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Five Finger Death Punch Drummer on Playing for the Troops, Writing Honest Rock

Gareth Cattermole, Getty Images

Five Finger Death Punch are known for their heavy grooves and angst-y vocals, but the gents have also earned a good reputation for performing regularly for the U.S. troops overseas. The guys were recently in Iraq, and drummer Jeremy Spencer says it’s an experience they wouldn’t trade for anything.

“It was incredible,” Spencer told the Nervous Breakdown. “We went to Iraq in 2010, as it’s the least we can do to give back to those guys, because they’re over there sacrificing their family lives and they don’t get a lot of entertainment, so they were stoked when we got there. I love everything about it, minus the 20-hour flight each way. But once I shook that off, the shows were great and meeting all the troops was really cool.”

He added, “It’s something that we’ll end up doing again, because we get great feedback and it means a lot to them. It’s awfully tough to travel over there, but we like to do it when we can, so maybe we’ll be back in another couple years or something.”

Five Finger’s latest album, ‘American Capitalist,’ debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 chart last October. Spencer says the band focused on creating a set of songs that were honest and heartfelt on the album instead of stressing too much about the perfect follow-up.

“I noticed that during the making of ‘American Capitalist,’ I felt a little pressure because we had just come off two gold records and everyone was watching to see what’s the next move. We were really critical on ourselves and I’m really happy with the way it turned out,” he said. “We released the first single, ‘Under and Over It,’ and it was received really well on the radio — top five — and I was a little relieved.

“Now I just look at it as if we write something that’s honest and that we believe in, that’s all we can control, because the climate in the music industry changes and tastes change and you just have to stick with whatever you like and if you’re into it, that’s all that matters. Everything else is a bonus.”

Five Finger Death Punch headline the Tresspass America Tour this summer, along with a bill including Killswitch Engage, Trivium, Pop Evil, Emmure and God Forbid. Find a list of tour dates here.

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