Jeremy Spencer Q&A
This weekend Las Vegas metal gauntlet, Five Finger Death Punch began its newest sonic assault with the start of the “Trespass America” festival. The band kicked it off in Broomfield, Colo., and on Sunday, July 15, 2012, Metalholic caught up with drummer Jeremy Spencer in Billings, Mont. for day two of this massive event. The tour also features Killswitch Engage, Pop Evil, God Forbid, Emmure, Trivium, and Battlecross.
In the rock and metal world it’s a true sign of success when people start calling you “sellout” or “the next Nickelback.” For Five Finger Death Punch, the name-calling has already started among the jealous naysayers and haters. However, it is a safe bet that the band isn’t listening or losing any sleep over it. FFDP is too busy “selling out” arenas, and overtaking rock radio around the nation.
Five Finger Death Punch was formed in 2005 by Spencer and guitarist Zoltan Bathory. Vocalist Ivan Moody, formerly of industrial metal outfit, Motograter joined the following year. After the band’s debut album, former Alice Cooper guitarist Jason Hook replaced Darrell Roberts, and in 2011, Chris Kael took over on bass for the departed Matt Snell. The band is currently touring in support of its third album, “American Capitalist“.
While hundreds of young hard rock and metal bands are struggling to find tours, FFDP is creating its own arena packages, and fans are responding in droves. I asked Spencer what it is about Five Finger Death Punch that is connecting so well with fans.
“I think it’s the overall package. I mean we were fans of older school bands in the 80s like Metallica, Iron Maiden, stuff like that. And they always put together the whole thing; merchandise, live shows, the albums. First and foremost it’s the songs and material, and I think people really relate to us ‘cause Ivan writes from the heart. And a lot of his stuff is relationship based, so it’s relatable to a lot of people. Secondly, I think the environment of our live show is pretty crazy with all the production and the merch. And it’s just one big family with our fan base. They were supporting us before we even had a record deal.”
Spencer admits that even he is a bit surprised with how much the band has grown and how well it’s been embraced, since he and Bathory started the band.
“We certainly had a vision of wanting to do a certain style and overall sound, but it has grown into a life of its own with different and energies, and personalities, and musicians. So I’m thrilled where it is. I didn’t really know what to expect, and where it would go—you always hope for the best, but this has really kind of been a wonderful surprise. The economy’s tough, people really don’t buy records these days, but they’re still buying Death Punch records. So I’m very grateful.”
“Everyone likes to have a good time,” offered Spencer, “it’s really unfortunate. From the video I’ve seen that doesn’t really look like something that would cause somebody to die (referring to Blythe pushing the fan back into the crowd). But none of us really know the facts. I just think it’s a tragedy all the way around. I really feel for Randy and I wish him the best, and I hope it gets worked out and he gets out. And I feel sympathy for the family of the victim too. So these days it’s almost better [for fans] to just stay off the stage unless you’re invited.”
Spencer also talked about his personal interests, who he’d like to sit down and talk music with, the band’s upcoming album and DVD plans, as well as his own autobiography.
Listen to the full interview below and catch the band on the “Trespass America” tour. Click for tour dates.