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Five Finger Death Punch Delve Into Double Album Dynamics + Playing 2013 Mayhem Festival

Five Finger Death Punch
Kathy Flynn, WickedGoddessPhotography.com

Five Finger Death Punch have a huge summer ahead of them as the first part of their two album 2013 output will have arrived just as they head out on the Mayhem Festival. Having just put the final touches on the two-disc collection, the band took a break to hang out with their peers and enjoy a celebration of their genre at the Revolver Golden Gods Awards. Loudwire had a chance to speak with frontman Ivan Moody and guitarist Zoltan Bathory, who delved into the reason for making a double album, teased their work with very special guest star Rob Halford and talked about what playing the 2013 Mayhem Festival means to them.

Congratulations. I hear you guys are doing a double album.

Zoltan Bathory: Yeah well, it’s different. It’s interesting for us because it’s in a time and day where people don’t sell records, you know. It was one of those things where we originally recorded it and people were like, ‘Ooh guys, are you serious?’ But for us, it was a situation where we had so much material and we were so happy with what we recorded. It’s like what are you going to leave off of the record? So we were like let’s not even vote. A year from now, if we waited too long, a year or two from now you don’t even know what kind of mindset you’re going to be in. And this is current, this is right now! This is how we feel right now. This is where we wrote it …

Ivan Moody: …Instead of shelving a lot of material and waiting two years to promote it. We might as well put it all out at once.

Ivan, I know the creative process was really flowing for you and you’re responsible for a lot of the lyrical content. Can you talk about what was inspiring you and the direction you took with this album?

Moody: I’ve always felt that every piece of life is inspiring, whether it be religion, family, politics, women, of course women, and I’m inspired pretty much on a day-to-day event.

Bathory: We’re always appreciative of the fact that Ivan writes the lyrics. But this time it was particularly hard for him because you’ve got to come up with 24 frickin’ songs. But first of all, the material was flowing, so it wasn’t like a calculated thing. It just happened. But we’re always appreciative of the fact that he writes about stuff that’s relevant and it relates to our lives. We don’t have Viking ships and blazing swords and all that s— in the lyrics. It’s okay, I listen to those bands, but it’s not for us. It’s the kind of thing that I’m happy and appreciative that he was writing those kind of lyrics that connect to the people because it’s real.

And you’re introducing a new song tonight. Can you tell us about it?

Bathory: So basically this is going to be the first time we’re going to play this song off of the record. And it’s got a special guest, it’s going to be a surprise. And the special guest, it’s somebody who really truly defines this genre and we’re really a big fan of. It’s a very well-respected vocalist and he likes the band. He likes Five Finger Death Punch and we grew up on his music, so it’s going to be a perfect, perfect match.

[Editor's Note: The song turned out to be 'Lift Me Up,' the lead single from their upcoming album, with special guest Rob Halford of Judas Priest.]

And finally, Mayhem Festival coming up this summer and you’ve had a very good relationship with Mayhem over the years. What does it mean for you to be headlining it this summer?

For us it’s a very special story because this band started off on the side stage of Mayhem in 2008 and that was the first time we got exposure on a larger scale. And you know, they gave us 30 minutes, and people usually judge this band off of songs they’ve heard on the radio, but that’s just one-fifth of a record. We’re a heavy band, really. So when you give us 30 minutes to play, we can chop some wood, you know. And that was like 4:00, 3:00 in the afternoon, with these short sets in the sun, but we were killing it. That’s when we really got noticed by people and became known as a live band. And then we moved up to the main stage and opened the main stage and now we’re headlining. So that’s our Mayhem story. We kind of grew up in their cradle if that makes any sense.

Five Finger Death Punch + Rob Halford Rock 'Lift Me Up' at 2013 Golden Gods

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