Five Finger Death Punch's Jason Hook: 'I Just Wanted to Rock'

artist: five finger death punch date: 08/08/2013 category: interviews
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Five Finger Death Punch's Jason Hook: 'I Just Wanted to Rock'
Five Finger Death Punch guitarist Jason Hook has thought long and hard about being one of the main songwriters in this very successful band. The band - Hook and Zoltan Bathory on guitars, Ivan Moody on vocals, Jeremy Spencer on drums and Chris Kael on bass - has sold millions of albums, an anomaly in the music business where most metal/hard rock bands barely inch into the six-figure amounts. It is because Hook - who recently garnered even more prestige as a player when Gibson announced the Jason Hook Explorer M4-Sherman Signature guitar - and his bandmates understand that it is all about the song first and foremost and everything else is secondary. In fact back in April 2012 at the Metal Hammer press conference for the Trespass tour, Bathory addressed that very situation when a member of the press asked him how the band gets airplay. "Radio is about the songs really and there's a golden middle road so to speak," the dreadlocked guitarist explained. "We happened to be on that verge where we both reached the underground because we are a heavy band. But in the same time we have a lot of melodic songs and as I said it's about the songs and we reach sort of the mainstream." The band fuses both the metal and the melodic on their new album, "The Wrong Side of Heaven and the Righteous Side of Hell, Volume 1." The first single, "Lift Me Up" is a huge rocker built on one of Hook's memorable riffs and features Judas Priest vocalist Rob Halford sharing vocals with Ivan Moody. Other tracks like "I.M. Sin" and "Dot Your Eyes" fall on the heavier side and include Max Cavalera and Jamey Jasta on vocals respectively. Our first scheduled interview never happened. Hook was involved in band business and couldn't make the call at the appointed time though he did phone back about an hour later apologizing and wanting to reschedule. A week later we were able to hook up and the guitarist talked at some length about his pre-Five Finger Death Punch projects, his solo album and what it takes to write a good song.
I figured out it was a lot easier to take my guitar to a rehearsal then to take my drumkit.
UG: When you were younger you actually took violin, piano and drum lessons. Do you think by learning any of these instruments your guitar playing was impacted? JH: I think the drums did for sure. I think it gave me a good sense of rhythm. With anything that I do whether it's rhythm playing, songwriting, or lead soloing, there's always an emphasis on rhythm or rhythm patterns. I remember Eddie Van Halen, he was the drummer first. And Alex Van Halen played guitar. Right and it's just by coincidence that the same thing happened to me. I thought playing the drums was the be-all and end-all but I always trying to do everything at the same time. I figured out it was a lot easier to take my guitar to a rehearsal then to take my drumkit. I was like, "F--k the drums." Did you pursue the violin in any sort of serious fashion? Nah, I wasn't very good at violin. A young kid's dexterity isn't very good. That's a tricky instrument to make it sing. I remember having it and I remember trying to learn it. I remember being horrible at it. Monkeyhead was one of your early bands that actually was signed to Elektra Records. Were you still looking for your identity as a player in that band? Yeah, absolutely. Everybody has the story of their first band or early-age band and that happened to be my mine. I wrote all the music in that band and I was the only guitar player. I'm actually surprised that you found it. I did some deep digging. It was an interesting band for the time. (laughs) Heh heh, I know. You're Canadian and Canada is sort of best-known for Neil Young and Heart. How did you get into metal? I never really understood the Canadian bands happening at the time. What's the name of the huge band that everybody loved? I can't remember the name of the band. But there's kind of like an alternative sweater rock type thing. The Tragically Hip or something? I grew up listening to Kiss, Van Halen and Deep Purple so for me that was the target. Even early on you were listening to classic players like Ritchie Blackmore? Yeah, I just wanted to rock. I played guitar and that was the kind of music I thought I should be playing. High energy, aggressive, exciting music - same shit I'm doing now (laughs).
