Five Finger Death Punch is widely renowned as one of the most important bands of recent metal history – where today they play sold out shows, headline prestigious festivals and command an army of die-hard fans across the globe. Showing no signs of slowing down in their quest for total world domination, the band is set to unleash their highly anticipated third album, American Capitalist, on October 11th, 2011. In support of this epic album, 5FDP will headline the ‘SHARE THE WELT TOUR’ this fall alongside current heavy metal frontrunners All That Remains, Hatebreed, and Rev Theory. Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently caught up with guitarist Jason Hook for a quick Q & A where they discuss the writing process of the new album, the upcoming tour, his own evolution as a musician and what the future holds for this band on the rise!
What can you tell us about the writing process for you new album ‘American Capitalist’ and how that process may have evolved through the years?
We really have locked in a pretty cool system. Jeremy, Zo and I all live within 5 minutes of each other here in Vegas. We all have home studios so we start by sketching ideas individually then we get together 3 – 4 times a week to toss those ideas around and mold them in to completed tracks. When we have a track we all agree is strong, we email it to Ivan. Ivan likes to work alone at first, and he’ll stay up all night writing the lyrics. When we get 3-4 of those in the bucket we head down to Kevin’s (Churko – Producer) and lay down keeper drums. Zo and I like to do our guitars on our own at our own studios because we’re really anal! [laughs] Kevin pretty much focuses on Ivan and arranging. The song really never gets finished, but more like abandoned! [laughs] I really like the way it has been working, it’s calm and we all take votes when there are differences in opinions.
Did you feel like you had more to live up to in the eyes of your fans and as musicians when you headed back into the studio for this project?
I did I guess. I worked very hard on ‘War Is The Answer’. Like crossed every T and dotted every i. That approach takes a lot of focus and time. I had to work my self up mentally. It’s like taking a test, you kind of ignore your friends and study your ass off. It’s stressful but when you pass with A++ it IS a really great feeling, not to say that everyone will feel that way but as long as I do that’s really all I can control.
What can you tell us about ‘American Capitalist’ in regard to it’s meaning and how it relates to the music you have created for the album?
It’s True Grit. To want to capitalize on your given situation, makes you a CAPITALIST. It’s really simple to me , I’m not sure why everyone is thinking we’re making some crazy political statement. We want to win. We want to take the heavy weight championship belt. We want to get all we can and get it big and fast. But it’s more of a champion mentality then a monetary greed thing. In my opinion, there are two types of personality, Drivers and Passengers. I have met many passengers along the way. I chose to be a driver. Our message, if anything is to inspire people to not waste time and fuck around and be drivers. Capitalize!
How big of a concern was it for you to move band forward musically when tackling this project but not to alienate the fan base?
No concern for me personally. You can’t please everyone. The band has to work for us first and foremost. If we can stand behind the music that’s more important. There’s a lot of different dimensions to 5FDP and the collective personalities are coming out in the music, if you were to remove any one of us it would be reflected in the way the music sounds.
What did producer Kevin Churko bring to the table for this project?
Kev is really talented. He’s extremely helpful in the studio because he’s multi-talented. He sings plays keys, bass guitar, flute, bongos! [laughs] He keeps us focused on the songwriting.
You will soon embark on the “Share The Welt” Tour. What kind of a toll does touring and playing these extended sets take on you both physically and mentally?
I like playing live! I can stay up there all night, it’s a buzz. I have noticed that we DO have to remember to stretch before we play, especially our necks, getting lost in head banging can wreak havoc on your neck if you don’t stretch. The other part of it is staying clear of alcohol. We’re pretty much sober on tour. I haven’t had a drink in almost 2 years. If you competitive, and want to win, why the fuck would you wake up hung over and grumpy every day. It’s a recipe for 2nd place in my opinion.
The live performance is as tight and powerful as it has ever been. What do you guys do to keep the performances exciting for yourself as well as the fans?
Yeah, there’s a lot of new stuff coming. The October headlining tour will give us an opportunity to create a new show. We’re building a lot of stuff and learning new songs, it’s going to be fresh for the audience as we’ll as ourselves.
How do you feel that you have most evolved as an artist since starting out?
I think it’s more of a personal development. Having the tools to “let go” and enjoy some of the flaws is a very important skill. And making sure we’re all communicating with each other so we avoid arguments is really the most important. Guitar playing is something that I have been doing for over 30 years now, it’s a built in skill that is pretty much on auto pilot.
What do you believe is the biggest misconception about the band at this point in it’s history?
I’m sure there have been some but honestly I don’t pay attention to anyone’s misconceptions. People DO think the Jeremy and I are brothers because we look alike. We’re not related but have been best friends for 15 years.
In your opinion, what does the future hold for Five Finger Death Punch? — no plans on packing it in any time soon I hope!
I hate to sound cliché but I feel like we’re just getting started. I can tell you that we’re adamant about keeping the records coming sooner over later. I would say 18 months between each. There’s no reason why a band should do 10 songs every 3 years. In this day and age of instant consumption via the internet etc. we have to adapt to the idea of speed. It’s more that work, but that’s that way it goes.
Anything that you want to say to the die hard Five Finger Death Punch fans out there?
Today, Tuesday Aug 30th 2011, another track is available from the MADDEN football game
Look for it on iTunes it’s called “Back For More”!
Awesome! Thanks so much, Jason!
For more information on FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH, and their upcoming tour dates, please visit: