FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH guitarist Zoltan Bathory spoke to Billboard about the band's new album, "F8", which will be released on February 28 via Better Noise Music. The LP is the band's first to be completed after frontman Ivan Moody's very public struggle with substance abuse took him to rehab several times.
"Here we are — everybody's sober, everybody's ready to work and focused," the guitarist said. "There's a lot to say, a lot to prove. It's like a new band, in a way. It's progressing. It's rebirth. It's transcendent. When I listen to this album, it's the same sound, the same band — but it isn't. If you really listen to this, it's not the same band — for the better, both musically and lyrically."
According to Bathory, the lyrical themes on "F8" include "no political or social commentary." He explained: "It's not about what's happening in the world. It's about the band — what we went through and who we are as people now, at this moment, who we are as a band at this moment. It felt like we survived a tornado so to speak, a Category 5 with all the chaos around us. So it's very much a personal record."
Regarding the disc's first single, "Inside Out", Zoltan said: "There are some songs on the album that are very obvious; If you listen to them you'd say, 'Okay, that's a hit song right there.' But we ended up picking 'Inside Out' because it's not the obvious song; It's a little heavier, even risky because some radio stations may say, 'Well, it's a little too heavy.' But it's truly a snapshot of a band that kind of sounds the same bus is not the same band, so it probably represents the record best. It's the first thing people will hear of this new, reformed, transcendent band. It's important to us that fans hear that immediately, that they hear something that's a little different."
The track list for "F8" also includes the title track, "Full Circle", "Living The Dream", "A Little Bit Off", "Bottom Of The Top", "Darkness Settles In", "This Is War", "Leave It All Behind" and four others, along with three bonus tracks.
Moody spoke about "Inside Out" with Metal Hammer magazine last month, saying: "It's about alcoholism. It's about my family leaving. It's about my bandmates. It's about looking at myself in the fucking face and saying, 'Dude, you're going to have to do this because nobody else is coming.'"
FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH kicked off a U.S. headlining tour last month with THREE DAYS GRACE, BAD WOLVES and FIRE FROM THE GODS that next stops on Thursday night (December 5) in Toledo, Ohio.
Photo credit: Stephen Jensen