I played guitar and that was the kind of music I thought I should be playing.
For a couple of years between 2000-2002 you were playing guitar for the Bulletboys. What was that like? Hell. Look to be honest with you, I had a lot of fun in that band and it served an important function at the time. Again I was the only guitar player and when you're the only guitar player you really have to sort of carry it. All the parts are on your shoulders and it's not like you're sharing it or blending it with another guy. So it was important for me. Their music was fun to play and the touring was kind of low-level stuff. We'd be playing bars and drinkin' beers and meeting girls and it was just fun in that way. There wasn't any money involved in it really. We were roughin' it. I wouldn't do it now but at the time it seemed really cool. An even stranger combination is you touring with Mandy Moore. Oh boy, we're really gonna write all this out? We are. Hah hah (much laughter). When I moved to Los Angeles, I was just like this brave kid from Canada driving down by himself to go pursue the dream, right? When did you come to Los Angeles? I moved to L.A. in the mid-'90s. I made a pact with myself that I had my gear and I had a car and I was like, "All I'm gonna do is play my guitar no matter what. I'll play with any band. I'll play on any demo and whatever I can do to keep playing. If I can generate money by playing that's the goal." Driving all the way to Los Angeles from Canada took a lot of guts. I just didn't want to work at Home Depot. That was not why I was driving across the continent. Certainly a lot of people tried to help me get jobs doing this and doing that but I just wasn't meant to move furniture. You know what I'm saying? Or paint houses or any of that crap. So I basically said, "I'll play for anybody doing anything" and a lot of interesting things started to come up. I believe in any musical situation you should always do your best and try to learn something from the situation. There's something to be learned from every situation. You've just got to open your eyes. That's when you found the Mandy Moore gig? Anyway somebody said, "Hey, Mandy is putting a band together and I think you would be great for the band. I can put a word in for ya." I got the audition and what do you know? They picked me. Know what I mean? What kind of music was she playing at the time? It was kind of like Avril Lavigne; like rock pop. There was some jangly, kind of Telly electric stuff and certainly not heavy metal or anything like that. But kind of like slightly dirty tones and some solos that were more like Bryan Adams-type solo stuff than stuff like Pantera. You know what I mean? But I was like, "F--k it, I can play all that shit. You wanna pay me good money and fly me all over the f--kin' world." I'm like, "Perfect. It beats driving a taxi."
There was a lot of times where I would just play acoustic guitar.
It's very cool when metal guitar players step out of their comfort zone and do something different. It takes a real player to do those types of gigs. Thanks. There was a lot of times where I would just play acoustic guitar. Like she and I would go down to a radio station or she and I would go play at some television morning show or something. And it would literally just be her and I together. So I had a significant role there as the guitarist. It was a different world because we did a lot of MTV stuff, TRL, and a lot of television appearances and a lot of morning shows. We did the Late Night Show with (Jay) Leno and stuff like that. We did the MTV Music Awards and shit like that. A totally different world and different types of pressures than the kind of stuff we see now in the heavy metal touring circuit. All these playing styles you developed - acoustic guitar, melodic solos, and clean rhythms - are elements you'd ultimately bring into Five Finger Death Punch. It is a great blend. All the stuff that happened after I joined the band was just enough to give it a new flavor. That flavor has just been accepted and we're seeing success. You did more sessions and played on Alice Cooper's "(In Touch With) Your Feminine Side" from the "Along Came a Spider" album? Oh my god. Yes, it was the "Along Came a Spider" record and I can't even remember what song I played on to be honest but that may have been it. I don't know. After doing sessions for a while, you got the urge to do something on your own and recorded the guitar instrumental album Safety Dunce in 2007? Yeah, baby. Was there always the intent on your part of wanting to be the artist in your own right? Yeah, I think I was neglected as a child and was really calling out for attention (laughs). I don't know, I was just always trying to put something together. I got frustrated with all the projects I tried to get off the ground. We would have great bands and we'd write songs but we never really had any kind of souvenir from the failed project. So I said, "I'm just gonna forget all that stuff. I'm just gonna make a Jason Hook record. And that way I know I can print it up and sell it and it'l be mine and I don't have to feel bad about it failing 'cause it was never supposed to be anything except for a record." You know what I mean? You can really hear a lot of guitar stuff you'd late bring into Five Finger Death Punch on the Safety Dunce record. On a song like "Number Three" there is very cool muted riffs and some great sections of flutter picking. That's pretty cool. I don't get a chance to hear from too many people that know the record that well. So it's kinda cool for me to hear you actually listened to it.
