CHRIS KAEL: 'Right Now FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH Is The Strongest This Band Has Ever Been'

December 24, 2017

Holland's FaceCulture recently conducted an interview with FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH bassist Chris Kael. You can watch the entire chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).

On FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH's current status, six months after singer Ivan Moody was forced to sit out a number of shows on the band's European tour due to his battles with alcohol:

Chris: "Things are incredible right now. Obviously, we've had some things go over the last year that has made it all across the news everywhere in rock and metal. But right now FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH is the strongest this band has ever been — from personal relationships to the way we're playing on stage to the set we're bringing over here to Europe. Actually, this is the first time this huge set has been seen, right here in Europe. We're taking it over to the States next year, but Europe is getting the huge stage show for the first time over here."

On whether all the turmoil was "necessary" to bring the FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH closer as a band:

Chris: "You know, they always talk about having to go through the storms to get to the sunshine and the rainbows, and I think that's definitely happened. One of the things that happened just the other day is… It sounds silly on a certain level, but we all, after a show, usually split — everybody goes in their general different directions. But a couple of times on this tour, we've all had dinner together after the show, and everyone is getting along. Once you get that one terrible, negative element of addiction out of there, it makes everything else kind of fall into place and makes us the band that we are at the end of the day, finally."

On what it was like, as a recovering alcoholic, to see his bandmate go through his own battles with the bottle:

Chris: "Well, I still struggle a little bit on that myself. Right now, it's actually good that we have all come together on this tour. This is our first time out since Ivan has gone through his issues, and we are all rallying around him. There's no drugs, no alcohol, no nothing within our camp, so we all are aware of the possibility of things that could have happened and are much more appreciative of the things we have now and are doing everything possible to make sure that we are able to keep on being a band, keep on playing the music, keep on coming out and doing shows for the fans out there as well. So I feel like we had to go through that to make us appreciate things again."

On whether Ivan's sobriety has affected his creativity as well:

Chris: "That was one of the things that we were… As a band, when you have that kind of thing going on, you really never know, like, is that responsible for the creativity, or is the individual responsible for the creativity? We had to go back and do two new songs for the new record coming out next year, because we took two songs from that record and put 'em on the greatest-hits record. So I remember we had the music done. And we always do the music first and then send it off to Ivan, let him do his thing on there. As individuals, we don't wanna be standing over top of him and be, like, 'Hey, we need you to do this.' The dude is incredible at what he does. You do it and let us hear it, you know? So he's very free to do whatever he wants to do in the studio. And we were at the studio, and I hadn't heard the final product yet — I got there late. And [the producer] was, like, 'Kael, listen to this. What do you think?' I sat down, the music started, and 10 seconds into the verse, I immediately sent Ivan a text. I was, like, 'Dude, welcome back. Good to have you back, man.' He is still Ivan Moody. He's able to connect to people on a certain level that very few people can do — very visceral, right down the center, able to touch a lot of emotions that everyone else is going through, and he's great at what he does, and [it's] damn good to have that dude back."

On what makes Ivan Moody's musical and lyrical performance was strong:

Chris: "I really don't know. It's his delivery, his ability to speak to everyone directly and kind of a creative ambiguity where it allows people to kind of read into lyrics as well. So he's great at what he does. It's great to be able to, as a back-up vocalist too, to be able to have that dude up there with that incredible voice and me be able to sing along behind him and support him up there as well. The dude's incredible. The whole thing's incredible right now. It really feels good to be in a band."

FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH's greatest-hits collection, "A Decade Of Destruction", was released on December 1. The set includes two new songs, "Trouble" and a cover of THE OFFSPRING's "Gone Away".

The hits collection and an already completed new studio album are part of a deal to settle a legal dispute and close out the band's contract with Prospect Park.

FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH's seventh full-length LP, which was finished a year ago, will follow up 2015's "Got Your Six" and will be released in spring 2018.

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