Mary Ouellette of Loudwire recently conducted an interview with FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH guitarist Jason Hook. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Loudwire: When you wrote the first single [from your forthcoming third album, "American Capitalist"], "Under and Over It", you were lashing out a bit. But now that some time has passed and the fans have embraced the song, can you kind of sit back and enjoy the fun that you're having with it and the implied sarcasm?
Jason: The lyric came from a direct response to Internet haters. The Internet has a small community of haters, people that try to stimulate themselves by attacking any news post that comes up on some of the favorite music news sites. They leave harsh attacking comments and encourage other haters to get on board. We read this stuff and kind of scratch our heads a bit wondering where it comes from. I don't understand why some people feel that that's necessary. But "Under And Over It" was a direct response to that kind of stuff and that small group of people. The comment threads are coming from anonymous people.
Loudwire: Online, people can flex their muscles anonymously without having the nerve to say the same things to your face right?
Jason: Exactly, it's pretty lame. It's anonymous so it's pretty safe to drum up the most horrible stuff you can think of and not have to accept responsibility for it. That's pretty weak. Ivan [Moody, vocals], who is responsible for 99.5% of the lyrics, had originally written them as "I'm Fucking Over It." We told him we weren't sure if he should say that, there's got to be a more clever way of saying the same thing. We tossed around some ideas and came up with "I'm Under And Over It," which actually fits the whole concept of how much work is involved and how we're under a lot of pressure. Even though we enjoy what we do, you can't get away from it. As far as the success of the song, it's now No. 8 on the Active Rock charts after three weeks, so we're very happy with that. It's a pretty aggressive song; we didn't know how it was going to perform at radio. We're really pushing the boundaries which is kind of what we're all about anyway, taking chances. No great reward comes without great risk. When we went to pick the first single we decided to plant our feet as being an aggressive band without seeming like we're concerned with the commercial response that we may or may not get from it.
Loudwire: Does the album title "American Capitalist" relate to the overall album or is it just a blanket statement that you're making?
Jason: When it comes to picking album titles, we like to come up with stuff that makes people scratch their heads a little bit. It would be easy to go with something safe, but we love to try to say something or have it raise an eyebrow. With our last album, "War Is the Answer", you always hear, "War is not the answer, peace is the answer," and all that fucking crap. We knew people might think it was bold to come out and say, "War is the answer," and what are they trying to say? It was all just a mentality about winning, war being the absolute struggle between life and death. The mentality that you give it your all because there is no second place. With "American Capitalist", we are five extremely driven and motivated individuals and I think capitalism, for me at least, says that we're always trying to capitalize on whatever our situation is at the time. We like opportunity, we like turn opportunity into bigger and better. A winner takes all mentality of capitalizing on the situation, whatever that is for you. For me, it's a positive thing, we're fighters, and we want everything. You work hard for your money so we work hard for your money.
Loudwire: Do you think it's strange that healthy competition within our society has been turned into a bad thing?
Jason: I'm not sure people are really going to dig too deep into the album title. They may think it's a political thing, but it's not. For me, the United States of America allows you all the freedom to go out and take as much as you are able to take. So, that to me is exciting, we are into that and if you don't like it fuck off. If you want to be a part of it that legion then come on board, we're the lions of the jungle. It's an honorable thing. Zoltan [Bathory, guitar] said something interesting about it. He said, "If we were all equal, evolution wouldn't exist. The human spirit encourages us to excel." I thought that was a powerful message that people could stand to be reminded of every now and then. Without being too heavy about it, that's really the message we're trying to get across. We're trying to push people to go out and create their future instead of settle for what they think they've been handed, and that's the "American Capitalist", that's what we are and that's the name of the record.
Read the entire interview from Loudwire.
"Under And Over It" audio stream: