Five Finger Death Punch – on the wrong side of heaven, but doing just fine
Ahead of next week’s metal gig of the year – when Five Finger Death Punch share the stage in Dublin's O2 with the mighty Avenged Sevenfold – 5FDP guitarist Zoltán Báthory talks to The Irish Times
And one of us said “let’s reach out to Rob, he likes Five Finger Death Punch”. It was a long shot. Rob Halford is the Metal God. We sent him the material. He loved it and he came to Las Vegas to record it with us. It was a lot of fun. When we were in the studio, we were saying to ourselves that at least we did this and we could die happy!
You are touring with Avenged Sevenfold who are probably the biggest contemporary metal band in the world. Are they a model of where you want to be at?
Avenged Sevenfold are ahead of us by five or six years, but we are putting out records nearly every year. We’re catching up. I think it is a great bill for heavy metal fans. We share a huge fanbase. In the United States, we have almost caught up to them now. If I was to pick a role model for a band, I would say that role model has to be Rammstein. When I hear them I think “holy shit”. They are the bands that really push it out when it comes to the live shows. Don’t get me wrong, but we love Avenged Sevenfold.
Avenged Sevenfold seem to attract a lot of hatred from heavy metal fans who think they are not the real thing. What do you think?
It’s a really weird time. We’re the first generation of bands that have to deal with the internet. The internet was just growing up at the start of the 2000s. We’re probably the first generation of bands where anybody who has an anonymous opinion can voice it. If you are really looking from where the hate is coming from, you will find out that it is a small number of very vocal individuals who usually troll the internet with anonymous names. These are people that just talk shit behind an anonymous identity. Everybody gets hate nowadays.
We are doing something that is fairly accessible music, it is not extreme metal. So we are going to get more popular and go on the radio. Automatically fans of extreme bands would see us as having sold out. It is kind of ridiculous. Avenged Sevenfold are the same band they were since day one. We too are doing the same thing as when we started. It’s not like we are making a jazz-pop record.
You have an album called American Capitalist. Is there a strong political dimension to your music?
We were always a band that wanted to push boundaries. When the Iraq war came, the record was called War is the Answer. We didn’t pick a side. We’re not politicians, but we wanted to push a couple of buttons.