Jim Beal Jr. of MySanAntonio.com recently conducted an interview with guitarist Zoltan Bathory of Las Vegas metallers FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH. A few excerpts from the chat follow below.
On growing up in Hungary:
Zoltan: “I grew up in a very military family in a communist country. We had one television channel and it broadcast communist propaganda. For me, as a kid, metal and hard music was my form of rebellion.
“My friends and I would congregate in little parks where we would trade tapes and magazines. One of the magazines we would trade was Metal Hammer, which is sponsoring [FIVE FINGER‘s Trespass America] tour. We’d sit around and translate the articles for each other. Metal music was a vehicle. It was the light at the end of the tunnel. Listening to metal was our way of giving the communists the bird.”
On emigrating to the U.S.:
Zoltan: “I came to the land of the free. I have a way to compare. I was looking at everything here from the outside. I saw a lot of Americans who were not happy. For a foreigner, America means a lot more. This country was built on an ideal and on an idea. When people talk about freedom, they have to realize it’s not free.
“So I became an American citizen. I work my ass off. I still work 12 hours a day. Here, the possibilities are presented. You can still get stuff done, but maybe you have to get off the couch. Put down the pizza and beer. But people don’t want to hear that.”
On FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH‘s lyrical message:
Zoltan: “First and foremost, we’re not a political entity. We’re a band. It is music. We’re not politicians. We just hope to have an influence and change lives. We will use the bullhorn to rock out and spread ideas.”
“We have a lot of fans, a lot of kids. There’s a lot of talk about suicide and bullying. I didn’t grow up with something like this. It’s fucking shocking. The whole future is in front of you. There’s always a way out and you’re about to give it all up.
“When you have nothing to lose, then you should have no fear. If you have no fear then you can turn around and do what you were afraid of. There’s always an answer. There’s someone who has turned the corner and can help you. These are things that, as a band, we can stand behind.”
Read the entire interview from MySanAntonio.com.