Zoltan Bathory Of Five Finger Death Punch Says Band Makes "Tough Guy Music"
Band Photo: Five Finger Death Punch (?)
Bloody-Disgusting.com has posted a new interview online with Zoltan from Five Finger Death Punch about the band's new album "American Capitalist," which hits stores on October 11th, 2011. An excerpt from the interview follows, in which Zoltan addresses criticism of the band's style, talks about winning a "Best Shredder" award, and more.
Bloody Disgusting: Let’s jump right into the new album, American Capitalist, and, specifically, the title. What does it mean and how does it relate to the music?
Zoltan: First of all, we always liked the idea that the title could push a couple of buttons on top of being just a title. And I mean “pushing a button” as in we have something to say. Though it’s definitely not a concept album, there is a definite theme that runs across the songs.
I don’t want to jump into analyzing the economy and politics and the various fields of social sciences, but it’s kind of connected to the songs in a way that America adopted a form of capitalism that is very close to nature. Nature is pretty cool in that the way it works is that the strong kills the weak and it’s a circle of life and we dig that theme. We placed that in today’s society. We’re living in a concrete jungle, you know what I mean? You have to go and “hunt” so that you can make money. Even though the process changed, the fundamentals are still the same. So if the fundamentals are still the same, you pretty much, humans especially due to the intelligence we acquired, have to make conscious of whether you’re going to be the zebra or whether you’re going to join the lion pride and go out there a maul a motherfucker! [laughs]
It’s just what it is! You know! And we get a lot of flak from people who say “This is bro metal” or “This is tough guy music” and you know what? Yeah! It’s like, “Fuck you! I don’t play music for the pussies. It IS tough guy music!” I like that we play to an audience that share this idea of survivalism. And this connects to the spirit of the champion. You get the fuck up and fight one more round, no matter what!
And that’s what American Capitalist is about. I can definitely speak about this because I came to this country with my guitar on my back and nothing in my pocket. I came from absolute zero and kind of made it! I look at my singer who was a foster child. My guitarist was adopted after being found in the streets in some garbage. Every single member of this band came and fought for it.
Bloody Disgusting: You won the Best Shredder at the 2010 Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards. Did this make you feel any kind of pressure when writing and recording for American Capitalist?
Zoltan: No, it’s more that I want to give a shout-out to Yngwie Malmsteen and all those guys: Thank you for not running that year! You know what I mean? There is no way you beat Yngwie, right? Or Steve Vai. No, but it’s definitely an honor and I feel like something like that, an award like that, it is a milestone, it is an honor. It is not an open door for someone to become an asshole. It just means that at that moment you were bringing something interesting to the table that is both technically interesting for the people that play and was also digestible enough for the fans so that they will vote for you.
Look, I’m sure there are guitarists that can play our eyes out but maybe they didn’t bring anything to the table. Music in an interesting thing because there are songwriters and there are noodlers. The noodlers can sit at home and play your eyes out but they’re never going to go anywhere because they just fucking noodle. You have to understand that there is another part of music, which is songwriting. Much more difficult to connect to millions of people with a song than to write a song that has weird time signatures and a million notes per second. Yeah, we can all do that but that’s not the idea. So an award like that, that’s what it means.
As for pressure? Not really. The pressure is more self-inflicted if anything because we are a people that can’t fail. We do not expect and do not accept failure and if we would do a record that is not really strong or just thrown together, that would be unacceptable to us first and foremost. So if the pressure comes from anywhere, it comes from ourselves and from our band mates. You have five guys in a band that has a really strong “shit meter”. We are really critical and we get on each other if somebody sees something that is not right or that could be better.
Bloody Disgusting: Knucklehead has been on the cover of both The Way of the Fist and War Is The Answer. Will he be gracing us with another sexy pose on American Capitalist?
Zoltan: You know, it really wasn’t planned. It wasn’t something we decided, it just kind of happened. Now, it’s part of the whole world, our world. I guess we can’t leave him off, he’ll always be present. I remember we did the Dos Equis things where we had Knucklehead and some Chuck Norris quotes over top, like “You can piss your name in snow. Knucklehead can piss his name into concrete.” Stupid shit like that. We put it together like the Dos Equis “Most Interesting Guy In The World” commercials and put it on national television. It was fucking hilarious! [laughs]
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