Guitarist Wayne Lozinak Details How Metal and Hardcore Are Embedded In the DNA of Hatebreed

Guitarist Wayne Lozinak Details How Metal and Hardcore Are Embedded In the DNA of Hatebreed

- By Ramon Gonzales

Guesting on Defender of the Riff, the veteran guitarist shares his personal journey of musical discovery and explains how falling in love with metal and hardcore would come full circle in his career.

Photo by Maurice Nunez

Hatebreed veteran guitarist Wayne Lozinak jumped into the hot seat for a session on the Knotfest original series, Defender of the Riff opposite host, Daniel DeKay. The impromptu conversation saw the two strap up, play a few choice riffs and further explore the journey of personal musical discovery for the metallic hardcore OG. 

Lozinak shared that the band that really set him on his life's path, at least initially was KISS. He explained that back in the 70's, his father had plenty of records around the house and the smoking guitar of Ace Frehley ultimately piqued his interest. Lozinak would continue down the path of big riffs, further delving into the metal boom of the 80's and getting into bands like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest countered with Motley Crue and RATT. 



What started with KISS, would eventually segue into an appreciation for the likes of guitar Gods, Randy Rhodes and Kirk Hammett. While Lozinak would grow to have several influences from his earliest days and throughout his career, he explained that those two have always been a fixture in his life and would first push him to want to learn how to play along. 

Confiding his love for all of the Ozzy guitarists, Lozinak included the likes of Jake E. Lee and Zakk Wylde among his favorites - confiding a deep-seeded love for the various eras of Ozzy. For contrast however, he also roped in talents like Michael Amott of Arch Enemy among his essentials as well. Citing his appreciation for the players that incorporate melody into their more shreddy stretches, that''s the stuff that gets Lozinak fired up. 

As Lozinak's palette evolved and he further fell in love with the craft, his late teens proved formative in that he found punk and hardcore. He shared that he gravitated towards bands like Cro-Mags and Agnostic Front and moved from the theatrics and glamour of the 80's to the grit and guts of hardcore and punk. With that, he picked up a Gibson SG as a result. 

Lozinak explained how the early 2000's boom in American metal really reignited his love for metal again in that it seemed to really bridge his two worlds. He talked about how bands like Lamb of God and Shadows Fall turned him back on to metal and how the reinvention of Zakk Wylde in Black Label Society allowed him to find an even greater appreciation for one os his first guitar heroes. 

Lozinak also detailed his background in terms of bands, He talked about how his first time actually playing with a group of guys came when he was 14, discovering a local high school cover band. He recalled playing covers of everything from Ozzy (of course) to more contemporary bands of the time like Biohazard and Testament. From there, Lozinak would discover Hatebreed in 1994. He talked about going to one of the band's earliest shows - watching a Hatebreed in their infancy play all of three songs with just one guitarist and frontman Jamey Jasta winging it on the mic. 



Lozinak would also bring the discussion full circle, explaining how his background that began with metal and evolved into hardcore, only to come back to metal again would play into the versatility of a band like Hatebreed. Among the few bands that can tour with the likes of Obituary and Napalm Death just as a seamlessly as a Terror or an Agnostic Front, few bands have earned the reputation for truly being metallic hardcore the way Hatebreed have. 

Covering the decades-deep catalog of Hatebreed, Lozinak would cite two songs as perfect examples of how Hatebreed epitomizes that hardcore metal crossover, He would jam "Looking Down the Barrel of Today" from 2016 and the 1997 track, "Not One Truth" to better illustrate how metal has always been a part of the band's hardcore DNA. 

Check the complete episode of Defender of the Riff feature Hatebreed OG, Wayne Lozinak - HERE

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