On Sept. 26, Lowell, Mass. was filled with screams of dozens of Metal fans. The small town hosted one of the greatest metal shows with Nothing More, Hell Yeah, Volbeat and the headlining gods Five Finger Death Punch. I must admit that a lot people, including myself, were expecting an amazing show with Five Finger Death Punch headlining and Volbeat co-headlining, however, we did not expect Nothing More and Hell Yeah to rock the stage as hard as the two other bands.
The show started with Nothing More. Along with the great songs that started a giant head-bang wave, they fronted a great stage show with all the members playing drums simultaneously, or tapping a single guitar all together, creating a great harmony. Finishing their set, Nothing More left the stage to Hell Yeah. As Vinnie Paul entered, the crowd erupted into cheers. The crowd, already warmed up by Nothing More, was ready the heavier sound of Hell Yeah. At this point of the show, the frequency of the crowd surfing has reached its climax.
To put the final touch on the crowd before Five Finger Death Punch, co-headliner Volbeat took the stage. They provided a great show, although their sound was significantly lighter compared to the other bands taking part in the show. It is important to point out that a significant part of their show included “Acoustic Guitar” and lighter sounds that came along with it. They even paid tribute to Jonny Cash with the song “Ring of Fire”.
After a brief set, Volbeat left the stage, and Five Finger Death Punch began. After vocalist Ivan Moody hit the stage with a baseball bat, the band started to show with a somewhat heavier set including “Under and Over It”, “Burn it Down”, “Hard to See” and “Lift me Up”. The crown accompanied the band by singing along, with tons of moshing.
At this point of the show, Moody took some time to talk about veterans and pointing out the sacrifices they are making to protect us and provide us with freedom. He asked the audience to thank all the veterans, to which the crowd show their support with screams and a great applause. Following the topic, the band began to play “Burn MF” and Moody invited the the young metal heads to the stage. In less than a minute the stage was filled with 10 to 15 kids. They stayed on stage throughout the song, trying to accompany the tempo with their hands in the shape of small devil horns and their head-bangs. I must say it was one of the cutest scenes I have seen.
One of the greatest highlights of the show was the drums solo of Jeremy Spencer. He was wearing a skull mask that resembles to the mascot of the band.
You can find a link to the drum solo here. Unfortunately the video is just a tiny portion of the solo. The band is still on tour, so if you have the chance to catch any of the upcoming shows, I would say don’t miss it. Even the drum solo itself is a good reason to see these guys.
Following the drums solo, the band stepped into more of an acoustic set. The band played “Remember Everything”, “Battle Born”, “Coming Down” and then they switched back to their hardcore sound with “Never Enough” and “Here to Die” before going into a short encore.
Following the encore Moody came back to the stage alone, singing “Far From Home” a capella. The band returned to finish the show with “The Way of the First”, “The Bleeding” and a cover of the famous song “House of The Rising Sun”.
With Moody’s chaotic frontmanship, Jason Hook’s custom guitar that lit up and his awesome guitar solos, Chris Kael’s epic beard and bass lines, and Zoltan Bathory’s incredible riffs and his interaction with the crowd, the show was unique one of its kind. They knocked the crowd out with a true five finger death punch. Besides all, the band showed that they are much more than being just a metal band by showing their patriotism and awareness of the current issues in out world.
Below you can find the interview Sinan had with the guitarist Jason Hook.
Blast: The tour has just kicked off. So far, so good?
Hook: Everything is perfect.
Blast: Well, there are a lot of people out there, in my generation, who get inspiration from 5FDP. Who were your inspirations? I know you have mentioned Dimebag in one of your interviews previously.
Hook: Well, when I was your age my favorite band was Kiss. I loved Kiss and I was looking into Ace Frehley. In the 80s I was really looking into, you know, Eddie Van Halen and stuff like that. I thought Eddie was just awesome. And when we got into 90s, early 90s it was Dimebag because he was just wild. And Zakk Wylde too, you know. These were aggressive and exciting.
