Neither volume of Five Finger Death Punch’s “The Wrong Side of Heaven and the Righteous Side of Hell” is a year old yet, but the heavy rocking quintet already has its next project in motion.
Guitarist Zoltan Bathory tells Billboard that 5FDP has “five, six ideas or roughs already in the can,” with plans for a 2015 release. “I would say next spring we would want to put something out,” Bathory says, “so that means this year we’ll be recording here and there and probably go into the studio in December or January. But we definitely want to have something out before next summer for sure. In this environment I don’t think that bands can allow themselves to stay in a studio for two, three, four years and wait and try to write some masterpiece. In four years people are going to forget about you. You have go put out records. Thank God we have plenty to say and plenty of material. We don’t struggle for material — obviously.”
Bathory says 5FDP is working on the new music in the same manner it made “The Wrong Side of Heaven…” albums, with portable studio equipment on the road. “That worked out for us really, really well — we got two albums out of it, right?” the guitarist says with a laugh. “It was great, because it wasn’t like the usual, ‘Here you go, guys. You have four months, or five, to write a record.’ Instead of that we started writing songs and lived with them for possibly a year. And when you get to live with a song it always evolves and evolves and gets better, so I think we’ll always do it this way from now on. It’s a healthy process.”
Bathory says the method helps 5FDP frontman Ivan Moody in particular. “He has the hardest job in the band,” Bathory acknowledges, “because we write without him. We just give him the full songs, like ‘Here you go. here’s a song,’ and then another one and another one, and he has to come up with the lyrics and the melody. So for him it’s fairly difficult, and when we give him songs way ahead of time he has time to live with them. He has more time to breathe and create when he doesn’t have to write anything in a period of just a month or something like that.”
But 5FDP is hardly forgetting about “The Wrong Side of Heaven…” albums, both of which debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 and at No. 1 on the Hard Rock and Rock Albums charts. Bathory predicts that the group will release “one, maybe even two more singles” from the sets, which will follow “Lift Me Up,” “Battle Born” and 5FDP’s version of “House of the Rising Sun,” all of which topped the Hard Rocks Track chart. 5FDP and its team are currently “in a conversation” about the next single, which should be determined soon.
“There are different trains of thought because when you’re deciding a single there are a couple of different factors,” Bathory explains. “Some of them are obvious; some of the songs can’t go on radio ’cause they’re too heavy or the lyrics just won’t allow…[10.28] We just had a couple of slower songs on the radio, and…we don’t want people to have the wrong impression. The band is still a pretty heavy hard rock/heavy metal band, so we don’t want to give the wrong impression. At the same time you look at the songs and see how certain songs are extremely popular. So when the question comes, ‘Do we give a song that paints a different picture or do we give the song that seems like everybody wants to hear?’ That’s the debate right now. It will have to conclude pretty much in the next 10 days, I’d say, and we should know which one it is. We have two different ones we’re thinking about, but we don’t know which one is the winner.”
5FDP will spend the spring and summer playing festival dates in the U.S. and Russia, and it begins a just-announced 27-date arena tour with Volbeat on Sept. 16 in Salt Lake City.