And Justice For None is the seventh full-length studio album from Five Finger Death Punch. The release marks a new chapter in the band’s history, after the band was forced to overcome internal tensions, along with a well-documented legal battle with their label, Prospect Park.
Produced by Kevin Churko (Ozzy Osbourne, Disturbed), the new album features driving rock staples like “Sham Pain,” and “Fake,” as well as a smashing cover of The Offspring’s “Gone Away”. With inspired riffs and muscular grooves, the band maintains their signature identity while pushing themselves into new musical territory.
In addition to the new album, Five Finger Death Punch will embark on a co-headlining tour with Breaking Benjamin this summer.
Guitar World recently spoke with Zoltan Bathory, the band's guitarist, about And Justice For None and more in this new interview.
What made the band decide to name the new album And Justice For None?
We were in a lawsuit with the label, and it was a long process. The thing is, no one really wins a lawsuit. So, when we were finished, 'And justice for none' was a line that Ivan [Moody, the band's frontman] dropped. We started thinking and decided to call the album that because it embodied the situation we went through. It’s also a nod to Metallica and we knew it would also piss off the online trolls [laughs]. It was perfect!
How does the new album differ from some of the band’s previous work?
Every record is different and a time capsule of where you are at the moment. This one is a little more diverse. We always write about what's socially, politically or personally relevant. It embodies every shade of music and lyrical emotion that’s happened to the band over the last few years.
What was the writing process like?
I’m really into film scores and descriptive writing that creates a picture in your head or tells a story. What we do is always write the music first, and the music has to have a vibe or paint some kind of picture. Once we’re all satisfied, we give it to Ivan to work on lyrics. He’ll ask us what we were thinking about when we wrote it and base the lyrics off that. When you create a vibe and the vocal catches it, it’s a double whammy in songwriting and adds another layer of emotion.
Let’s discuss a few tracks from And Justice For None. What can you tell me about “Sham Pain”?
It's a fantastic song, lyrically and one of the time capsules of our lives. The love and the hate. If you listen to the lyrics, it talks about the circus we went through. Musically, it has a pop-culture vibe to it.
There’s incredible emotion and ferocity in the track, “Fake” and particularly in Ivan’s vocal. Was that by design?
When we record an album, we always try to do it as a whole and not just songs. It needs to have a balance. When we looked at the body of the record, we realized it didn’t have a familiar heavy, angry song [that had the sound] that we started out with. So, Jeremy and I went in and started recording [like] our older sound. At the time, we were having a lot of arguments with the label. Ivan was pissed off, and he went into the studio with the idea that he was already fucking angry. The anger was real.
What’s your approach when it comes to your setup?
I have a purist approach when it comes to guitars and playing. I don’t like to have [many] electronics in the signal path. I go straight through the head [Diamond]. I control saturation and overdrive with volume and the weight of my picking seriously effects the sound. I also balance palm muting with lifting. I’m not one to stumble upon something. I know what I want to hear and go get it.
What can you tell me about Five Finger Death Punch’s tour plans?
We’ve just finished a tour with Shinedown and we’ll soon be starting one with Breaking Benjamin. We always put together packages with bands that can draw massive audiences. The hard rock and heavy metal genre works so well in groups. Bands with similar sounds, ideas and overlapping audiences builds a community. When you come to the show, the audience sings the sets of all the bands from beginning to end, and that’s what you want to create. If you pick this band apart, every one of us is at a really a high level, but that's not the thing that drives us. It’s always about the songs. That's what matters.
James Wood is a writer, musician and self-proclaimed metalhead who maintains his own website, GoJimmyGo.net. His articles and interviews are written on a variety of topics with passion and humor. You can follow him on Twitter @JimEWood.