Five Finger Death Punch’s Jason Hook Discusses Next Album, ‘Coming Down’ Video + Randy Blythe
In the first part of our interview with Five Finger Death Punch guitarist Jason Hook, he told us everything we needed to know about the Trespass America Festival tour that he and his bandmates are currently headlining. From discussing new songs they were working on playing live to what band he’s looking forward to seeing on the tour, Hook left no stone unturned.
In part two of our interview, Hook opens up about Five Finger Death Punch’s next album, discusses the status of his solo work and shares his thoughts on the continuing legal situation with Randy Blythe.
When Trespass America wraps up, will Five Finger Death Punch be hitting the studio? Can we expect a new album anytime soon?
Actually, yes. That’s funny, did you read that somewhere? That’s amazing that you know that.
No, man, I’m just curious!
Well, we’re kind of crazy like that. ‘American Capitalist’ has some good momentum. We kind of like to force the records into a shorter time period. We kind of believe that fresh music really fuels the momentum of everything that we’re trying to do here. If you were to make one record and try to milk it for 3 or 4 years, I mean, you can do that. But I believe that in this day and age, the immediate accessibility of being able to find music and download it and carry it around with you, people just consume it quickly. It’ll take us 7 months to make new songs. It’ll take them 7 weeks to be completely over it, you know? We just kind of like to get a record done, in a perfect world, every 18 months.
So does that mean we can expect a new album in early 2013?
That’s the idea, yeah. We’ve been writing. On the Share the Wealth tour, we built this portable recording studio. It comes in a case and you pull the lid off and it has everything we need, the whole 9 yards, right? We had a dedicated room in the venue everyday that we could go jam in. We stole the idea from Metallica, actually. They record everything. The idea behind it is to be logging ideas. With heavy metal, a lot of it comes down to good guitar riffs and good drum grooves. We just go in there and jam and document everything. We cut things down to what could be a song arrangement. A lot of times you’re surprised, like, “What is that? Oh, it’s the thing we did two weeks ago? That’s f—ing cool, I can’t believe that’s us!” It’s about a creative flow, it’s all about your gut and your heart. So yeah, to give you an extremely long-winded answer to your question, yeah, we’re preparing material now.
So you’re working on new material now, but there’s no question that ‘American Capitalist’ still has a lot of life left in it. Is there a contender for the next single off of the album?
Right now, ‘Coming Down’ is the new single. It’s been doing well on active rock radio and the charts. That’s the new single, that’s the one we’re pushing right now. We’re learning it so we can play it live. That’s the one with the suicide prevention video that we’re not in.
Right, you’re not in it. Talk about the video for ‘Coming Down.’
Ivan [Moody] came up with the lyrics, obviously. Everyone wanted it as the single, so we had to figure out what to do with the video. We thought, let’s remove the band from it. It’s about teenage suicide and we’re trying to send a positive message with it. The video is almost like a mini-movie with a storyline of two people who change their minds about their suicidal thoughts. We’re just trying to be helpful and do something that gives back and helps. You know, it’s better that way instead of us being on top of a cliff with helicopters flying around us. We decided to do something that would be more beneficial to the greater community of heavy metal.
Before Five Finger Death Punch, you were known for being a sought after session player. You put out instrumental albums, you played on various tours with different acts. Are you putting any focus on your solo stuff or is it just 5FDP all day, every day?
Five Finger Death Punch is busy. I don’t have a lot of time to even think about anything else. There was one solo record that Jeremy [Spencer] and I did a few years ago called ‘Safety Dunce.’ Then, after that one, we did another one. That one is yet to be released. Every time we go on break, I try to get it finished up, but we’re always trying to work on things for Five Finger Death Punch so I can never get to it. There are a few of us that are working hard all the time on this thing. The more popular your group is, the more people want things from you. Time is limited. So to answer your question, there is a second solo album that will hopefully come out this year.
Is there any new music out there that you’re really digging?
There’s this group called Avatar. We have been jamming that band a lot. Of course, we also love Ghost. The last tour, that’s all we were jamming. The Ghost record was on nonstop. Avatar is the new thing we’re listening to. They have a track called ‘Let It Burn’ which is awesome.
I feel like I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t ask you: What do you think of the Randy Blythe situation in the Czech Republic?
I think it stinks. I’m reminded how scary life can get and how quickly things can go south. I saw the video and Randy wasn’t even looking at this kid. He was singing to the crowd. Anytime someone comes up on stage, it’s pretty much you get what you get. It’s not like Randy took a heavy object and smashed this guy on the head. Randy was just singing, the guy came up behind him and it looks like he kind of just shoved him off the stage. That’s my take on it. It seemed like a completely innocent maneuver. The fact that the guy perhaps landed on his head and died several weeks later as a result of a bad accident, my guess is they’ll get it figured out and he’ll get off. It doesn’t seem like there was any intentional malice there.