adds that he’s an ideal fit for the band, since former Hate Eternal drummer Derek Roddy has been his main influence for most of his drumming career. “I’m a big fan of Hate Eternal since Conquering The Throne,” Jade admits, “and I’ve listened to everything Derek’s put out. I’m a big fan of Morbid Angel as well and I’ve followed Erik’s career since he separated from that band. So, it all spawned from me being a huge fan who’s also into fast metal and fast drumming. When I found out that Hate Eternal needed a drummer, I pounced at the opportunity.” Jade says he plans on having a long future with Hate Eternal, “touring and making albums for as long as I can.”
Metal Edge: Do you feel that being a good drummer in an extreme metal band mostly means you are very good at playing fast? Likewise do you think some drummers are recognized as masters of their instrument when they are only capable of playing a few different beats?
Jade Simonetto: To me, being a good drummer is [playing] what works for the song and the band. Guys like George Kollias (Nile) is an incredible drummer who has a lot of groove, but he’s really more of a precision guy. I don’t know if you would consider Rage Against the Machine to be a metal band, and it’s not very complex drumming, but it just works so well with the band’s music that it’s great drumming. I don’t really want to criticize drummers on their technical ability because it’s more about their musicality and what they have to bring to the song. Whether you’re playing an AC/DC beat or 250 BPM double bass, whatever works for the song is what counts.
Metal Edge: Some people say that the drums in extreme metal have become distracting: that fans focus too much on the speed and stamina of the drummer and barely pay attention to the song as a whole. Do you agree?
Jade Simonetto: A lot of guys who aren’t experienced in extreme metal will ask me, ‘what’s up with the crazy drums?’ Looking back to the ‘80s, extravagant guitar solos and guitar playing were the norm for metal. But nowadays it seems like drummers have become the solo artists for metal. It’s all about the drumming. Having everybody concentrating on how good the drummer is puts a lot of pressure on drummers, especially me. Just coming in to Hate Eternal and replacing Derek, you know there are a lot of guys out there watching for any mistake I might make. I try not to pay attention to that, but of course it adds an extra level of stress. Going back to the philosophy of playing for the song, if a drummer is not a clinician or a solo artist, you shouldn’t really be focusing on how technical he is. Just look at how what he’s playing serves the song.
Metal Edge: How are your drum tracks recorded? Is there much editing or Protooling involved?
Jade Simonetto: Actually, it was the total opposite. I spent a month and a half recording in Florida, because Erik has the old school approach of nailing everything in one take. When I’ve recorded with my other band, Camilla Rhodes, we have a very different approach, where we work on the song section by section. That method is a lot easier on my stamina and recording that way does make it a lot tighter in terms of speed, but it can lack groove or soul. With Erik wanting to make sure I nail the song from A to Z in one take it will sometimes take me an entire day to get one song. There was one song where I did seventy takes and he picked the best one out of all of them!
Sizes: 12” and 14” Rack Toms, 16” and 18” Floor Toms, (2) 22” Kicks, (1) 14” Snare and (1) 13” Snare
Jade’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jadewilliamsimonetto/
Official Band Website: https://www.facebook.com/Hate.Eternal/
This article was originally written for Metal Edge Magazine as part of a monthly column by Gail Worley (under the pen name Jayne Rollins). With the magazines’ dissolution, the article has been added to the content base of The Worley Gig for our readers’ enjoyment.