[Kevin Churko]'s very patient and he's just a really easy cat to work with.
Absolutely. "Love Flap Candy Corn" was heavy guitar rocker that had some of the harmonized guitars we'd later hear with Five Finger Death Punch. Well thank you. You know that I made that record with Jeremy Spencer who is our drummer. That's right. Was Jeremy already in Five Finger Death Punch when you met him? No, the Safety Dunce was pre-Death Punch. When that thing sort of took off, Jeremy and I thought we could try to turn this into something. At that point I went off touring again with other people. I think the Safety Dunce record helped me get the gig actually because when he was putting Death Punch together, he's like, "Listen to this guy." When you did ultimately join Death Punch you did have this previous relationship? Yeah, Jeremy and I have done so many things together. We always thought we were gonna be in the same band but we weren't sure which band or how it was gonna happen. With Death Punch he basically put the band together with Zoltan and I was out touring with (Alice) Cooper. So when I come off the road, Jeremy would be like, "Listen to these songs I'm working on with another guitar player." It kinda bummed me out 'cause I was like, "Well f--k, I'm supposed to be your guitar player. Not this other guy." You really thought you had missed the boat with Jeremy? From that point forward it was like, "Maybe we should all be in the same band." I was like, "Yeah, we probably should be but I've still gotta finish up this shit with Cooper." Luckily their guitar player they had at the time, which was this Darrell Roberts guy, they weren't getting along or something was happening there. So luckily they were looking to make a change and that's when I scooped it. You came in for their second record, "War Is the Answer." For the beginning of that, yeah. Did you listen to what Darrell Roberts had played on the first album, "The Way of the Fist," to get some idea of what the band was doing musically? Darrell didn't really play on "The Way of the Fist." He played on "White Knuckles" and I think that was actually one of his ideas. What was that like during those first days of working with Zoltan Bathory as the co-guitarist on the "War Is the Answer" album? Basically it was so funny when we started that "War Is the Answer" record. We were like, "How are we gonna do this? What's my role and how do we write together?" It was all brand new and we had to come up with a brand new system for me to integrate into a system they had established before. Now I had to sort of figure out, "Well, what's my role? How do I contribute?" And whether I was stepping on toes.
I wasn't there to bend anyone's fingers back and I wasn't there to make anyone uncomfortable.
