Zoltan Bathory told ITV News in a new interview that sobriety brought a new focus to FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH when he and his bandmates were making their eighth album, "F8" (pronounced "fate").
"We were growing exponentially — arena after arena, just bigger and bigger shows," the guitarist recalled (see video below). "It became this juggernaut touring the world, while inside the band there was this tornado of insanity. So, while the band was growing, from the inside, it was also falling apart. And it came to a head. It was highly publicized, so I can talk about it — it's not something that we can hide from the world. But two years ago, that was when we hit the wall."
Some of the bandmembers, including frontman Ivan Moody, went to rehab — and came out the other side.
"It was absolutely crazy, because we hid it from the world — most of it," Zoltan recalled. "And when your peers, especially peers like the guys from MÖTLEY CRÜE, like Nikki Sixx, and people like that, who have been in the middle of that, comes over to your dressing room. … We were on tour with SIXX:A.M., with his band, and he was just shaking his head, like, 'Oh my God, guys. This is insane. You guys have everything in the world. Your band is blowing up. This is the position everybody wants to be. What the hell are you guys doing?'"
He continued: "One way or another — some of them went to rehab, some of them kicked it on their own. It's a pretty common thing, because it's easy. It's almost like a thing; it's a lifestyle. Like, 'You're a rock star. You have to throw out a TV from a hotel room.' 'Let me see… Hotel room. Okay. TV. Bam!' It's almost like there's a script. Everybody kind of falls into the same stuff; it just happens."
Due on February 28 via Better Noise Music, "F8" is described in a press release as representing "rebirth and progression." Zoltan concurred, saying: "We had an extremely successful, yet tumultuous couple of years as a band. We didn't just weather the storm but came out on the other side better than ever. It was a focused sober group recording, our most important album to date and without a question it shows."
Elaborating on how Moody's newfound sobriety had a positive impact on FIVE FINGER's creativity, Zoltan said: "Anger is a useful emotion, as long as you control it. If you wanna change a job, if you're not progressing in life, sometimes you've gotta get angry. Because you're dissatisfied with something and anger starts boiling, and you say, 'You know what? I quit. And I'm gonna do something that I love.' Or, 'I just don't wanna do this.' So you need that anger, but it has to be channeled. So, anger channeled is energy. And if you look around in the world, especially today, man, there's plenty of things to be angry about, and some crazy stuff is going on. So you can use that energy, and that's kind of what happened with [Ivan]."
FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH's new disc was once again helmed by Kevin Churko, the Canadian record producer/engineer and songwriter who currently lives in Las Vegas, where he works out of his private studio, The Hideout Recording Studio.
The drums on the disc were laid down by Charlie "The Engine" Engen, who made his live debut with the group during its fall 2018 tour with BREAKING BENJAMIN. He stepped in for original drummer Jeremy Spencer, who left the band in December 2018 due to a back injury.
FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH recently announced the dates for a new spring North American tour. The trek kicks off on April 8 in Sunrise, Florida, winding down on May 20 in St. Paul, Minnesota. PAPA ROACH, I PREVAIL and ICE NINE KILLS will join FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH on the upcoming road trip.
ITV Wales - Sat down with iTV’s Mike Griffiths for an Interview on New Music, Sobriety and Touring Life
The online version:
Posted by Zoltan Bathory - Official on Sunday, February 2, 2020