Music interview – Five Finger Death Punch: ‘It’s a great surprise to have got here’

Five Finger Death Punch. Picture: Travis Shinn
Five Finger Death Punch. Picture: Travis Shinn
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Five Finger Death Punch drummer Jeremy Spencer still can’t quite believe his band have put out a greatest hits album at all, let alone 12 years into their career. Yet the Las Vegas alt-metallers have risen through the ranks to become one of the genre’s superstar outfits, festival headliners in the making.

Ahead of their first UK arena tour after a turbulent 2017, the Indiana native is still pinching himself weeks after the release of their first compilation, A Decade of Destruction.

“It’s weird, because we’ve been so busy getting to do what we love, we haven’t paid attention to the time flying by,” he notes drolly. “It really doesn’t seem that long ago, until you stop and think about making each record; then you realise how long it has been.” He pauses briefly. “Did I think that we’d be able to have a collection like this when we started? Probably not. It’s a great surprise to have got here.”

Regarding their difficult year, one that saw frontman Ivan Moody enter rehab, he is rather philosophical. “You have to stay the course. You’re going to be challenged in this business, you just don’t always know in what way. I don’t think any of us want a repeat of this year any time soon or indeed ever. But you keep your nose to the grindstone and you make it through. We’re all getting along good now out on tour; it makes us excited for the future.”

That future includes the aforementioned tour and beyond that, a seventh album. Six LPs in, how do the band craft a live show to appeal to new fans and die-hards in equal measure? “It’s difficult to please everyone but the best route is to go obvious. It gets tougher with each release. You only have a certain amount of time and songs for a performance – unless you’re Bruce Springsteen and can play for four hours. We’re not quite there yet!”

And the new record? “We think it’s most likely coming out in the spring. There’s a few things that are sonically different but it’s not a graphic departure. As far as after that, I’m not sure where we’re going. Every album is a snapshot in time; it captures the energy of the group along this journey. It’ll be interesting to see where it takes us – but there’s not definitive plan for where FFDP goes next.”

You have to stay the course. You’re going to be challenged in this business, you just don’t always know in what way.

Jeremy Spencer

Five Finger Death Punch play at First Direct Arena, Leeds on December 20. fivefingerdeathpunch.com

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