Was it easy working with Zoltan? Zoltan basically was like, "Dude, just do whatever you do." Because obviously he knew I had the recording chops from the solo record stuff. So I was like, "Alright, I'm just here to help. So let's just figure it all out." So those initial sessions for "War Is the Answer" felt comfortable? Oh yeah. When we did the "War Is the Answer" record, it was our best-selling record. We were all living at Zoltan's house in Las Vegas like sleeping on the floor. Because at the time Jeremy and I were living in Los Angeles so we packed up every bit of recording equipment we could muster and stuck it in a truck and drove out there. We stayed at Zoltan's for three or four months. "War Is the Answer" is your biggest-selling record? Yeah. I mean the other ones are catching up but so far that one I think is about 800, 000 copies. What was that like working with Kevin Churko on that album? Well he's a mastermind. I think one of his biggest assets is his personality because we f--kin' beat the sh-t out of him and he still comes back for more (laughs). He's very patient and he's just a really easy cat to work with. Fortunately he lives right down the street from us so we can get to him from the studio easily. Your solo on "Hard to See," the first single from "War Is the Answer," was really beautiful. It's lyrical and it builds and kind of ends with some harmonized guitars. Typically are you playing the harmonized bits on the solos or does Zoltan play them? That's kind of my thing. I always like to beef up the leads with extra harmonies and tuck 'em in there. I think a lot of people may not even know they're happening. It's more felt than heard. You know? "Walk Away" had another very memorable solo and also featured clean guitar tones alongside the distorted sounds. It was a very delicate thing because I was kind of putting stuff like that in there. Especially in "Walk Away," I remember that was a pretty new flavor for the band. I remember Zoltan was kind of like, "Ooh, I don't know about the country part you know." But it had to happen that way and it had to be a gradual and slow introduction of those things. This is what we touched on earlier about introducing new and different sounds to the band. I wasn't there to bend anyone's fingers back and I wasn't there to make anyone uncomfortable. I just knew there was a lot more musicality that could come into the music and I really thought it would be great for us. But it's like you've got to let everyone sort of adjust slowly. You covered "Bad Company" from Bad Company. Were you a fan of those types of English bands? Yes and no. I mean I always thought Bad Company had some great songs and I knew who Paul Rodgers. They were a little bit blues rock for me. I liked bands that had good songs but also had a little bit of a flashy guitar player. Like I loved when John Sykes joined Whitesnake. That's a blend I thought was pretty hot.
When we make records we don't really sit around in a rehearsal room and work these songs up to the point where we can play the whole album live.
Were you a Zeppelin fan? I was a Zep fan. I went through that phase but I was a little too young for that and I missed their hot era. I was really heavily digesting music in the '80s. 1980 is where I really started putting the pedal down and was absorbing stuff and music to play to. I loved the Police in the '80s. I loved the Police because the songs were so good but I thought, "Where's the f--kin' solo?" You know what I mean? "Canto 34" was a throwback to your instrumental days. There were acoustic guitars and even backwards guitars in there. Yeah. You've really done your homework. I'm very impressed with you. It's nice to talk to people that sound like they like the music and not just doing their job. I really appreciate that, Jason. On the "American Capitalist" album bassist Matt Snell leaves and is replaced by Chris Kael. Did that change impact the sound of the band? You know to be honest with you Matt was never really that involved in the record-making process. When we were working the bass guitar was sort of put on last. We do things differently. When we make records we don't really sit around in a rehearsal room and work these songs up to the point where we can play the whole album live. We kinda build the tracks using the studio as our sounding board. We're always targeting a good song and that's the first priority. So we're kind of sketching out our ideas in the computer. Then when we figure out we've got a good idea we kind of build it up from there. How did Chris Kael work into that situation? The asset Chris Kael brought to the band was he's just a great musician but he's a great guy. But the songs always start with guitar players, drummers and Ivan and that's how it kinda starts and then the bass is kinda put in there last. "Under and Over It" was the first single from "American Capitalist" and it featured Ivan singing in both growling and clean voices. So the song is very heavy but very melodic. In fact one of the reasons the band has been so successful - and even though it sounds simplisticis that you understand how to combine those elements in a song. We talk about this stuff a lot and we think about this stuff a lot. My theory is music is supposed to transmit a feeling to the listener and it can be any feeling. It can be "I'm fired up and I wanna crash my car." Or it could be "I wanna stagedive" or it could be "I'm really f--kin' sad and this sad song makes me feel better for some reason because I'm relating to it." That's what a good song is supposed to do. When people feel sad and they play that sad song, they're not playing it to feel more said. They're playing this other sad thing because it actually makes them feel good. You know? Each song has a number of potential connective elements. Boy, we're getting f--kin' deep here. Let's go deep. My theory is within each song you have maybe four or five potential connective elements. The more of those you can accomplish within that song, the more you would expect that song to be a hit or that it will be popular. As someone who has written hit songs, what are those key elements? For example, your lyric is a very important connective element. You can certainly have a popular song without a great lyric but if you can have a spectacular lyric, that's a very strong connective element. What else? If you have a great guitar riff or great music. You know what I mean? That's another strong connective element. I remember when I heard "Mean Streets" - dahdah dah dahdah (sings the guitar lick). I was like, "F--k, what a hot f--kin' track this is." I didn't even care what the lyric was about because I was so into the track. Who else do you think put together these connective elements in their songs? Alanis Morisette sold 20 million records or whatever it was off that "Jagged Little Pill" record because the lyrics were so good and so relatable and so poignant. It just resonated with millions and millions of people just from the lyric connective element. This is the kind of shit I've studied for years. The more of these connective elements you can capture, the more chance you have of having a successful album.
