The songs are different, but the sound remains largely the same on the upcoming second volume of Five Finger Death Punch's two "The Wrong Side of Heaven and the Righteous Side of Hell" releases.
"I really can't say anything is different about (Volume 2)," drummer Jeremy Spencer tells Billboard about the sequel, which comes out Nov. 19, three and a half months after its predecessor, which topped the Hard Rock and Rock Albums charts.
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"You can interchange any song from either (album). If you're a fan of the fist one you're gonna dig the second one, and" he adds with a laugh, "if you weren't you're probably not going to like this one either. But we wanted to make them both kind of balanced and take listener kind of on a roller coaster ride, not have 10 songs of one style on one and 10 of another style on the other. We wanted each to take on a natural flow. You can basically interchange the songs on both records."
But, adds guitarist Zoltan Bathory, dividing the pile of 24 songs into two separate albums was "like a chess game. For a second we considered, 'Let's make one really heavy one and then separate the rest of the songs,' but then it would be against the belief that our records have become so popular because they're diverse. We knew we were going to start ('Volume 1') with 'Lift Me Up,' so we sort of built everything around it and then saw what was left and assembled another flow from that, then started to swap things around so each one has all the colors you want to have on the record. The whole idea is the record have to be like one picture; you start listening to it and you can listen to the whole record without skipping one song."
"Volume 2's" battle cry is "Battle Born," a song Spencer says started during a backstage jam with guitarist Jason Hook while FFDP was touring to support 2011's "American Capitalist."
"That was one that happened in the dressing room, actually. Jason and I were messing around with some weird time signatures; it wasn't really that weird, it was like a 6/8 time kind of feel. He started coming up with that guitar arrangement and it was really cool, and then we put it away and then got home and started going through and editing stuff together, and it was like, 'Wow, this piece was interesting.' Then we smoothed out all the music stuff and then gave it to Ivan (Moody), and of course he wrote the lyrics. It's kind of just like our little connection to the fans about being out here on tour all the time. I think it's a pretty strong chorus. We've been performing it live on tour and it's been well received so far."
FFDP's touring regimen will continue well into 2014 for "The Wrong Side of Heaven..." packages. After playing on this summer's Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival tour the quintet is currently on its own headline run of North America into late October. It's also booked for the Shiprocked cruise out of Miami during January and will be part of the Soundwave Festival tour during February and March in Australia, and Bathory predicts "a solid two years of touring" for the troupe. FFDP also has the recording gear that gave birth to "The Wrong Side of Heaven..." material, but he Spencer says the group members haven't quite warmed to the idea of working on new material yet.
"Right now we're good, man; we just got out of eight or nine months of creating, so right now we're not in that mode," he says with a laugh. "But we always have the gear with us, yes. It goes in cycles, and you've got to take a breather and regroup and then come back, otherwise you're not hungry work it. I want to do it when I'm feeling it rather than forcing it."