Five Finger Death Punch come back from the brink
It’s fair to say that it has been a tough year or two for Five Finger Death Punch. Their 2015 album, Got YourSix, hit the Top 10 in the UK and gave the band their fourth US Top Three album in a row. Meanwhile, they absolutely stole the show with a blistering set at the 2017 Download Festival, cementing their place as almost nailed-on future headliners for the showpiece metal event.
While the US metal titans were ascending to genuine arena fillers in that time, they have never strayed too far from turmoil. From on-off issues with frontman Ivan Moody to behind-the-scenes record label wrangles, it hasn’t been plain sailing.
But, everything has finally fallen into place and the band is back not just with a new album,
AndJusticeForNone, released on 18 May, but they’re also firing on all cylinders. That much is evident from their blistering cover of The Offspring’s ‘Gone Away’.
“Ivan actually wanted to cover it as The Offspring is one of his all-time favourite bands,” drummer Jeremy Spencer tells us of the somewhat surprising choice. “So, obviously, we thought we’d do a different take on it and try to make it something that Death Punch would do. The way I approached it drumming-wise was to do a half-time groove instead of the uptempo style that was on the original.”
It was a case of casting the net far and wide when it came to finding drum tones for the record.
“I used a mixture of our producer Kevin Churko’s drums at the studio;DW , Tama, Gretsch,” Jeremy says. “They seemed to make up the best sound for what we’re going for. We’ve tried many different combinations, so it’s a blend of our favourite drums. I always think we’re gonna try and change things, but end up coming back to the sound we’ve used on the past few albums. It’s something that everyone really likes and seems to be the right thing for the recordings.”
The record also sees Jeremy channel an array of drumming influences. While the drummer’s own brand of metal is very much stamped all over the record, there’s also a hint of a true session great tucked away in there, too.
“‘Sham Pain’ has interesting sort of Jeff Porcaro-style groove in it,” he says of a new cut on AndJusticeForNone, “and it’s something I’ve never done, so that’s the one that sticks out as my favourite [song on the record].”
And what about that turmoil that we mentioned? It seems like it’ll take way more than that to derail the Five Finger Death Punch train. In fact, it appears that it’s all just character building.
Jeremy signs off by looking back at the last two years: “It’s been quite a learning experience dealing with lawsuits and internal obstacles, but we’ve gotten through it and now we’re stronger than ever.”
“‘Sham Pain’ has an interesting sort of Jeff Porcaro-style groove in it,” says Jeremy of mixing it up on the new 5FDP album