Meltdown of Detroit's WRIF radio station recently conducted an interview with FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH guitarist Zoltan Bathory. You can listen to the chat via the widget below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On the delay in getting FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH's new album, "And Justice For None", released after being embroiled in a lawsuit with the band's record company, Prospect Park:
Zoltan: "Everybody knows we were in this crazy situation last year, and actually, that's how the album title came about. When you're in a lawsuit, the only people that win [are] pretty much the lawyers. There was this back-and-forth forever, and finally when we settled, I think Ivan [Moody, vocals] was the one who said, 'Well, I guess that's justice for none.' And we were, like, 'Let's call the album 'And Justice For None'.' Even though we all know there's METALLICA album [called '…And Justice For All'], obviously, out there. And [those] lyrics, actually, METALLICA's '…And Justice For All', make a lot of sense to me. The same crap 30 years later, right?"
On whether FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH went back and touched up any parts of "And Justice For None" after the original version of the album was completed in December 2016:
Zoltan: "The thing about music today and the technology today is you can kind of keep polishing things, working on things up until the last day — up until the very last day that you have to submit the record, you still can change things, so you can still touch things up and move things around. The music kind of stayed almost as is — there were just a couple of things that we did — and we ended up recording a couple of more songs that was part of the agreement with the label; we recorded three more songs for the album that was part the settlement. And we ended up shaking hands and everybody's fine. It just kind of took a year out of our schedule."
On the "And Justice For None" album cover:
Zoltan: "In my whole life, I always wanted to design an album cover that gets censored. This album cover, in Europe, created such a chaos. I'm not even gonna mention what countries, but oh my God! I mean, it was complete chaos. Getting back the news from Europe, like, okay, we're gonna have to have a sticker across the album cover, because in certain countries, this became a problem. A cartoon character pushing a red button became a problem, that, 'Ooh, this is politically incorrect, so we're gonna have to censor the album cover.' I mean, it was absolute insanity."
On the musical direction of "And Justice For None":
Zoltan: "You pick any band — let's say IRON MAIDEN. IRON MAIDEN has a sound, and anytime [a new] IRON MAIDEN [album] comes out, you're gonna get an IRON MAIDEN record; it's never gonna sound anything else but IRON MAIDEN. And I think, not to compare us to IRON MAIDEN, FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH kind of have a sound; you hear it on the radio and you know it's us. So we have a sound, and we're not gonna really go far away from that. We sometimes experiment, but we have a sound. And for us, it's always about writing the song — the song is what matters the most to us. If you stick with your instrument and you practice all day, you're gonna be great at it — mechanically, you're a good musician. But that's not songwriting. Songwriting is when you can write a song that becomes the soundtrack to people's lives. Music affects you in a certain way; there are songs that you listen to and you know where you were when you heard it the first time. Or what was the summer when this was the song on the radio; you remember those things. There are only a handful of those songs in the world that have that impact on you: 'Yeah, I remember, and I know how I felt. I remember how life was when this song was on the radio.' And if you, in your career as a musician, can write one of those songs, then I think you succeeded, 'cause that's what matters. Can I write a song that really means something to people? And that's what it is about. And I think this record has three or four, probably, of the biggest songs we ever wrote, and that's what matters to us. When you're listening to this album, there are some songs that, in my opinion, are just massive songs that are really going to hit some chords with a lot of people."
"And Justice For None" will be released on May 18. The disc is available for physical pre-order in the following formats: standard physical CD (13 tracks),deluxe physical CD (13 tracks + 3 bonus tracks + deluxe artwork),vinyl (13 tracks + 3 bonus tracks + deluxe gatefold artwork). The band is also offering fans a variety of new CD/merchandise bundles. The digital album pre-order for "And Justice For None" will launch on April 6. Fans who pre-order the new album will also receive an exclusive ticket pre-sale code for FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH's 32-date North American summer co-headlining amphitheater tour with BREAKING BENJAMIN.
"And Justice For None" (standard album) track listing:
02. Top Of The World
03. Sham Pain
04. Blue On Black
05. Fire In The Hole
06. I Refuse
07. It Doesn't Matter
08. When The Seasons Change
09. Stuck In My Ways
10. Rock Bottom
11. Gone Away
13. Will The Sun Ever Rise
"And Justice For None" (deluxe album) track listing:
01. Trouble (Bonus Track)
03. Top Of The World
04. Sham Pain
05. Blue On Black
06. Fire In The Hole
07. I Refuse
08. It Doesn't Matter
09. When The Seasons Change
10. Stuck In My Ways
11. Rock Bottom
12. Gone Away
14. Will The Sun Ever Rise
15. Bad Seed (Bonus Track)
16. Save Your Breath (Bonus Track)