Check out the song: “Back For More”
Five Finger Death Punch have been making waves with their newest album, American Capitalist (featuring the hit “Under And Over It” named the #1 Song of the Year by AOL Radio). I caught up with drummer Jeremy Spencer on their recent “Share The Welt” headline tour, supported by other big names like All That Remains, Hatebreed and Rev Theory. Jeremy gives us the deets on what their relatively recent success has been like, what their band name and latest album is all about, and even which football team he supports.
You’ve only been around for 5-6 years, right? Now that’s a relatively short time, even compared to the bands that are playing tonight. What’s it like to be supported on tour by other bands that have been around for longer?
Jeremy: It’s great because we’re fans of these bands – I’ve been listening to them for years, and like you said, they’ve been around for a lot longer than we have. So to have a diverse build like this with such great talent and cool people, it’s working because a lot of people are attending these shows and most of them are sold out. They (people) only have so many places to spend their money during this bad time in the economy so we wanted to give them a special enough package where people wanted to choose this one as the one to go to. So it’s been working so far; attendance is great. We wanted to make a show that was diverse and special enough where people are like, “You HAVE to go see that. I was there and it was amazing.” So that’s what we set out to do and I think so far it’s been happening.
That’s awesome. So how has this album been different for you since the first one in 2007?
Jeremy: They’ve all been successful for us, which is nice. I mean, people are buying our records in a day and age where people aren’t really buying them – they’re stealing them. [Laughs] And I can’t say I blame ’em, when all you have to do is click a button and it’s yours for free? What’s the motivation to go make an effort to pay for it? But y’know, I think they’re all unique records in their own way; we never wanted to set out and make the same record every time. That works for some bands – they sound the same their whole career, but that’s just not stimulating enough for us. But at the same time, we didn’t sway far away from what we do. We kinda figured out what our sound is and we go with it, but we do experiment a little. We just want to make well-rounded records. So I think every record we make sounds a little bit more mature than the last one.
So would you say this one has been your most mature record, musically as well?
Jeremy: Oh yeah, for sure! I just think we’ve grown and learned so much about each other, and grown together, played together onstage and recorded together, kinda learned what works and what doesn’t, and I think it’s turned out really great!
Alright! So my friend Tiffany here is really into martial arts, so she was telling me about the Five Finger Death Punch being this punch that stops the heart…with a ninja strike…?
Jeremy: Yeah, I think it was based off the Kill Bill movie. The “Five Finger Lotus Punch” is what it was called. But “Lotus Punch” doesn’t sound cool when a crowd chants it, and it doesn’t look cool on a t-shirt, so we changed it to “Death Punch” and made it a little nicer. [Laughs]
So is there a story behind it? It somehow fits with a lot of your musical themes, doesn’t it?
Jeremy: Well, Zoltan, our guitar player is definitely into it, he does jiu jitsu and all that stuff. So, he just thought it would be the appropriate name. I was like, “I don’t know, man, I think it’s kinda stupid,” but here we are years later. It stuck. [Laughs]
Your songs are all about making it in this world, persevering against the odds, against people who don’t believe you can do it. Has there been anything in the band’s background that caused your music to turn in this direction, and promote survival?
Jeremy: Well, we’ve had to fight for every inch of the success we’ve had so far, y’know, and we’re not ashamed to have success ’cause we work really hard and we’re proud of what we do. It’s like a testament to (the fact that) anyone can do it – anyone’s gonna get a chance but you gotta work hard, and pretty much the strong survive, man. It’s gonna test your will, and there’s gonna be times you’re thinking, “I dunno, man” but we just persevered through and we’ve been lucky enough to sell some records and have a breakthrough. And now we’re headlining a big tour, so it’s working. And we’re proud of our success, happy for it.
It’s also cool because any band that plays heavy music that has a breakthrough kinda opens the door for other heavy bands to be heard. So even if it wasn’t our band, I’d still be rooting on for whoever’s having the success because it helps everyone. And as far as the doubters and the haters that post stuff on the Internet, like, we wrote a song called “Under And Over It” that was a direct response, a backhanded, tongue-in-cheek, fun response to them, y’know. ‘Cause anyone can log onto a website and type stuff about you that’s not even true, and then it takes on a life of its own. Sometimes you don’t even me, or what we do and you’re dogging us and saying we sold out? And I’m thinking, “Dude, I do EXACTLY what I wanna do every day, and get paid for it. You do exactly what you DON’T wanna do every day and get paid for it – YOU sold out, not me.” I love my job. [Laughs]
[Laughs] But that’s so true though, with a lot of metal bands these days, with the whole “sold out” idea, just because they’re getting bigger. I mean, they’re not mainstream or anything.
Jeremy: Yeah, sorry people like us! [Laughs] I mean, what would you say to that? Sorry people actually enjoy our records.
Well, this leads really well into my next question about your latest album, American Capitalist. It really brings together all your views on working for your own success, doesn’t it?
Jeremy: I don’t think success should be shied away from. I think it should be embraced. I think it’s a positive thing. I think it shows you that if you work hard and pursue your dreams and keep focused on the prize, you can have a breakthrough and have success. I think we’re capitalizing on our opportunity.
Your music has been on “Criminal Minds” and “Madden NFL 2012”. Any more of that in the near future?
Jeremy: Yeah, we’re gonna be on a soundtrack coming up. I can’t mention what it is, but it’s gonna be a good one! And we’ll probably be on more video games as well, that’s definitely in the plan.
Is there a particular show or game in which you’d really love for your music to be featured on?
Jeremy: Well, I was thrilled with Madden NFL, because I’m a huge football fan. So to me, that was special. Any sports game, I’m down for. But we’re pretty open for any video game, because it’s a great opportunity to be heard, because a lot of people buy those games and it just opens up to a bigger audience. I’m not opposed to any game or film or TV show, for that matter.
Who’s your football team?
Jeremy: My pro team is the Arizona Cardinals and they’re really terrible this year, but I’ve been a fan for years, so I’ll take the good with the bad. It’s been mostly bad. [Laughs]
Check out the song: “Under And Over It”
[Laughs] Ok so you guys have covered Bad Company, which you’ll be playing tonight. Any other songs you’d like to put your own twist on?
Jeremy: We have actually, and it’s gonna be released next year, but I can’t reveal it, we can’t give away the secret. But people are gonna be like, “Wow, I can’t believe they chose that song!” I’m excited for people to hear it. Yeah, it’s gonna come out sometime during the summer.
Okay, good to hear! What about collaborations?
Jeremy: Well, that song IS a collaboration with another artiste. I can’t tell you who it is, or what the song is, but it’s gonna be really cool.
So you’ve got this tour, and the new album will be out next summer? That’s the next big thing?
Jeremy: Yeah, we’re gonna be touring all of next year. So we’ll go home after this, get a month-and-a-half off to rest and recuperate, and then we’ll hit it hard for 2012, we’ll be touring all year, everywhere – Europe, Canada, US. So it’s gonna be real busy times, but it’s what we do, we like to do this.
Any messages for your fans?
Jeremy: Just be sure to come out and check this “Share The Welt Tour”. We’ve really outdone ourselves on this particular tour and I think it’s not to be missed. We thank you for your support and we hope to see you out here on this tour!