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Five Finger Death Punch’s Zoltan Bathory Talks Next Album + Playing for Troops

Five Finger Death Punch
Mary Ouellette, SheWillShootYou.com

Five Finger Death Punch guitarist Zoltan Bathory checked in Loudwire yesterday (May 19) before the band’s set at Rock on the Range in Columbus, Ohio.

Fans will probably be excited to hear that there’s a new Five Finger Death Punch disc right around the corner. The band isn’t wasting any time, and already has a handful of new tunes in their back pocket. Even though the band released ‘American Capitalist’ in October of 2011, they feel like there’s no reason to wait, they’re ready to rock!

Bathory also chatted about his love of playing overseas for the troops and the lost art form of making music videos – one that FFDP has embraced.

Five Finger is very supportive of the armed forces and you’ve played numerous shows for the troops – is it pretty crazy playing over there?

Yeah different visits can be, one of the craziest parts is the travel itself. I mean how many times do you get to travel to your gig with a Blackhawk or a 730, that just doesn’t happen in real life and second thing is the reaction from the troops. Nobody really understands from here, you see things in the media and this and that but once your there you see how much it means to them.

So when something happens to me like I get bad rest or whatever happens, that’s the first thought that comes to mind, I see the faces of these soldiers. They gave me their dog tags of their fallen brothers, saying, “Hey man, you were his favorite band and you mean so much to us, we survive here every day and it gives us the juice to get up tomorrow and do what we do.” That means more to me than anything.

It’s got to be pretty scary though. Do you get a little more nervous when the shows are over there.

To tell you the truth, for me it’s not really a nervous factor, I love the juice that comes from the adrenaline. I fight professionally because I love that vibe. So 100,000 people doesn’t matter, the crazier it is, the more energy we get. When we were overseas we were in Iraq and the same thing – we probably play even harder because these are the troops.

What’s up next for you guys as far as videos or singles, do you have a new single in the works?

Yes we have the new single titled ‘Coming Down’ and we just finished the video. It’s a pretty heavy video and we’re not even in it.

I really liked your last video, probably my favorite of the year because it’s back to the older style. Usually now it’s just guys doing the live show and I like that you went back to the more cinematic feel. The band was barely in it, I think you snuck in a cameo.

This one we’re not in it at all because we wanted to do kind of a narrative. People who are doing videos for the very first time want to advertise their band. On MTV it was the idea of like, “Hey let’s put the guys faces on TV and everybody will recognize them” because it’s really purely about promotion that’s what they were, promotional videos. Then it became an art form and then it just disappeared with MTV. So we kind of wanted to reach back to the point where it’s about the message, it’s about what the song means and with this video we went even further, we’re obsolete, we’re not even in it.

It’s definitely an extension of the song itself, because you can show people the things you can’t describe with just the words. I think a lot of people forget that, they just do the live thing now.

Precisely. I mean it’s funny, since it’s not the MTV era it happens all the time. You make a music video and what people do is they play the record and go on Youtube to see the video and say, “Oh they are lip-syncing.” I mean dumbass it’s a video, what were you thinking? Jesus Christ.

I hear you guys are working on the next album, I mean I’m not complaining, why so soon?

To tell you the truth, look at this how fast the world became. Just five years ago everybody thought Myspace was the leader of the world, an empire that can’t fall. Right now if you go to Myspace people look at you like “Dude, that’s old-school what the hell.” It’s like it doesn’t even exist, everything happens so fast. I don’t believe that a band today can afford to wait two, three, four years with an album, they just can’t. So there’s no reason, why not give new material, the consumption of music, the consumption of everything is super fast. You give somebody an album and they listen to it and a year later it’s obsolete. We thought, “Let’s give them another one, they want to hear the music, we can make the music, then why not.”

So how much new stuff do you guys have already?

We already have four, five songs and the second this touring cycle is done, at the end of August somewhere there, we’ll be back in the studio doing another record.

How are the new songs stacking up stylistically against ‘American Capitalist’?

It’s kind of like the band has found it’s place where we are. We are a melodic heavy metal band and it has it’s balance. We have some ballads, we have some super heavy songs and everything goes between the big choruses – singable, remember-able – what we grew up on. I grew up on Accept and Iron Maiden. All those bands are melodic metal bands but we have a new sound because up to 2000 all of these nu-metal bands came – and people love to hate nu-metal – I don’t care they have a great sound, all these down tuned, ugly guitars and all this heavy sound came in.

They were not necessarily sophisticated musically but they have a sound, they had a vibe so the vision of Five Finger Death Punch was like let’s grab that sound because we love that sound but let’s play the music old school, that old school song writing values, if you marry those two you kind of get Five Finger Death Punch, that’s what we do.

Interview by Tree Riddle.

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