It’s fair to say that 2020 has been no picnic. You might have noticed that our world is ablaze, often literally. Five Finger Death Punch certainly have, but they’re clearly fearful that not everyone is entirely awake to the full horror of it all, and the creeping erosion of the noble principles of liberty and justice for all. As the US gears up for the forthcoming Presidential elections, who better to issue a stark warning about the state of the world? It has to start somewhere. It has to start sometime. What better place than here? What better time than now?
The video for new Five Finger Death Punch single Living The Dream shows exactly what is at stake. Introduced by a quote from American writer and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson – “Fiction reveals truth that reality obscures” – the video opens with images of toilet roll-hoarding zombies, then switches to a vision of an aging Captain America snorting cocaine, before a square-jawed white adult male is rewarded with a hammer and sickle-adorned badge reading ‘Compliant’ for donning a face mask. The hammer and sickle insignia later re-appears replacing the stars on the US flag on prison uniforms handed out by The People’s Republic Of America. Then things get really messy…
“Captain America, are you off to fight the bad guys?” sings Ivan Moody on the opening lyric to Living The Dream. “Hey mighty Superman, can you save us from ourselves?”
What can it all mean?
Guitarist Zoltan Bathory helpfully explains: “America is a beautiful idea that draws immigrants like myself from all over the world to the promised land of equality, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. This idea is now under siege and certain events are starting to remind me of the things many of us came here to escape... It’s not a ‘left against right’ problem but an evolutionary problem. The growing pains of a civilization that without the necessary spiritual enlightenment, arrived a bit early to a level of technology where everyone is connected. The good news is that now everyone has a voice. The bad news is that now everyone has a voice.”
“So we are living in the manipulators' paradise, where liars and hypocrites run unscathed, the news are just opinions, politics are a blood sport, and facts are determined by consensus instead of the truth,” he continues. “We as artists, however, have a unique opportunity to portray and ridicule the absurd to prevent it from becoming reality.”
Thank you Zoltan.
Also, as if this year hasn’t been wild enough already, the Punch - the Fingers? - have also revealed that they’ve parted company with guitarist Jason Hook, and officially recruited English guitar player Andy James in his place. Crazy times, bro, crazy times.