My theory is music is supposed to transmit a feeling to the listener and it can be any feeling.
When you think of successful bands - anyone from the Police to Judas Priest - everything they've accomplished has been on the backs of great songs. A lot of metal bands miss the boat in my opinion on this and that is - everybody likes to sing and dance. Now that may sound like a pretty gay statement but the truth is when Metallica is going, "Searchin'/seek and destroy" (sings the melody). What's happening? Your feet are tappin' and you're singing. "Searchin'," right? You can picture your feeling that you're getting and your body starts moving, right? You're body starts moving because it's a great beat. The groove in a song is very important. That's the other connective element going back to what we were talking about. Rammstein has the best beats ever. I f--kin' sat in their audience and went, "What a groove this is. It's incredible." It's almost like an industrial dance beat. But even Metallica when people think they're so heavy and so dangerous, it's basically just a good pop song carved up with nasty sounding guitars. I totally agree. Rhythm and melodies are basically just codes for everyone likes to sing and dance. Jumping back to "Over and Under It," your solo on that song was so restrained and controlled. One of the main hallmarks of your solos is that you don't overplay. I don't know where it came from other than I always look at it like the solo should be a miniature song within the song. It should have a beginning, middle and an end and should serve some sort of function where you grab the listener and you deliver something to the listener on the end of it. You take the listener on that little, tiny journey but it should speak in that wayit should have a finale. It should have a little moment that makes sense. Do you remember cutting the solo on "Over and Under It"? I do all the studios at my home studio on my time. I built a pretty elaborate little setup at my house that has Pro Tools HD and all the Neve preamps and fancy sh-t that Kevin (Churko) has. Because I'm always searching for that Van Halen sound so I'm not gonna waste anyone else's time by changing tubes in my Marshall and sh-t (laughs). Anyway I remember specifically working on that song and thinking, "I'm hearing a solo over this that I guarantee they're gonna reject." Why did you think that? I was hearing exactly what it was - I wanted to kind of do an "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love" type solo. Real thematic and not overplayed and real easy to remember. I did it exactly the way I heard it and I sent it over to the studio where Kevin was working with Ivan. They called me on a conference call on this speakerphone and they're like, "We can honestly say this is the first time you've sent a solo where we have no idea where you're coming from on this" (much laughter). Is that really what they said? Swear to god. I was like, "OK." They're like, "Yeah, I don't know really if that fits. I don't know where you're coming from with this one. But I guess we could maybe live with it." It's so odd that even Kevin Churko couldn't see the beauty in that solo. It's just I'm not trying to impress guitar players and that's the key. It's an instrument that is supposed to speak and supposed to deliver some kind of nice musical thing. It's not supposed to impress guitar players. That's a fail. You probably blew a lot of people away by having Rob Halford sing on "Lift Me Up," the first single from the new album. Were you in the studio when Rob sang his parts? Yeah, we were there to meet him. We were all very excited and we definitely didn't want to miss a photo opp (laughs). What we were clear about is when it comes time for him to sing, we left the studio so he could what he was gonna do with Kevin. And not feel the pressure of us beating down on him in the control room. It's funny because when Rob sings that verse, it really does sound like a Judas Priest song with his voice on there. If you listen to the opening of that song, it kinda sounds like maybe "You've Got Another Thing Comin'" or whatever. You know what I mean? That's how it all started - somebody said, "Man, it sounds like an old Judas Priest song or something." Everybody goes, "Imagine if we got Rob Halford to sing on this" and then everyone laughs. Then