In a recent interview with Germany's Rock Antenne, FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH guitarist Zoltan Bathory was asked if he and his bandmates felt any press making their latest album, "F8". He responded (see video below): "The pressure is sort of self-inflicted, if anything. Because, obviously, you wanna progress — you wanna put out a better record than the previous one. So there is some level of — I wouldn't even say pressure; I would say it's a challenge. It's a challenge to come up with something that is still the core sound of FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH, in this case, but at the same time, you have to progress; you have to come up with something new. And it can't be forced or artificial. Take AC/DC or IRON MAIDEN [for example] — they will sound like AC/DC or IRON MAIDEN forever, and there's a progression, but they have a sound. So FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH have a sound; we are rarely, if ever, compared to some other band. Somehow we've carved out a sound that is ours, and we can't really leave that behind, because we are who we are. But at the same time, you have to always bring something new. And after seven or eight records, it's getting to be challenging."
He continued: "In our case, this new record, actually, it just happened organically. Because everybody kind of calmed down; everyone is sobered up, everybody got sober, so that changed who they are as people. So all of a sudden, you had a band going into the studio who was really focused, full of energy, ready to go, and you can feel that in the music. So it sounds like FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH, but something is different. And that makes this record, I think, a milestone in some way. I think it's gonna be one of the most important records in our careers, because it is that evolution that we kind of wanted, but it happened organically, and that's just the best way for it to happen."
"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 is celebrating 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.