Five Finger Death Punch lineup changes are “healthy”

Five Finger Death Punch
(Image credit: Travis Shinn)

Zoltan Bathory, the only remaining original member of Five Finger Death Punch, said lineup changes were a “healthy” process for the band.

He expressed his views while previewing new album AfterLife, their first to feature guitarist Andy James after he replaced Jason Hook in 2020.

Bathory told Rock Feed: “You'll never find an interview [where] I said negative stuff about past band members or even other bands. That's not my thing. In this case, we got to the point where relationships come to an end, and so therefore there are some lineup changes.

“And that’s actually healthy – because if something doesn’t work, you’ve gotta move on. It’s just as simple as that.”

He described AfterLife as one of his “favourite records to make” and also one of his “favourite records” of all time, adding: “There was this energy of creation. And I [see] the fingerprints of that all over the record. So it’s very special.”

Bathory also explained why 5FDP had decided to move away a little from their trademark sound. “We always had this kind of rule – you go to the studio and you just record everything. And no crazy idea is crazy. Let’s see what happens. So that was always the attitude, but this time somehow this was even more emphasized.

“How we’ve sounded for nine albums, that’s established. You hear the first riffs and you hear Ivan’s voice and you know who this is – there’s no guessing. And that kind of gave us this opportunity, like, ‘You know what? Let’s just venture a little bit further.’

“And also it's that whole idea that this is a new phase for the band as well. We had a couple of lineup changes. So there was this new energy. We went in there happy and the whole process was sort of easy.”

AfterLife is released on August 19.

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Not only is one-time online news editor Martin an established rock journalist and drummer, but he’s also penned several books on music history, including SAHB Story: The Tale of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band, a band he once managed, and the best-selling Apollo Memories about the history of the legendary and infamous Glasgow Apollo. Martin has written for Classic Rock and Prog and at one time had written more articles for Louder than anyone else (we think he's second now). He’s appeared on TV and when not delving intro all things music, can be found travelling along the UK’s vast canal network.