Sunday, September 7, 2014

Zoltan Bathory talks with CNET

Zoltan Bathory recently spoke with, you can read some excerpts below:

What kind of statement are you making on this package tour?
Zoltan Bathory: This is the thing about the heavy metal guys, that we're not going to go away. This is here to stay. And if things get difficult, we'll figure out how to do it anyway. This is part of the genre. We do stick together, because we have a long history of being the voice of rebellion; it was sort of the middle finger to the system. And that trait is still there. Naturally those kinds of people stick together and form coalitions, and that's what you're witnessing. This is their way of saying, "We are here, and we refuse to go away." No, hip-hop will not rule the world. We will divide the musical pie, and we will be here.

Were both bands friendly before the tour?
Zoltan Bathory: Any show you ever play, Hellyeah is the glue. These guys are the guys who bring in the barbecue, bring in the party. We were old friends anyway. But when you add Hellyeah to the tour, you know that it's going to be fought in the back; it's going to be crazy. You know they're going to be partying all day. It's a big circle of friends.

How do you translate your albums to the stage?

Zoltan Bathory: All of us grew up when bands brought huge live shows. And if you look at the story of the genre, the bands that really stayed, they did not neglect the visual element of the live shows. Because why would you go to a concert if you're performing exactly what you're performing on the CD? Then you just stay home and skip the whole thing and just listen to the CD. So we've been always working on that, and this is part of the show. The audience has to win; that's basically the ultimate goal.

Each band has new albums out. What was your songwriting process?

Zoltan Bathory: Usually the band writes the music together. I will email Jason, the other guitarist, and then he adds a verse to that and emails it back. And then we all kind of ping pong back-and-forth until we all feel that it is a really good set. It's a constant revolving kind of thing that we just balance the song to each other; that's how we do it. Once that is done, then it goes to Ivan, and he writes the vocals. So everybody was involved in the song.

Zoltan, what was it like working with Rob Halford on the "Lift Me Up" track?
Zoltan Bathory: Oh, wow. We were listening, mixing the songs. Somebody made a comment at the studio, "Hey this song is -- remember, like, old-school Judas Priest?" A couple of weeks before that we actually heard that Rob Halford said on TV that one of his favorite bands of the new crop is Five Finger Death Punch. And, you know, that's pretty much good enough that you can hang up your guitar right there. You're justified; you achieved everything.

But let's reach out and let's see if he would actually sing on our song. And to our surprise, he actually called and said, "Oh my God, guys, I like this track, and I want to be involved definitely." And we were sitting in the studio, looking through the little window there or the cameras, and Rob Halford is singing the song. It was just an incredible experience. So I actually can say that if I die right now, it's OK because I played on stage with Rob Halford singing one of the songs that we wrote. So if lightning comes right now, I'm good.

Five Finger Death Punch had a slew of special guests on the latest albums, and Hellyeah was formed by several different musicians from several different bands. Who haven't you worked with that you might like to?

Zoltan Bathory: Maybe this is going to be an odd choice, but I would really like to do something with Eminem. I really like the way he puts together his lyrics. The guy is very, very talented. And I'm not really into the hip-hop scene. But he's special. And I always imagine like how cool it would sound like he's doing his thing and puts some nasty, mean freaking rock-heavy beats, some nasty guitar under that flow that he has, how cool that would sound.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

Zoltan Bathory: It's about being socially, culturally, and emotionally relevant. Meaning we don't sing about Viking warriors. Nothing is wrong with that, and they're pretty much fun and dungeons and dragons and all the crap. A lot of people love that, and I'm not criticizing that. But you know, that's just one school of lyrical content. Everything we say or talk about is something that is an experience or happens to us in our lives or struggles or pain or happiness. All of these things will connect to the fans because it is real for them; this is about real life. You go out there and play these shows, and you can tell on the faces of all these people who are there that you are actually touching them.

Click here for the full interview

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