FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH guitarist says metal is the only genre fans call bands hits



You’ve seen the cycle a million times – a band gains traction with their debut album or demo and they’re hailed as an underground gem. Then, as they get discovered and get the success that comes with growth, all of a sudden they’re sold. In an interview with FaceCulture, Five Finger Death Punch guitarist Zoltan Bathory addressed the hate that seems to come with popularity and posits that maybe the “sell-outs” are just living the dream they’ve worked hard for.

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“It’s just what it is. At the very beginning, [getting called a sellout] it annoys you a bit because you don’t understand… I worked really hard to be here. You have no idea how much work that is [career has been to get to this point]. It didn’t come out of nowhere. It’s 30 years of preparation. I was 12 and making my first guitar on a coffee table because I couldn’t afford one. It’s a lot of work and you just do what you love to do.

Ivan [Moody] pointed it out the other day. He says: ‘Have you noticed that in any other genre, if someone gets a number one hit, they’re celebrated. In heavy metal, you’re sold. How? Maybe they don’t understand what selling means. Because I’m doing exactly what I want to do. I’m not sitting in a job that I hate. I do exactly what I want to do. No one pushes me to do something I don’t want. I play exactly the music I like. So it’s the exact opposite of selling.”

Bathory went on to point out that simply giving a band a ton of money is not a guaranteed way to make them popular, and criticized metal fans who think they “own” the genre. The latter is certainly a great point as the gatekeeping sucks and fans should be happy for bands that are successful and can make a living from their art.

“So it’s one thing – people see it as if this genre has to be underground and somebody owns it. And, ‘No. It can’t be popular.’ So it’s a combination of that. Lots of misunderstandings, I guess. We came together pretty quickly. I’m sure it has something to do with it. Sometimes I read, “Oh, a major label brought a lot of ‘money and…’ Clearly [those people] No idea. You don’t know anything about the music industry if you think that’s how it works.

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“I can’t give you money and you’re going to like a band. You either like it or you don’t like it. That’s it. And the way people invest in bands doesn’t work either. that way. You have to get some kind of success, and then you get signed because the label would see that you get some kind of success. They don’t invest in something that they don’t know if people are going to like it or no, that’s not how it works. And then on top of that, our story, the first record, it was completely homemade, produced by us. We made it my living room — literally. So we were the exact opposite. of that — we have succeeded and won everything.

Check out the full interview below.

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