Five Finger Death Punch Keeping 'Creative Muscle' Sharp on Tour
Five Finger Death Punch Keeping 'Creative Muscle' Sharp on Tour

Band plans to start tracking fourth album in mid-January.

As it nears the one-year anniversary of its third album, "American Capitalist," Five Finger Death Punch is putting on the gloves in preparation for its follow-up.

Guitarist Jason Hook tells Billboard.com that the headbanging quintet has "probably six to eight songs worked up," with a ProTools rig and portable studio on the road during its current Trespass America tour. "The idea behind that is just to keep the creative muscle worked out," Hook explains. "It's just like going to the gym; if you stop for a year, you lose all your strength. It's easy to get lazy and get sort of soft. We're in the business of making music; touring is great, but we should always be prepared and always exercising that creative muscle -- in my opinion, anyway."

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Hook predicts that the group is "probably going to be working on new material all the way up until the new year, and then we'll start tracking in mid-January, maybe." By then, he hopes, FFDP will have more than enough material for a fourth album.

"It's just like anything: if you come in unprepared you get what you get, but if you do a decent amount of preparation, then at least you have options," Hook explains. "The records are the launch pad for everything else, and I want to make the records great. If we need 10 killer songs, I'd rather have 30 songs to pick from than have eight and need two desperately at the end. I don't want to make records in a panic."

"American Capitalist," which came out in October of 2011, gave FFDP its highest chart debut yet, at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 and No. 1 on the Top Independent Albums chart. The group is currently working the album's fourth single, "Coming Down," which Hook says he actually felt "pretty insecure" about when it was initially introduced. "I wasn't sure anyone was going to go for it because it had acoustic guitar. It was kind of a different flavor, y'know?" he says. "I was almost positive that this one was going to go into the Save It For Your Soul Album file, but everyone said, 'No, that's cool, man,' so it shows what I know."

FFDP's other recent release was its cover of Faith No More's "From Out of Nowhere," which it initially recorded as a bonus track for its 2007 debut album "The Way of the Fist" and found its way onto the soundtrack album for "The Avengers."

"The label called us up and said, 'Hey, we have an opportunity to get a song on this soundtrack. Do you guys have any unreleased material that we could use?' " Hook recalls. "Unfortunately we had used every last song that we had recorded for ('American Capitalist'), and the only thing we could think of was that cover song. I don't think it was on any official release, therefore it was eligible. In a perfect world we would have an abundance of leftover stuff laying around that's a little more current, but in this particular circumstance we did not."

For his part, however, Hook says he's more into "military history, documentaries and stuff like that." Therefore being part of "The Avengers" didn't mean a great deal to him. "I follow all that stuff, but I'm not really the comic book guy or the super hero guy. That's never been my zone. I'm not sure who that guy in our band would be... but we appreciated the opportunity."

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

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