Ex-FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH Guitarist Wanted To Find 'Mentally Stable' Guys For His New Band FLAT BLACK
September 6, 2023
In an interview with Jake Daniels of the Rock 100.5 The KATT radio station conducted at this past weekend's Rocklahoma festival in Pryor, Oklahoma, former FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH guitarist Jason Hook spoke about his new band FLAT BLACK, in which he is joined by singer Wes Horton, bassist Nick Diltz and drummer Rob Pierce. Asked how the new group came together, Jason said: "Well, I was pretty hell-bent on starting a new band. Music's in my blood. It's a part of my DNA, and I just knew that… I didn't really care how long it took. It just had to be potent. And so, one [musician] at a time… I found Rob first, and he's awesome. And then, of course, Nick; he's from Los Angeles. All my guys are just stellar players. And I wanted to have a good pack of songs. And so here we are."
Regarding the importance of getting along with his bandmates on a personal level, Hook said: "Well, it was a bit of a prerequisite to find guys that were mentally stable and free of drama and that we could hang. It's all about the hang. When you're on tour, you're stuck in this submarine, this rolling submarine, for 18 months. It's important that everyone is compatible. The personalities, I wanted to be very specific about that this time around… We're getting along great."
Last week, FLAT BLACK released the official music video for the song "Halo". "Halo" and the other previously released track "It's Your Lack of Respect" will appear on FLAT BLACK's debut album, which will arrive in early 2024 via Fearless Records. The LP, produced by Hook, was recorded at both Hook's home studio and The Hideout Recording Studio in Las Vegas.
"I feel like FLAT BLACK is a secret I've been keeping for three years," Hook previously said. "It's finally time to unleash this band on the world."
Having left his prior band in February 2020, which was right before COVID-19 put the entire world on pause, Hook wanted to assume creative control and let his musical free spirit soar in a project that was truly his. He opted to gamble on himself. With great risk comes great reward and the decision to form FLAT BLACK clearly worked out in his favor.
"As a musician, I crave freedom and I wasn't ready to stop creating," Hook shared.
"Life is short," he continued. "We all want to feel satisfied and happy with what we are trying to accomplish in life."
The pandemic shutdown allowed him the opportunity to assemble the right musicians and carefully craft their debut album. FLAT BLACK is armed with an arsenal of riffs that'll rattle your teeth loose from your gums, stadium-sized hooks, arena-ready anthems, and choruses that are guaranteed to touch a nerve. All of those factors combined make FLAT BLACK poised for success.
The origin stories of the rest of the players are indicative of a lifelong love of music and plenty of road-worn experience. The desire to play courses through their veins and propels them forward, which is why they all meshed so well with Hook.
Horton was introduced to music at age 13, thanks to his sister and Guitar Hero. He honed his vocal chops by playing in local bands and making online videos. Various music industry friends and acquaintances would become the connective tissue between himself and Hook. Horton knew he wanted to be a frontman, and FLAT BLACK afforded him that opportunity. Wes loves the fact that his bandmates prioritize songcraft — and that allows him to be the singer he has always wanted to be.
Diltz, who was born and raised in Los Angeles, is the son of a legendary rock music photographer who brought him to concerts during his formative years. He recalls being inspired by watching a VHS video of U2 performing at legendary venue Red Rocks. Seeing fans clamoring for a piece of Bono in the footage is a vision that never left his head. This first exposure to the power of a true rock icon solidified Nick's destiny as a live performer.
Pierce hails from Nashville, a.k.a. Music City. His dad was a race car driver and his grandfather was a pastor. He grew up racing go karts and at first, wanted to follow in his dad's footsteps until he joined the fourth grade band and was bitten by the music bug. He chose the snare drum over the saxophone and from that moment on, music was the only thing that mattered. Rob got his first drum kit at age 11, which he set up in his dad's car shop. He learned to play his instrument next to 1,000 horsepower engines, which influences his highly energetic style to this day.
The chemistry between the players in FLAT BLACK is palpable. And while FLAT BLACK's songs are built to take up real estate in the brains of fans for weeks at a time, the true nature of the band's material is meant to be experienced live. FLAT BLACK are now ready to hit the road and bring these brutal bangers to the masses live and in the flesh.
FLAT BLACK made its live debut on August 24 at the FivePoint Amphitheatre in Irvine, California as the support act for GODSMACK.
FLAT BLACK is:
Jason Hook - Guitar Wes Horton - Vocals Rob Pierce - Drums Nicholas Diltz - Bass
In October 2020, FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH confirmed that it had officially parted ways with Hook eight months earlier during the band's sold-out European arena tour. He has since been replaced by renowned British virtuoso Andy James, who made his recording debut with FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH on "Broken World", a song that was included on the second installment of the group's greatest-hits collection, "A Decade Of Destruction - Volume 2".
After his recovery from emergency gallbladder surgery at the end of 2019, Hook had to leave midway from FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH's tour of Europe to address further complications.
Jason, who joined FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH in 2009, said about his exit from the band: "As for the reason I'm leaving… well, there really isn't just one. I've been in bands my entire life and I feel like I've done all the good that I can here. It's time to pass the baton and move on to new challenges."
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