Five Finger Death Punch
By: James Wright
Blistering.com: This is a balls-out metal record, but what do you think of the current metal scene?
Ivan: We didn’t plan on fitting into the scene and I didn’t want to come out with anything similar to anyone else. There is something missing today and I miss Pantera, Exodus and Testament, so we decided early on that we weren’t going to be concerned with a radio single or how many units the album was going to sell. I wanted to write what was in my heart and it would be accepted or it wouldn’t be and that was the end of it. I can’t speak enough about metal because it’s one of the only unjaded sides to the music business and as long as people keep it true to their hearts it will stay that way.Blistering.com: It seems like a lot of the metal bands that are out there today are more concerned with being brutal than writing a good song.
Ivan: I completely agree and it’s funny because Jeremy and I were talking about that the other day. Whatever happened to writing good songs? That’s great to see that you can piddle your guitar for 20 minutes and make it sound like Yngwie Malmsteen or do a slam beat until your eyes pop out of their head, but at the end of the day when you’re lying in bed the real question becomes, “Can you listen to your own material?” I completely agree with you 110%. I really wanted to have an album that you can listen to from front to back instead of looping through trying to find the one good track.
Blistering.com: Five Finger Death Punch has had tremendous amount of success online and with sites like MySpace. How do you convince people to go out and buy the record when you know they are so proactive in the online world and could download it for free?
Ivan: The biggest honor is that anyone could go out and download the album on Limewire for free, but these kids are going out and buying the album and then coming out to the show and making a noise for us that literally shake the heavens. We had bands that were on the main stage of Family Values come over and watch our set and one of them actually titled us the Five Finger Bloodbath. We’re gaining notoriety and it’s because we are so active with our fans and on MySpace. We’re not one of those bands that you have to reach across the Earth to get in touch with us, we’re very family oriented.
Blistering.com: Tell us a little bit about your side-project Ghost Machine and the album “Hypersensitive”?
Ivan:That album was actually written when I was going through spiritual depression, as that was written right after Motograter and just prior to Five Finger Death Punch. That album was more of an experiment for me and there are certain artistic sides of me, like I love Depeche Mode, Love and Rockets and The Cure. I really wanted to dabble in that side of things where I didn’t have to scream as much and I could be a little more artsy. I love Ghost Machine and we’re looking at putting out another album next year that will be a double disc with all kinds of remixes and a DVD. I love that project and it’s probably one of the closest things to my soul.
Blistering.com: Ghost Machine is obviously a lot more rooted in atmospherics, but there are still a lot of great songs on the album.
Ivan: Thanks man, I love that album. The song “God Forbid” is actually about the Motograter fans that were turning on me and “Vegas Moon” was actually about Steve Richards passing, because he was living in Vegas at the time and we were staying with him. “Burning Bridges” was written about Motograter and how it was so hard for people to see the other side of the coin. There was a lot of stuff on that album that people will never see. These are experiences that I had to live through and I’m lucky enough to be able to put them on tape and share them with people. That to me is the biggest gift in the world.
Blistering.com: What do you think that Five Finger Death punch brings to the heavy music scene?
Ivan: Honesty. It brings truth back to metal and there is no self-righteous pretentious crap on this album and this is who we are and this is what we do. We keep telling fans that if they keep coming back then so will we. This is the most honest record I’ve ever been a part of and I’m proud as hell to be a part of it.