This fall's Five Finger Death Punch and Volbeat co-headlining tour has been "years" in the making, according to FFDP guitarist Zoltan Bathory.
"We've tried to do this, actually for two years now," Bathory tells Billboard. We've been playing festivals in many places together, but when we try to do a tour it's always like they are in Europe, we're in Europe, we could just never get it together. So finally this is actually happening, but we've been taking about it for years."
The two heavy rocking groups, along with Hellyeah and Nothing More, will play 27 U.S. dates kicking off Sept. 16 in Salt Lake City and wrapping up Oct. 25 in Phoenix. Bathory and company are particularly excited, he says, because it will mark "the first full, proper headlining tour in the U.S." that FFDP will do for its two "The Wrong Side of Heaven and the Righteous Side of Hell" albums, following a co-headlining stint on the 2013 Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival and a limited theater run last fall. The albums, both release din 2013, debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 launched the No. 1 Mainstream Rock hits "Lift Me Up," "Battle Born" and "House of the Rising Sun."
Bathory says he feels the tour's lineup is "diverse, but we share a fan base and both have a serious draw. Together it's going to be a very powerful package, and it enables us to play in front of a bigger audience than we could probably do on our own. Even though our (audiences) share a common interest, they're still different." He says the two groups are also closely involved in the tour production as well. "Since we are good friends, we can design a set together and lights together," Bathory says. "I like these (tours) when you have plenty of time before you go out to set it up right, because I think a tour's an extended expression of the band. So it's important how the stage looks and what kind of lights you're using and all that stuff, and usually it's happening so fast or you're busy making a record that you don't have time to really focus on that.
"So this time we do, and we have the common goal of 'How do we make this tour the biggest possible rock tour of the fall, or hopefully the whole year?' We'll see." FFDP will be playing festival dates in the U.S. and Russia prior to the tour start, and Bathory says the group has also been using its mobile studio gear to work on new material, with plans to get back in the studio later this year or the beginning of 2015 for a spring or summer release. Volbeat, meanwhile, is in the midst of a U.S. run that wraps up May 10 and will spend the summer playing festivals in Europe.
The full tour FFDP/Volbeat fall tour itinerary includes:
Sept. 16 -- Salt Lake City, UT (Maverik Center)
Sept. 17 -- Billings, MT (Rimrock Auto Arena @ Metrapark)
Sept. 18 -- Bismarck, ND (Bismarck Civic Center)
Sept. 20 -- Cedar Rapids, IA (US Cellular Coliseum)
Sept. 21 -- Grand Rapids, MI (Deltaplex)
Sept. 23 -- Syracuse, NY (The Oncenter)
Sept. 25 -- Baltimore, MD (Baltimore Arena)
Sept. 26 -- Lowell, MA (Tsongas Center)
Sept. 27 -- Albany, NY (Times Union Center)
Sept. 28 -- Uncasville, CT (Mohegan Sun Arena)
Sept. 30 -- Portland, ME (Cumberland County Civic Center)
Oct. 1 -- Reading, PA (Santander Arena)
Oct. 3 -- Newark, NJ (Prudential Center)
Oct. 7 -- Ft. Wayne, IN (Allen County War Memorial)
Oct. 10 -- Huntington, WV (Big Sandy Superstore Arena)
Oct. 11 -- Duluth, GA (Gwinnett Arena)
Oct. 12 -- Knoxville, TN (Knoxville Civic Coliseum)
Oct. 14 -- Orlando, FL (CFE Arena)
Oct. 16 -- Biloxi, MS (MS Coast Coliseum)
Oct. 17 -- Little Rock, AR (Verizon Arena)
Oct. 22 -- Rio Rancho, NM (Santa Ana Star Center)
Oct. 24 -- Las Vegas, NV (The Joint @ Hard Rock)