Interview: Five Finger Death Punch — "There are certain key lines and phrases that can unlock emotions in people"
Thu, 27 May 2010 11:22:21
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Five Finger Death Punch just can't be stopped.
It hasn't even been a year since the band released their brilliantly brutal sophomore offering, War Is the Answer, and they're already primed to cut some new tunes.
Smiling, vocalist Ivan Moody exclaims, "We're really proud of War Is the Answer; we truly put a lot of heart and soul into it. We're waiting to duplicate it and make a third one at the end of the year here though!"
Ivan and Co. ripped heavy metal a new one with War is The Answer. Five Finger Death Punch expanded their already epic sound, effectively encasing massive Alice In Chains-style harmonies inside a thrash-y groove assault that feels totally Vulgar Display of Power. Five Finger Death Punch constructed the perfect heavy metal battlefield with War, and they'll be bringing it to audiences everywhere this summer on the Rockstar Mayhem Festival alongside Korn, Rob Zombie and Lamb of God [Enter our Mayhem contest here for a chance to see Five Finger Death Punch free].
While changing planes, Five Finger Death Punch singer Ivan Moody talked to ARTISTdirect.com editor and Dolor author Rick Florino in this exclusive interview about War is The Answer, what's next for the band, his favorite books and so much more.
Did you feel a real sense of freedom making War Is the Answer?
I did! Especially adding Jason Hook [Guitar] to the mix and having Kevin Churko producing, it's such a proud piece. You work your whole life for something like this. I won't lie to you; I listen to it myself [Laughs]. I still will throw it on at the end of the night and I'm really floored with what we came up with.
Each band member really gets to shine, but the tracks have a distinct cohesion.
Absolutely, man! That's why we're in a band; we're not solo artists because we have a serious appreciation for each other's talents. It's a trust thing. I love the guys.
If you were to compare War Is the Answer to a movie, what would you compare it to?
Wow…I'd start with Snatch and maybe move into some Full Metal Jacket…Every song from War Is the Answer could be its own movie if you want to dig in like that. It seems like every song could be an entirely different piece. We pretty much covered the spectrum on that one. I'm really looking forward to getting back in the studio and trying for the third album. I can't wait to see what we come up with on the next run. Maybe we'd throw Se7en somewhere in that mix too [Laughs].
Are you already writing for record number 3?
Zoltan [Bathory, Guitar] and Jason are constantly writing. They come up with ideas just about every other day. Myself, I usually wait until I get home to write. While we're touring, I try to stay as focused as possible on the moment at hand because I feel like I'll be robbing the fans if I don't. I want to give them what they came out and paid for. It's easier for me to dig in with both hands when I'm at home and nobody else is around. Plus, there's a certain amount of emotion I like to put into it, and it's really hard to do that when you're surrounded by people and the day-to-day crap of being on the road.
Do you tend to read a lot?
You know what? I used to. I really haven't had the chance in close to about a year. I can't remember the last time I picked up a good book besides the books I read to my daughter when I'm at home [Laughs]. I've always been into creative writing. Growing up as a kid, I took creative writing classes, and I was always into poetry. It's a special thing to be able to place words not only where people can understand them, but to open the imagination. There are certain key lines and phrases that can unlock emotions in people, so you want to make sure you have those in there.
Who are some of your favorite authors?
I'm a really huge Stephen King fan, and I always have been. Growing up, my mom used to have his and Anne Rice's books lying around the house all the time. I'd read them whenever I could. I've always been into horror novels, man. I love good mysteries with nice twists and a little bit of sci-fi in there.
Stephen King is seriously one of the greatest living American authors. There has no one as prolific as he is in the past century.
I completely agree! He's just an outstanding writer. I'd love to dig into his brain just for one day and figure out where he comes up with this shit. It's amazing! The stories just flow out of him; I wonder if the guy ever takes to time to just take a bath because he's got a new book every month [Laughs]. Night Shift is definitely one of my favorites. It's got that story Gray Matter. The original Cat's Eye novels are great. For some reason, those stories come across as so potent. In all honesty, my favorite Stephen King book of all-time is still It. I think they kind of ruined the movie there at the end with the CGI used for the alien and whatnot. Just the story itself is creepy as hell! I always dug that one. I've got to revisit Night Shift; it's been years since I read that book, but I've got it on my shelf at home though. I'll definitely have to dig back into that one.
Writing a song seems like it'd be similar to writing a short story because both art forms tell complete stories in a small space.
Yeah and you've got to do it in a lap of time too. These days, it seems like so much has already been done in music. You really want to make it as inspirational as possible.
Five Finger Death Punch needs to do an EP a la Sap or Jar of Flies. If any modern metal band could pull it off, it's you guys.
It's funny you bring that up because Jar of Flies is one of my all-time favorite CDs. We've actually talked about that—maybe not going so much "acoustic" on it but definitely going for more of a soft aura than anything—trying to be, I don't want to say "creepy," but definitely digging a little more than just doing metal. We actually have discussed it.
What's the story behind "Succubus?"
We actually wrote that for the first album but decided to put it off because it didn't really fit in with the first album as well as we would've liked it to. That's one of my all-time favorites. When we sat down and wrote that, it was a big deal for me. It was really cool to have that one put out on the second album. I love that song; it's cool! I've always been a huge punk fan. I really got into The Misfits, and I love those kinds of choruses. For me, it's a great piece of music from front to back.
Which records and bands shaped you?
Alice In Chains first and foremost, Faith No More, old school Misfits, Operation Ivy, Rancid…I'm a huge Danzig fan. I can't ever get Sepultura's Roots out of my head—any Pantera you throw at me! I love Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix and Johnny Cash. I'm all about anything that causes inspiration for the moment.
Any Paul Gray memories you can share?
I truly love the Slipknot guys. We've known them for a long time. I met Corey Taylor way back when he was still in Colorado. I've got to tell you, man. They're just a great group of individuals. The trials they've been through and as far as they've come throughout the years—I wish them nothing but the best. For me and my entire band, I can say that we send best wishes to them and we're really sympathetic about Paul.
Alongside Slipknot, you guys are truly forbearers of the genre right now.
I appreciate that, man. I really do. We have a whole catalog to write before we're anywhere near Slipknot or bands like that. I really do appreciate that though, thanks…
It's always surprising to see what Five Finger Death Punch will come up next whether it's letting girls into shows for free or cannons on stage!
We try to keep it like that; we don't want it to get monotonous. God knows, bands go out there and tour for eight or nine months at a time. They kind of forget what it was like to be a kid and go to those concerts. We try to make things a little more special for them. We want the kids to feel involved. That was something Metallica and Pantera always did. It was like one giant family.
As a side not, you're going to need to see Splice!
I'll have to check out Splice it definitely looks like I'll get into it. I've seen a few commercials. I've got to see Get Him to the Greek and I need to check out the new Shrek with my daughter or else she'll have my head on a plate [Laughs].
Enter our Mayhem contest here for a chance to see Five Finger Death Punch free!
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