FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH Guitarist On Logistics Of Touring With METALLICA: 'You're Moving An Entire City Around The World'

June 4, 2024

In a new interview with Germany's Rock Antenne, FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH guitarist Zoltan Bathory spoke about how far ahead he and his bandmates have to plan out their schedule, particularly as it relates to touring. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "About a year. Yeah, about a year. Sometimes, like, for example, the METALLICA tour [with FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH as one of the support acts], that was a two-year schedule. So the moment we were announcing what's happening with METALLICA, we knew our schedule for two years ahead. 'Cause you're moving an entire city around the world, like trucks and hundreds of people — I mean, it's a big production moving around the world — so the logistics… And nothing can fail — nothing can fail. One mistake can end the show. So these things have to be planned out, and that takes time.

"Usually, we have about one year, maybe 18 months that we see what's happening in 18 months," he continued. "That's about it. That's the schedule. Now, as for what we're gonna do, I could probably tell you, like, what our next record and the record after that will be, and that's like about a six-year schedule. We kind of have an idea of what we're gonna do, what we wanna talk about."

This past April, Zoltan spoke to Audacy Check In about what it's been like for him and his bandmates to support METALLICA on a massive stadium tour in 2023 and 2024. He said: "That's great. Eighty, ninety thousand people in a stadium, that's massive. And it's one of those things where, obviously, we have a big fanbase that overlaps. So, METALLICA is such a huge band; they had four decades to gain that fanbase, so you're gonna have three generations of people in there. And it's such a big band now that — and in some ways they're growing, believe it or not, METALLICA, still; it's crazy. And so it's such a big band that even if you're not necessarily into metal, you've gotta come; you have to come and see. And so that means there are gonna be a lot of people in that arena that, hearing a band named FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH, they're probably not gonna us a chance because they have no idea what that would be. So that means that we are playing to a substantial amount of people who never heard of [us] before. And I can tell that we're turning them, I can tell, especially after the show. You can definitely see it, because we have, obviously, statistics and online we can measure that. After every show, there's a jump in visitors and a jump in downloads and a jump in statistics, so I know that we're hitting a massive amount of people with that."

FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH played its first show as the support act for METALLICA on the "M72" tour last August at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH was originally supposed to support METALLICA on several European shows in the spring of 2023 but ended up canceling the dates in order to allow singer Ivan Moody to fully recover from his recent hernia surgery.

When FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH played a few shows in Europe as the support act for METALLICA in July 2022, FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH shared a video report on the pairing in which Moody said of the experience: "Everyone sets goals, as you should. But you have to understand, for us, this is the apex, this is the climax, this is the top of the fucking hill. And it's amazing to me that we've been on tour for almost 15 years and never crossed paths with this band. And I've gotta tell you, they paved the road for any of us, and anyone that argues that fact is out of their fucking mind. The one and only METALLICA."

Last month, Bathory told The Metal Podcast that FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH will "probably" release a new studio album in 2025.

FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH recently announced a headlining U.S. tour this summer with support from MARILYN MANSON and SLAUGHTER TO PREVAIL. The trek will kick off on August 2 in Hershey, Pennsylvania and run through September 19 when it will conclude in Houston, Texas.

FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH has just embarked on a tour of Europe for more stadium dates with METALLICA on the latter act's "M72" world tour in addition to headlining shows with special guest ICE NINE KILLS and select appearances at major festivals.

FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH is continuing to tour in support of its ninth album, "AfterLife" which was released in August 2022 via Better Noise.

On April 5, FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH released the digital deluxe edition of "AfterLife", featuring the original 12 tracks recorded with the band's longtime producer Kevin Churko (OZZY OSBOURNE) in addition to four bonus tracks: three acoustic versions of the album's songs "The End", "Judgement Day" and "Thanks For Asking" plus a brand new song, "This Is The Way", featuring the late rapper DMX.

Photo credit: Travis Shinn

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