Go to any small-time MMA show and you’ll hear Jamey Jasta screaming before at least one fight. Jasta’s band, Hatebreed, is a popular pick for entrance music and it turns out that the 32-year-old musician and entrepreneur is an avid fan of the sport. The former host of MTV2’s Headbanger’s Ball took some time out of his busy schedule to talk about theme songs and following fighters on Twitter.
FIGHT!: When did you start watching MMA?
Jamey Jasta: I saw it when I was a kid and enjoyed the Gracies and the different styles that went into it. Now it’s much different, but I still enjoy it and I watched PRIDE, and I’ve been to a couple of live events. Like I went to see [Andrei] Arlovski fight twice and now with the show (The Ultimate Fighter), it helps me keep up with [the] younger guys. I’m on all the social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook [and] MySpace. I talk to a lot of other MMA fans and there’s a nice comradery between fans … like people nicely breaking each other’s balls when you’re rooting for a different guy. I’ve been able to stay in the mix being on the road and being on tour.
FIGHT!: You actually recorded a theme song for Andrei Arlovski called “Onward To Victory.” How did that come about?
Jamey Jasta: Arlovski’s camp approached me about doing the song. They kinda told me what they wanted and he’s “The Pitbull,” so I put pitbulls barking and growling in the song. I put it together for him and he came out to it a bunch of times. You know, it seemed like whenever I would go to any sort of event, a lot of people would recognize me or was unaware I was a fan. So I just felt, “Man, this is a good crossover here.” Seems like a lot of heavy music fans are into it and I should just try to be more involved as much as I can.
FIGHT!: What was the first live event you went to?
Jamey Jasta: When Arlovski fought Paul Buentello at the Mohegan. That’s not too far from where I live, so it was cool. Like I said, I don’t think I really knew how much crossover there was between heavy music and MMA, so going in there and having people to stop me and take pictures, sign stuff and talking to people about the bouts, it was cool. If I wasn’t on tour so much, I would definitely try to get to more live events. It’s definitely way more exciting than watching it on TV.
FIGHT!: So are you more into the ground game or seeing fighters stand up and punch each other in the face?
Jamey Jasta: Seeing them stand-up and just go at it, punch [each other] in the face is great because I liked boxing as a kid. You know, there is nothing better than two guys going blow for blow. We (Hatebreed) just watched the [Manny] Pacquiao fight and that was just brutal. But MMA is so much more entertaining to me now than boxing. I like it all.
FIGHT!: Are there any fighters you’re a fan of, other than Andrei Arlovski?
Jamey Jasta: Yeah. I like Georges St-Pierre, Randy Couture … I’m following his twitter. I just saw he’s gonna be fighting again. I like Mayhem Miller, although that match [with Jake Shields] was pretty disappointing. He admitted on his Twitter that he was out of shape and he had to train more, which was a bummer.
FIGHT!: Did you see that twit pic of him with the staph infection on his neck? It looked like the zit from hell!
Jamey Jasta: Yeah! That was gnarly! I’ve actually had a staph infection in my leg and I had to tour with it. I had staples in my leg from a surgery and I had to do shows with it every night and it was terrible, man! I feel for him.
FIGHT! Magazine: You sound like you follow quite a few fighters on Twitter.
Jamey Jasta: Yeah. Twitter is great for that. I’ve been trying to spread the word about it. It’s for diehard fans; not just people who are on the fence about something. You follow the people you wanna know about and that’s it. A lot of people who follow me are straight, diehard fans. They wanna know every band that I’m working with or producing. They wanna know about he clothing line, the TV stuff … like I just did an appearance on VH1’s That Metal Show and all my twitter followers were checking it out, so it’s cool for direct connections with your real supportive fans. That’s why I think it’s a great tool.