Five Finger Death Punch: Fight Club
GW Zoltan, why wasn’t Darrell working out?
BATHORY I’m not gonna elaborate on why we had to let him go, but at the end of the day we did, and it fixed the problem. Musically I’m a huge fan of Jason’s playing; we have very similar kinds of picking styles. Jeremy showed me his stuff and I was like, “Damn, that guy picks like me!” When Jason heard Five Finger Death Punch, he said the same thing to Jeremy.
GW Jason, were you conflicted at all about leaving behind the session-guy world for a permanent position in a band?
HOOK At that point I was pretty sick of the hired-gun thing. I’ve always been a writer and I’ve always been into recording, so I just wanted to be around creative people. When you’re a hired gun, you’re always around crotchety, bitter people who think they’re rock stars. That wasn’t my vibe at all. I wanted to be in a band where everyone was shooting for a common goal.
GW How do you two divide guitar duties?
BATHORY If Jason can play a solo better than I can, I let him play it. I could be like, “Hey, man, I started the band,” but I have a guy who can shred my head off! I put little melodies and stuff behind it, but basically I just wanna listen to him play. We experiment together; we don’t arm wrestle. If he shows me a solo and I’m like, “I like the first half, but maybe the second half could go to something more melodic,” we have that discussion. He’s not like, “Bro, that’s my fucking solo!”
HOOK Zo is a really creative guy, but he recognizes that the team is stronger than the individuals. When I joined the band, I literally moved into Zoltan’s house and was there for about two and a half months. Every morning we’d have coffee and just throw around riffs. There were multiple computers running and electronic drum machines going.
BATHORY The record had to be done in a fairly short amount of time; it had been nearly two years since the last one. So we wrote together but chopped up the responsibilities. “Jason, you do the solos, and I’ll track the rhythm tracks.” And Ivan [Moody] was in Denver working on lyrics.
GW The next-to-last song on the album is a somewhat unlikely cover of “Bad Company” [the hit song by the classic-rock group of the same name]. How’d that come about?
BATHORY It’s funny, actually—I didn’t like the song at all at first. I grew up in Europe listeningto Iron Maiden and English punk, so I didn’t really know the song; it didn’t mean anything to me. But Ivan loved it, and it ended up being one of the songs we threw into our set on the road. We were headlining shows after the first record and basically just needed stuff to play! Everyone would ask us if we were gonna record it, so eventually we figured we’d give it a shot. And once it was recorded with our sound on it, I was like, “Wow, I love that song!” When Ivan was recording the vocals, I could just tell that he’d been singing the song for his whole life, and suddenly it just came to life for me.