Five Finger Death Punch Guitarist Jason Hook Previews Trespass America Festival
Five Finger Death Punch don’t slow down. From being on the road nonstop to releasing three studio albums in four years, the guys never seem to take a break, and this summer is no different. On Friday, (July 13), the band will kick off their headlining stint on the Trespass America Festival, which also features Killswitch Engage, Trivium, God Forbid, Pop Evil, Battlecross and Emmure.
As they gear up for Trespass America, 5FDP axeman Jason Hook took a few minutes to tell us all about what to expect from this tour. Check out our interview with the guitarist and enter to win a Trespass America prize pack below:
You guys are headlining the Trespass America Festival tour this summer. The lineup is insane with acts like Killswitch Engage, Trivium and God Forbid, just to name a few. Your fellow 5FDP guitarist Zoltan Bathory said, “When you walk through the Trespass America Festival gate, you will be in a different territory, a new environment.” What makes this a festival more than just a standard concert experience?
I was down at the arena last night in Colorado; I flew in early. We put production around the whole arena. It’s not just the stage. There’s stuff happening on the sides of the arena and in the back of the arena. It’s hard to explain it, you just have to see it. Our whole thing is we want to do stuff that’s different. Everybody has seen a rock show and a light show. We sit there with a pad and a pen and just talk about what people haven’t seen yet. That’s the exciting part. Once you get one or two of those ideas, then you have to figure out what bands make sense. We wanted to create something where people went, “Man, I have to go to that. I can’t miss that.” It’s a challenge, you know? Everybody has been touring forever and trying to come up with something different is a challenge. This one is going to be cool. I’m really excited. I was looking at all the stuff we brought for this tour and I couldn’t believe it. You know, we always p— our accountants off because we always want to spend a lot of money. We’re just like, “F— it. Let’s do it!” We have to have our reputation, you know? We can make money later!
It’s such a killer lineup. Who are you looking forward to seeing?
I really enjoy Killswitch Engage. I have such a great admiration for the group. I love all their records. I really liked the first couple of records and I’m anxious to see what they do with the brand new one. I don’t think it’s quite ready to be released yet, but with Jesse [Leach] back in the band that’s certainly going to be cool. I love the band. We were really anxious to get them on the bill and I’m so happy we secured them. It’s going to be a real treat for me.
On the heels of the band’s third studio album, ‘American Capitalist’ — not to mention your second album, ‘War is the Answer’ — it seems like the name of this tour might have some political leanings. Is there any truth to that?
Not so much, to be honest. [It's more like] we’re entering into some of these venues where you only see the biggest rock acts. We’re like an underground metal festival and now you’re seeing us pop into these huge venues. We feel like we’re trespassing onto that turf, being more underground, you know?
When Five Finger Death Punch takes the stage, are there any surprises in store for fans?
That’s a very good question, because again, we talk a lot, we toss ideas around. We’re forcing ourselves to learn some new songs. We’ve kind of rotated the core set of songs for a while now. There are a certain amount of songs that fans expect to hear. We’re swapping a few of those songs out and bringing in stuff we haven’t played yet. We’ll play stuff off of ‘War is the Answer’ and our latest single ‘Coming Down.’ We were jamming on that last night and learning to play it live. About 4 or 5 months ago I took a poll on Facebook, just for fun. I asked the fans to design their perfect set for Five Finger Death Punch utilizing 4 songs from each record. It’s quite amazing to see that 90% of the people agree on certain songs. The 1 or 2 songs that they all agreed on that we don’t play, I brought those to the band. I told them that everyone wants to hear ‘War is the Answer’ off of ‘War is the Answer,’ but we’ve never played that. I go, “Maybe we should play that?”
That’s awesome that you involve the fanbase like that.
It’s all about paying attention to the people that are into the group. It’s so easy to become self-absorbed. Everything doesn’t revolve around us. It’s about the exchange between us and the people who like the group. I’m always asking for feedback, and then I go back to the guys with what I find out.
There’s no doubt your fans appreciate that.
It’s for them. We’re spending all this money and we practice real hard and we make these records, but if it doesn’t connect with them, then it’s just a wash.
See a full list of Trespass America Festival dates and purchase tickets to the tour here. Stay tuned for Part 2 of our interview with Jason Hook, as he talks about Five Finger Death Punch hitting the studio, their latest single ‘Coming Down’ and more! In the meantime, enter our contest to win a Trespass America prize pack chock full of goodies from several of the bands on the tour.