BLAST: I think we can agree that the band made it to the top really fast. Debut album in 2007, in the blink of an eye, it’s 5FDP everywhere. How did this happen? It is just that people liked your songs or is there more to it?
Hook: Well, I think that our band has a lot of elements that are appealing. Not only the heavy-duty lyrics but there are performance from every single individual. Certainly, I am trying to deliver on the guitar, solo side. Jerry on the drums, Zoltan on the rhythm and stuff. I think there is a lot of connected development that other bands may not have. And I feel pretty lucky. If people like it, perfect.
BLAST: Did this cause any pressure on you? Like, I did something and people liked it. Now I need to do better.
Hook: I think we always like to feel like we are moving forward and moving up. Putting that pressure on yourself is tricky because you don’t want it to have a negative effect on your brain, being a little fear based. You just have to walk a little bit forward and remember that whatever you did that became successful in the beginning just came from your heart and feelings and it should still be there, regardless of the success, money and whatever is there happening to confuse you.
BLAST: Are there any artists out there that are active right now that you would like to collaborate with?
Hook: Certainly there is a fantasy list. We could sit here all day, talking about who I would like to work with. I think it would be great to get involved with Eminem or something like that. Because he is a super star.
BLAST: From the very beginning to today: was there any point where you were out of it and wanted to call it off and pulled yourself back together? Or maybe you just got bored with tours, the same set list etc.?
Hook: Not yet. It is still thrilling. We are still trying to take it all the way. We are not crusty yet. I think that if there was a band so big that they just forget how hard it was to get there. But we are still hungry for more.
BLAST: What is next for the band?
Hook: This tour will take us all the way up to end of October. Then we get a few weeks off and then we go to Japan [for] Knotfest, the Slipknot festival, and then I think we are off for the rest of the year.
BLAST: Working on album maybe?
Hook: Always, always.
BLAST: Can fans expect any changes on the sound?
Hook: I think it is too early to tell. We are always trying to be creative on the down time. It is low pressure part of the process. We are just tossing around ideas, when there is no pressure and I think it will be going on maybe until March.
BLAST: We don’t have the metal scene that you had in 80s. We just don’t have that crowd. Do you have anything to say about the metal scene today?
Hook: Well, I think I see a lot of repeated type formula from the newer bands. It seems like the same sound, cookie cutter vocals and then the melodic chorus and then the same guitar sound. Blast beat etc. We get demos in the meet-and-greet. I put the cd in to see if there is anything original.
BLAST: Is it because people are just trying to imitate their favorite band?
Hook: I think that is where it starts. You have a hero, you have a band that you admire and the first thing you try is to try to sound like that. As soon as you can try to come up with your own ideas, something different.
BLAST: Fan clubs are really popular nowadays. Are you thinking of starting one?
Hook: We have self-titled them the knuckleheads but we don’t have that pay-some-money-per-year-and-belong fan club. I am just curious, with all the internet today—and you know there was KISS army back in the 70s, where you would get a hand written letter, a package in mail—I am just curious what kind of things you can offer that you wouldn’t be able to get via social media. Cause everything now, you would pretty much be able to get for free. We kind of have the meet-and-greet right now. We try to give out things that you cannot find anywhere else.
BLAST: If the music thing didn’t work out, did you have a plan to do something else?
Hook: I would most probably be doing some sort of computer related work because I like computers, you know? Whether it was graphic design or web design. I am always in front of the computer.
BLAST: Any advice to the musicians?
Hook: Study song writing, you know? And always be creating. Always practice rhythms.
BLAST: Finally, any thing you want to say to your fans?
Hook: Let’s see what can I draw attention to. Well, we have the brand new single, just went to radio, that supports the charity PTSD—post traumatic stress disorder for all the troops. And we put together a fund and we have already raised $240,000 for a charity, to go to anyone who is suffering from PTSD and it has far exceeded our expectations so again just spreading the awareness, if you have anything, to help out.
On behalf of Five Finger Death Punch, please consider supporting American veterans via the band’s fundraising page. Be sure to check out their tribute video for Wrong Side of Heaven.