Vocalist Ivan Moody and guitarist Zoltan Bathory of Las Vegas, Nevada-based metallers FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH were interviewed on this past weekend’s (October 7-9) edition of Full Metal Jackie‘s nationally syndicated radio show. You can now listen to the chat using the audio player below.
To see a full list of stations carrying the program and when it airs, go to FullMetalJackieRadio.com.
A transcript of the chat follows below.
Full Metal Jackie: The album title is “American Capitalist”. So who in the band never seems to never seems to have any money on them?
Zoltan Bathory: I think I will plead the fifth right there. [laughs] No, we have credit cards. Ivan has a credit card, a nice one, I saw it. He actually has a real credit card. I saw it. [laughs]
Ivan Moody: I just hide it well — very well.
Zoltan Bathory: It really depends. When a bill comes, then [it's like] “I forgot my credit card.” But actually, to tell you the truth, it changed. Ivan is… I’m impressed. He’s a baller, man. He has cars and stuff. I’m like, “Ivan, what’s happening?”
Full Metal Jackie: Money’s not an issue?
Ivan Moody: I’ve just always been really… we’ll call it tight-pocketed. I like to save it for the things I want instead what everybody else wants, so I hide it very well.
Zoltan Bathory: He has a nicer car right now than I do. Imagine that.
Full Metal Jackie: Obviously we know that FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH gets a lot of attention, both love and hate, but never any middle ground, it seems. What is it about this band that instigates people so much?
Ivan Moody: I think it’s a lot of little things. You know, I actually told my daughter the other day, we were at the store, and I had a couple of people ask me for autographs and a couple people look at me like I was the antichrist. So I told her it’s either jealousy or fear; it’s really categorized in one of those two things. So we welcome the haters, we always have. I mean, that’s half the lightning for me, but we wouldn’t be here without our fans and they know that. I know you hear that, it”s so cliche and you hear everybody say it, but it’s absolutely true.
Full Metal Jackie: How about you, Zoltan? How would you answer that question?
Zoltan Bathory: I’m actually happy that we are kind of polarizing men and at any given moment you make a statement, like a real statement, there’s going to be a reaction either “yay” or “nay.” If you’re not saying anything, then you’re going to have a middle ground, but if you say something and you really have a true opinion about something, you will have a reaction — [either a] “yes” or “no”; that’s just how it goes.
Full Metal Jackie: What would you say is a harder way to communicate with music — heavier songs or more ballad-type stuff?
Ivan Moody: I’d say for me, personally, lyrically, it’s the ballad-y stuff and it’s because you have to put so much of yourself into it. For me, it’s really easy to be aggravated and pissed off, for some reason — it’s been embedded in me since the day I was born — but to actually be passionate enough and exposed enough to let the world actually into a degree where I’m hoping they understand what I’m going through… it’s difficult for me because I’ve never been one to just lay it out on a sheet of paper. Everything that I sing about, especially songs like “Far From Home” and “The Bleeding”, I really put 110 percent of myself into it, so it’s difficult.
Full Metal Jackie: What can we expect on the Share the Welt Tour now that you guys have a couple of records under your belt?
Zoltan Bathory: Actually, now it’s becoming difficult because now we have so many songs, we have to actually fight about what we’re going to play. But most importantly, we’re always trying to push the envelope visually. This is probably going to be the biggest stage set we’ve ever actually imagined. Well, last Mayhem Festival, we kind of pushed it already, but this is really why we’re gearing up. We want to convert this whole concert thing into an experience, so instead of just watching a band playing, jumping around, we want to have a full-on experience. I’m a huge fan of bands like RAMMSTEIN, IRON MAIDEN, whoever puts on big shows, That’s the dream, that’s the idea that your fans come and see a show that they will talk about for months — that’s the idea — for years.
Ivan Moody: I’m glad you said that because, Jackie, I know you’ve interviewed and seen just about every band on earth from Rob Halford down the line, I just went to the table with Zo and we discussed it and being fans of bands like RAMMSTEIN and MAIDEN and [JUDAS] PRIEST, we want to make this so worth the ticket price that people are going to walk in and be completely awed and 10 years from now they’re going to say, “I was there, I saw that tour,” and change a couple lives.
Zoltan Bathory: Actually the thing that he just said, that’s a really important thing that there’s a difference between saying that “I saw that concert” or even if you say, “Oh, I was there.” That’s a huge difference.
Full Metal Jackie: What would you say are the biggest differences in your musical tastes, since everybody in the band comes from different parts of the country, or Zoltan, in your case, coming from a different part of the world?
Zoltan Bathory: Well, definitely Europeans generally, even if you’re not listening to classical music music, it kind of embedded into the background, so you’re always going to grow up with that somewhere, The structure and how the melodies are constructed, it’s very typical and even if I don’t want to be that way, it’s always going to be there. American music is very groove-oriented and I think it’s an interesting combination that Ivan, for example, I don’t really want to talk for him, but I know that he loves punk bands and stuff like that and when that influence mashes with what I’m bringing, it definitely gives us a different kind a vibe, it’s an international sound. I love it because of that.
Ivan Moody: You know as well as I do, you’ve known us as people for a long time, Jeremy‘s [Spencer, drums] into everything from PRINCE to DAVID BOWIE down to PHIL COLLINS and GWAR and SLAYER. Like Zo said, I grew up on BLACK FLAG and the MISFITS, FRONT 242, MINISTRY, so the elements all come together and I don’t think anybody really looks at it like we have different tastes in music, it’s just that we all enjoy music period, so it just makes it easy to write.
Zoltan Bathory: I think it’s important where I can listen to SLAYER and I can jam SCORPIONS at the same time. To me, it’s all good music, it’s heavy metal. This idea of breaking down everything to sub-genres, for me, it’s crazy. It’s just heavy metal, that’s what we are — we are a melodic heavy metal band and, of course, we have a couple of ballad-y, hard rock-ish songs and we have some full-blown crazy, thrash-influenced riffs. For us it fits under the same umbrella — it’s music, it’s heavy metal, you know? It was always kind of a brotherhood, even the long hair thing I don’t know if people still realize this but because I had long hair and because it was kind of an outcast sort of deal, the second I saw another guy with long hair, it was immediately like, “Hey, man, what kind of music do you listen to?” It was just the thing to do, the thing to talk about, and it was a brotherhood. And yes, we can play a show with STEEL PANTHER. Yes, why not?! We love those guys. This idea of breaking things down to these sub-genres is totally snobbism; it’s ridiculous.
Ivan Moody: I think, too, like you said, playing Download festival [in England] and just being across seas, you see the difference in how people really accept music over there. And, you know, ALICE COOPER and W.A.S.P. still go overseas and pull in twenty, thirty thousand people a night, and over here in the States sometimes I feel like it’s more “what have you done for me lately?” and I’m proud to be in a band that we can go overseas and have that longevity in front of us.