We grab Zoltan Bathory for a catch-up ahead of FFDP’s imminent UK dates…
Alright Zoltan! How was touring with Avenged Sevenfold at the end of last year?
“It was an excellent run. We have been working on bringing our European tours up to the same level as we tour North America so we needed the exposure in arena settings, and AX7 needed a strong support band with a solid draw. It ended up being the right combo of bands. The shows were huge in the end everybody won.”
Is it inspiring to you guys to see a “modern” metal band conquering the planet like that?
“Of course, what’s happening is the ‘changing of the guard’. The big bands we all grew up on either completely stopped touring now or they only go out on specialty tours every now and then, so they are definitely far from being as active as they used to be. That brings the next generation to the forefront. It already started but in these upcoming years a transition will take place and the torch will be passed down. It’s the natural cycle.”
These will be the first UK headline dates you’ve played since the two albums last year!
“Yes. We can’t wait! In these past 12 months we have spent more time in Europe than ever. We rolled up our sleeves and didn’t leave any stones unturned. Hard work always comes back to us in Aces. So now the entire headline run is almost completely sold out. Germany sold out weeks before our boots hit the ground here, and the first London show sold out so we had to add a second one and that one is about to sell out too. This is the case with the rest of the UK dates as well. I think our commitment to come back a few times a year made the difference.”
Have you made life difficult for yourselves by having TWO albums of new material to pick tracks from?
“It’s a good problem to have. Now we have five albums worth of songs to pick from. I remember when the band became a headlining act during the first record cycle, (which was also a good problem at the time), however we had only one album so if we played every song we were still short for the headline slot. That’s why we started playing some covers, basically out of necessity. But now, five records in, we can really pick and chose and assemble well-balanced live sets.”
Can we expect to see some of those covers make a cheeky appearance on this trek? coughPLEASEPLAYMAMASAIDKNOCKYOUOUTcough
“Fans that follow the band for a while are all accustomed to our sense of humour. Cheeky it is, we don’t care about the rules, the dress code or being a ‘black sheep’! We just do whatever we feel like doing. Picking Mama Said to cover was an acute case of ‘no fucks given’ on our part. We thought it was cool and yes, now we even play it live.”
What are the five things you cannot go on tour without?
“ My entire communication center, cellphones, world phones, laptops, and all the gadgets have to be with me at all times… I mean imagine if I couldn’t post something on Instagram for a whole day! haha… #NoNotAddicted
Sealable laundry bag. ‘cause try to mix dirty clothes with clean clothes just for an hour… and then try to separate them…
A few pairs of sunglasses – Who wants to emerge from the depth of their tour bus and be faced with the horrors of daylight… but we all lose or sit on a dozen of them per tour… the more expensive ones have stronger tractor beams to pull unsuspecting asses right on top of them… never fails… so I always have 4-5-6 of them …
Vitamins from A to Z, B12 shots, a ton of Colloidal Silver, Green Coffee Bean Extract, and all the stuff to keep you healthy on the road… if one gets sick, all gets sick… and nothing sucks worse than traveling 24⁄7 while you are sick as a dog…
And finally a lint roller, the lint is the great divider… homeless people and musicians dress the same – hahaha… except the latter have no lint on their trousers…
We know you’re a guy that likes a bit of Martial Arts. Apart from your good self, who’s the toughest band guy you’ve met on tour?
“We’re musicians, first and foremost, I don’t think there is anyone of us claiming to be some ultimate badass or looking for something to prove – so please don’t feed or provoke the animals!
With that said, definitely don’t mess with Sevendust or Attica 7 unless you want an old fashioned bar-brawl beatdown. Probably don’t spill Billy “Biohazard” Graziadei’s beer or Maynard’s Wine – both of them train Jiu-Jitsu. If provoked, Slipknot will jump you most likely, and Phil Anselmo will definitely jump you. Dave Mustaine will surprise you, too; skinny-bony dudes hit hard, plus he is an old-fashioned ‘stand your ground guy’ so on principal alone he won’t back down from a god damn grizzly bear, regardless of the odds.”
Catch Five Finger Death Punch with Upon A Burning Body and Pop Evil on the following dates:
Friday 28th Birmingham O2Academy SOLD OUT
Sunday 30th London Forum SOLD OUT
Monday 31st London Forum
Tues 1st Manchester Academy SOLD OUT
Thur 3rd Glasgow O2 Academy