FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH's ZOLTAN BATHORY: 'We Are Writing Better And Better Songs'
March 3, 2020
In a recent interview with Romania's Rock FM, FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH guitarist Zoltan Bathory was asked about the band's evolution from the time it released its debut album, "The Way Of The Fist", in 2007 to its latest effort, "F8". He said (see video below): "Everybody evolves on a personal level, evolves as a musician, evolves as a group, so I think the evolution was happening on all fronts. There were some bandmember changes. Like any group situation, when a group grows out, unfortunately, not everybody can stay around. That's just the group dynamics."
He continued: "I think the music evolved in some way where — I wouldn't say it became more commercial, but I think we are writing better and better songs. And that means as songwriters, we got better, and [our music] connects to more people. Basically, what that means, at this point, we have, I think, 24 mainstream Top 10 hits in America. For a rock band, that's a huge number, especially at a time when American radio is not necessarily playing hard rock. So, if you look at it that way, then definitely this band came to the surface and started to break out from that little lane that heavy metal and hard rock was. And so that was, I think, one of the main evolutions for the band — getting bigger and bigger in some way. But it's not because necessarily more metal fans are there; it's because we're blurring the edges of the genre. We have fans who wouldn't necessarily listen to another heavy metal band, but somehow we grabbed them. And now, because of us, they started to listen. 'Cause they heard us on the radio, and they're, like, 'Wow, that's not bad.' They come to a show, but then they're exposed to the songs they like and some heavier, heavier songs as well."
"F8" was released on February 28. The follow-up to 2018's "And Justice For None" caps a turbulent period for FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH in which singer Ivan Moody finally got sober after a near-fatal struggle with addiction, while co-founding drummer Jeremy Spencer bowed out of the band due to physical issues.
Much of "F8"'s lyrical content deals with Moody's battle with addiction, its aftermath and his recovery. The singer will celebrate two years of sobriety this month.
Spencer announced his departure from FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH in December 2018 after going through two back surgeries and sitting out a tour. His replacement is Charlie "The Engine" Engen, who makes his recording debut with the band on "F8".
FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH launches a spring North American tour on April 8 in Sunrise, Florida.