Brady Lavin of Guitar International recently conducted an interview with FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH guitarist Jason Hook. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Guitar International: The new album, “American Capitalist”, is coming out October 11. Can you shed some more light on any album details, like what it will sound like, how it progresses from “War Is The Answer”, any guest spots, etc.?
Jason Hook: It sounds to me like a continuation of “War Is The Answer”. This could have been Side C and D of “War Is The Answer”. We sort of made a conscious decision to make a heavier record, but for some reason the melodic stuff always ends up creeping its way in. It’s like a balance. There may be a higher percentage of heavier material on here, but there’s certainly still a balance like “War Is The Answer” has.
Guitar International: The first single, “Under and Over It”, is basically a big, fat “fuck you” to haters, which is very fitting for the really aggressive sound of FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH. Lyrically, what does the album look like, does it go with the theme suggested by the title, “American Capitalist”?
Jason Hook: Well, the lyrics are pretty much 95% Ivan Moody [vocals]. Even though we try to feed him concepts of the record, the overall concept, we only usually get one or two or three songs that fit with the concept. The rest of it, from where I stand, seems to be whatever is going on with him emotionally and personally. I believe the opening track is the title track to the record, and it’s one of my favorites, actually.
Guitar International: You were with Mandy Moore for a while, how was that?
Jason Hook: Oh, it was great!
Guitar International: I imagine that would be very different from being in FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH. Not just musically, but being in a band with some camaraderie. With Mandy, were you just playing what you’re told, or what?
Jason Hook: It was professional, but it was loose at the same time. Basically, when they had their records, they had to go out on promo campaigns and they needed a bunch of musicians to be the background music, so things were changing all the time. It’s hard, it’s like, “Thursday, we’re gonna take just the guitar players and the violin player and play on MTV ‘Beach House’,” or something like that. I would be like, “OK, what song?” and I would prepare it. You have to be able to respond quickly. It helped me as far as being disciplined and getting used to that type of work environment.
Guitar International: I read that at last year’s Download festival, you guys had to cut your set short because too many people were crowd surfing… How does that happen? Isn’t that the point?
Jason Hook: What we found out was that in the history of the festival that has only happened one other time, and that was for Iggy Pop. I can’t remember what year it was, but the one other time the festival has been stopped was Iggy Pop, and it was probably for the same reason. I guess he just had too many people going berserk. We have a section of our headlining show where we play “Dying Breed”, which is the opening track on “War Is The Answer”, and we invite everyone to crowd-surf to the front and shake our hands. It always goes crazy, and there’s a lot of bodies that start flying forward. It’s really fun for us, but when you got 70,000 people at a multi-million dollar festival with insurance policies, I don’t think they appreciated it that much.
Read the entire interview from Guitar International.