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Five Finger Death Punch’s Ivan Moody and Zoltan Bathory Talk ‘American Capitalist’

Ivan Moody and Zoltan Bathory
Gareth Cattermole, Getty Images

Radio host Full Metal Jackie talked to Five Finger Death Punch singer Ivan Moody and guitarist Zoltan Bathory over the weekend. The two rockers discussed the band’s new album, ‘American Capitalist,’ which is out this week, their upcoming Share the Welt Tour (with Hatebreed and All That Remains) and how 5FDP are perceived by music fans. If you missed Full Metal Jackie’s show, read the full interview with Ivan Moody and Zoltan Bathory here:

The album title is called ‘American Capitalist, so who in the band never seems to never seems to have any money on them?

Zoltan Bathory: I think I will plead the fifth right there. [laughs] No we have credit cards. Ivan has a credit card, a nice one, I saw it. He actually has a real credit card. I saw it. [laughs]

Ivan Moody: I just hide it well, very well.

Zoltan Bathory: It really depends, when a bill comes then, “I forgot my credit card.” But actually to tell you the truth it changed, Ivan is, I’m impressed, he’s a baller, man. He has cars and stuff, I’m like, “Ivan, what’s happening?”

Money’s not an issue?

IM: I’ve just always been really, we’ll call it, tight pocketed. I like to save it for the things I want, instead what everybody else wants, so I hide it very well

ZB: He has a nicer car right now than I do. Imagine that.

Obviously we know that Five Finger Death Punch gets a lot of attention, both love and hate but never any middle ground it seems. What is it about this band that instigates people so much?

IM: I think it’s a lot of little things. You know I actually told my daughter the other day, we were at the store and I had a couple of people ask me for autographs and a couple people look at me like I was the antichrist. So I told her it’s either jealousy or fear, it’s really categorized in one of those two things. So we welcome the haters, we always have. I mean that’s half the lightning for me, but we wouldn’t be here without our fans and they know that. I know you hear that, it”s so cliche and you hear everybody say it but it’s absolutely true.

How about you, Zoltan, how would you answer that question?

ZB: I’m actually happy that we are kind of polarizing men and at any given moment you make a statement, like a real statement, there’s going to be a reaction either “yay” or “nay.” If you’re not saying anything then you’re going to have a middle ground but if you say something and you really have a true opinion about something you will have a reaction “yes” or “no” — that’s just how it goes.

What would you say is a harder way to communicate with music — heavier songs or more ballad-type stuff?

IM: I’d say for me personally, lyrically, it’s the ballad-y stuff and it’s because you have to put so much of yourself into it. For me, it’s really easy to be aggravated and pissed off, for some off reason, it’s been embedded in me since the day I was born, but to actually be passionate enough and exposed enough to let the world actually into a degree where I’m hoping they understand what I’m going through. It’s difficult for me because I’ve never been one to just lay it out on a sheet of paper … everything that I sing about, especially songs like ‘Far From Home’ and ‘The Bleeding,’ I really put 110 percent of myself into it so it’s difficult.

What can we expect on the Share the Welt Tour, now you guys have a couple of records under your belt?

ZB: Actually now it’s becoming difficult because now we have so many songs, we have to actually fight about what we’re going to play but most importantly we’re always trying to push the envelope visually. This is probably going to be the biggest stage set we’ve ever actually imagined — well last Mayhem Festival we kind of pushed it already but this is really why we’re gearing up. We want to convert this whole concert thing into an experience, so instead of just watching a band playing, jumping around, we want to have a full on experience. I’m a huge fan of bands like Rammstein, Iron Maiden, whoever puts on big shows, That’s the dream, that’s the idea that your fans come and see a show that they will talk about for months, that’s the idea, for years.

IM: I’m glad you said that because Jackie, I know you’ve interviewed and seen just about every band on earth from Rob Halford down the line, I just went to the table with Zo and we discussed it and being fans of bands like Rammstein and Maiden and [Judas] Priest, we want to make this so worth the ticket price that people are going to walk in and be completely awed and 10 years from now they’re going to say, “I was there, I saw that tour” and change a couple lives.

ZB: Actually the thing that he just said, that’s a really important thing that there’s a difference between saying that “I saw that concert” or even if you say ” Oh I was there” that’s a huge difference.

What would you say are the biggest differences in your musical tastes, since every body in the band comes from different parts of the country, or Zoltan in your case coming from a different part of the world?

ZB: Well definitely Europeans generally, even if you’re not listening to classical music music, it kind of embedded into the background so you’re always going to grow up with that somewhere, The structure and how the melodies are constructed it’s very typical and even if I don’t want to be that way, it’s always going to be there. American music is very groove oriented and I think it’s an interesting combination that Ivan for example, I don’t really want to talk for him, but I know that he loves punk bands and stuff like that and when that influence mashes with what I’m bringing, it definitely gives us a different kind a vibe, it’s an international sound, I love it because of that.

IM: You know as well as I do, you’ve known us as people for a long time, Jeremy’s into everything from Prince to David Bowie down to Phil Collins and Gwar and Slayer. Like Zo said, I grew up on Black Flag and the Misfits, Front 242, Ministry, so the elements all come together and I don’t think anybody really looks at it like we have different tastes in music, it’s just that we all enjoy music period, so it just makes it easy to write.

ZB: I think it’s important where I can listen to Slayer and I can jam Scorpions at the same time, to me it’s all good music. It’s heavy metal, this idea of breaking down everything to sub-genres, for me it’s crazy. It’s just heavy metal, that’s what we are, we are a melodic heavy metal band and of course we have a couple of ballad-y, hard rock-ish songs and we have some full blown crazy, thrash influenced riffs. For us it fits under the same umbrella, it’s music, it’s heavy metal you know?

It was always kind of a brotherhood, even the long hair thing I don’t know if people still realize this but because I had long hair and because it was kind of an outcast sort of deal, the second I saw another guy with long hair it was immediately like “Hey man, what kind of music do you listen to?” It was just the thing to do, the thing to talk about, and it was a brotherhood and yes we can play a show with Steel Panther, yes why not, we love those guys. This idea of breaking things down to these sub-genres is totally snob-ism, it’s ridiculous.

IM: I think too like you said, playing Download Festival and just being across seas, you see the difference in how people really accept music over there. And you know Alice Cooper and W.A.S.P. still go across seas and pull in twenty, thirty thousand people a night and over here in the states sometimes I feel like it’s more “what have you done’ for me lately”and I’m proud to be in a band that we can go across seas and have that longevity in front of us.

This coming weekend, Full Metal Jackie will interview Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine, as well as Skeletonwitch. Full Metal Jackie can be heard on radio stations around the country — for a full list of stations, go to fullmetaljackieradio.com. For more on Five Finger Death Punch, check out Loudwire’s recent interview with guitarist Jason Hook here.

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