what do you know like a month later he's down at the studio. "Watch You Bleed" has acoustic guitars on the intro. Is that a sequenced keyboard part in there? No, I don't think so. That's pretty much all guitars. That's one of the tracks I had brought in again expecting everyone to hate it (laughs). You never know. You kind of have to complete everything before you can decide whether it works or not. When it's just music it's easy to go, "Wow, that just sounds too different" or whatever. But as soon as Ivan gets a hold of it then it's like, "Well that could actually end up being a pretty cool song." You worked with Maria Brink from In This Moment on "Anywhere But Here." What was that like? I think Kevin flew to Los Angeles to get her vocal. I think it was at the same time we were doing the Golden Gods performance so I didn't actually see her do any of the recording. But at that point in the record were just trying to think, "Let's get everybody on this thing." It was hard to try to track people down but she was gracious enough to contribute. You had Max Cavalera sing on "I.M. Sin?" Yep, he actually sang in Portuguese on that. I'm not sure which version you had or where that's gonna surface somewhere but it's pretty interesting. I heard it and I was like, "What is this? What's he singing?" - "Portuguese." And working with Jamey Jasta on "Dot Your Eyes." Yeah, Jamey is one of our bros and he agreed to do it. I don't remember where he recorded it but I think he may have actually done it with somebody and sent it back to us. "American Capitalist" had done really well for the band. When you started recording for "The Wrong Side of Heaven and the Righteous side of Hell, Volume 1" did you think you were going to expand on those ideas? Or head in a new direction? You always want your success curve to go up and it's a little tricky because you're thinking, "Well sh-t, we're having so much success how can we possibly push this further?" We do think about having to top the last effort. You almost have to block those feelings to be able to be effectively creative. If you're doing something out of fear or "I'm afraid this isn't gonna be as good" then you've already f--ked yourself. You're currently headlining the Mayhem Festival with Mastodon? We're co-headliners with Rob Zombie who ends the night. Mastodon plays right before us. The Mayhem Fest is the best festival out there in my opinion. It's a pretty diversified collection of bands this time. The main stage opens up with Amon Amarth, which is like a Swedish Viking metal band and that's pretty out there. They come out with f--kin' swords and shields and a fire-breathing Viking boat. Know what I mean? You have a fairly new signature Gibson Explorer-M4 Sherman guitar. I'm very proud of it and it's unlike any Explorer you've seen in the past. It has racing features and to me it's like a racing car. They created my own software to cut the body; my own program. Yeah, which is cool because they really didn't try to block me in any of my crazy ideas. They were fully ready to run with it. The production model we have is exactly what I wanted and is exactly like the few Explorers I had modified myself. They let me do it exactly like that. It's an amazing guitar. It really is. Were you able to do things with the Gibson you might not have been able to do on a standard issue instrument? Yeah, I mean that's a big one. Being able to reach all the top frets by scooping that body wood out of there. Anyone who's played it says, "That's such a simple but genius idea just to cut that out almost like a Les Paul." The frets are the largest frets Gibson has ever used. Its the same fret as Zakk Wylde's Les Paul. It's like a low profile Super Jumbo so it's almost like those old Jackson frets. I just find that when my hand is moving left to right quickly with the tall, thin frets I get stuck on them. I get caught on them. You know what I mean? The M4 Sherman is your main guitar live? Now that I'm playing the Signature live it's like, "Wow, it's so smooth. These frets are so smooth and so easy to shred on." It almost feels like a shredder neck like one of those old kind of '80s Jacksons or something like that. I think these are just stupid little things that you wouldn't typically find on a Gibson but I think anyone who tries it will be like, "This is the answer." You