FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH's ZOLTAN BATHORY Explains Why He Doesn't Really Stay In Contact With Former Bandmates

April 24, 2024

In a new interview with Loaded Radio, FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH founder and guitarist Zoltan Bathory was asked if he still keeps in touch with any of his former bandmates, like guitarist Jason Hook and drummer Jeremy Spencer. He responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "[From] time to time, we have a back-and-forth with guys, like sometimes we have a back-and-forth with Jeremy, for example. But it's kind of the thing where they were here for a reason and then they were left for a reason. It's one of those things. And there's no animosity — there's nothing like that — but everybody's a grown-up and a professional. But, obviously, the situation didn't work out, so they went this way, we went that way, and it is just what it is.

"FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH is like a bullet train — when you step off the platform, you're like a hundred miles back there," he explained. "Anybody who's been part of touring life or a — well, touring life especially, but a fast-moving unit, really, that's what happens. You don't really realize it when you're in it, how fast this is moving, how you just zigzag in the world and just things are happening on a daily basis. That's our life. And it's a constant avalanche of stuff just coming. So whatever happened yesterday, man, I barely remember. This is a new day. I already did a million things today. And so, if, be it bandmembers, crew, managers or whoever was involved in this band in the past, once you step off the platform, yeah, we can still holler at each other, like, 'Hey, man, yeah, good to see you,' but, man, we're like a million miles away now. We already traveled across the galaxy by now, and we changed as people, we think differently because it's a rapid evolution, what happens when you are in a fast-moving, unit. You're not the same person you were just yesterday. So it's kind of like, to grow apart from people is extremely quick because of that, because we're just moving, moving, moving."

Jeremy, who co-founded FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH with Zoltan, left the band so that he could undergo back surgery in the fall of 2018 that required a significant recovery period.

Spencer's replacement in FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH is Charlie "The Engine" Engen. Engen made his recording debut with the band on the "F8" album, which came out in February 2020.

Three years ago, Jeremy told "That Jamieson Show" about his decision to leave FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH: "I had some back issues, and I had to get a couple of surgeries. And the second one was brutal — I had to get disc replacement and fusion. I had deteriorating discs, so it was really painful to play, and I wasn't playing very good. So it was, like, 'I'm not enjoying this. And I don't feel like I'm doing it like I used to be able to.' It's kind of like an athlete when they're aging, and they can't just quite do it like they used to. I mean, the brain's working, but it's just not connecting with the limbs. And I was, like, 'Fuck, man. All right. It might be time to recognize that I need to step off.' So I did."

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."

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.

Prior to the U.S. run, FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH will embark on a tour of Europe in the spring 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.

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