On May 18, FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH guitarist Zoltan Bathory was interviewed by Meltdown of Detroit's WRIF radio station. You can now listen to the chat using the audio player below.
Seeing as the interview took place on the first anniversary of Chris Cornell's death, Zoltan was asked if he was musically influenced by SOUNDGARDEN. "I wasn't, but it's another thing that Ivan [Moody, FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH singer] is really close to," Bathory said.
"Everybody knows [Ivan] had a little bit of a rocky road in the last couple of years [due to his alcohol addiction], and he's looking at all those bands and all the musicians that are no longer here," he continued. "And that's kind of how he came to get sober — by saying, 'Hey, man, I don't wanna go that way.' So, in many ways, actually, as weird as that sounds, because that tragedy, basically, what happened [to Chris Cornell] sort of reminded him, 'You know what? You need to address it now before it's too late.' And he did, and he's sober now — completely sober — and he seems to be happy."
Bathory went on to say that he is "even more impressed" with Ivan's newfound sobriety "because I have to live with it. And just seeing him being happy," he said. "He was out there, man — this was a hand grenade without a pin — and he got it together.
"When you're a musician, you have the possibilities of excess," Zoltan explained. "You don't really have a boss, you don't have to go to work, nobody tells you what to do. It's really difficult to actually get it under control because of the lifestyle. Any city you go to, there are new people coming out, or a different group of people, saying, 'Hey, let's go and have a drink and have a party.' So when you're a musician, it's really difficult. And with all that, he got it together, he's sober, he's happy. He has a totally new outlook on life, so it's actually pretty amazing."
Bathory said that drug and alcohol addiction, more often than not, is "the demon you have to deal with" when you are in a touring band. "And I'm happy to say that now, it's, like, everybody is sober. And I've always been sober, so for me, it was more I was on the sidelines watching [while everybody else was dealing with their issues]."
FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH's latest album, "And Justice For None", was released on Friday, May 18.
In May 2016, FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH announced it had signed a new North American recording deal with the BMG-owned rock label Rise Records.
FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH is hitting a handful of festivals and playing around a dozen dates with SHINEDOWN this spring. The band will then kick off a co-headlining run with BREAKING BENJAMIN on July 16 in Seattle.
Photo credit: Maclyn Bean Photography