know? If I get one of those guitars will I play like you, Jason? Well, I can only do what I can do. I can only make the instrument, I can't... Play it for me? I can't play it for you, yeah. And when might we be hearing the release of your second solo album, "American Justice?" Wow, you're like on fire. You like work for the F.B.I. Or something. "Blunt-Force Trauma" was a great track from that album. Wow, yeah. I've been so negligent getting that completed. I feel embarrassed almost. Fortunately for me Five Finger Death Punch and the popularity of the band has kept us so busy we're back-to-back. We did two records this cycle. I mean we were overachievers by nature but there really doesn't leave a lot of time to get back to that record. What stage is "American Justice" in? It's pretty much done. Kevin Churk's son, Kane, mixed it for me. I was literally working on three records in Vegas between October and December. I was mixing my solo record in one room and then working on the two new Death Punch records in the other studio (laughs). Which kind of brings us to the last question - why did you split "The Wrong Side of Heaven and the Righteous Side of Hell, Volume 1" into a second volume? What happened was we didn't plan that out. We took a portable studio on tour with us last year. I remember at the beginning of the "American Capitalist" record we said, "Let's start writing together on Friday or Monday or whatever the f--k." Right? So we get together Monday and everyone's staring at each other going, "Whadd'ya you got? I don't know what do you got?" The process starts slow and painful where it's like, "Well I got this little riff idea" and then we try to jam on it and then you record it. Then you're like, "What would make a good B part?" I just remember thinking, "God, I should have done some preparation." You know?
I'm very proud of [Gibson Explorer-M4 Sherman] and it's unlike any Explorer you've seen in the past. They let me do it exactly like that. It's an amazing guitar. It really is.
That might have helped. So for this record we started working on material back on tour. That painful memory of the first day of the "American Capitalist" sessions, I was just like, "There's no way I'm lettin' that happen again." We started writing songs on tour and came in on day one and I had maybe eight ideas or eight sketches of songs. So the first eight, nine or ten songs came pretty quickly. Now we're thinking like, "Why don't we continue to write just because we're so ahead of schedule?" So before you know it we're at 20 songs and then we start talking about, "Well fuck, maybe we should just make it a double album." It really is the cool upside of our band is that there are basically myself and Zoltan are the two sources of music coming in. So we basically have more pistons in the engine and therefore having more material to pick from. You know? Right, because a lot of bands only have one piston doing everything. Yeah, it's like we're both contributing so we get a lot of material. It ends up being tough for Ivan because even though we can come up with 25 tracks, he's got to write the lyric himself for all of them. He's on the hook now for 25 songs where I had only had to come up with the music for 12 or 10 songs. So he should make more money than you. Well, let's not print that part (laughs). Hopefully he doesn't read this. But you know the thing is I have to go back and do 25 motherf--kin' solos. That's part of the record that was tough. Not only did I have to write a bunch of songs and track all the stuff but then I've got to go back now and become the lead guy. Which puts a lot of shit on my shoulders. It's cool that even though we missed our first interview connection we were able to make this happen. Thank you very much. It's really nice to do an interview with somebody that obviously cares more than just doing their job. Take care of yourself and play all the good notes. Thank you, Steve. I appreciate it. Very good, interview. OK, buddy. Bye bye. Interview by Steven Rosen Ultimate-Guitar.Com 2013
More five finger death punch interviews:
+ FFDP's Zoltan Bathory: 'Music Is About the Journey and Never About the Arrival' (Part 1) Interviews 11/20/2014
+ Five Finger Death Punch: 'We Like To Pick Titles That Are Risky' Hit The Lights 10/19/2011
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