Five Finger Death Punch… an American band that seems to have grasped the American audience’s pulse, giving them what they want, while its popularity grows. Of course, something like that would have been impossible if it wasn’t backed up by some quality material, and that’s what 5FDP –in brief- have been releasing since day one. Our old acquaintance from the Alice Cooper band, Jason Hook, who plays guitar for the band talks about their latest album, “American Capitalist”, the future, “Lulu”, and has something special in store for… Eddie Van Halen! Interview: Yiannis Dolas The band is on the rise for the last couple of years getting raging reviews, armies of new fans, and establishing a big following worldwide, how does that make you feel? What do you think is harder getting where you are now, or maintaining this level? Do you find that success changed you?
Jason Hook: There’s nothing harder than trying to get the band signed. It's all work and no guarantee. Maintaining the success shouldn't be too difficult as long as you're paying attention and making smart decisions. “American Capitalist” seems to continue where “War Is The Answer” left us. I feel that on this one the balance between the brutal vocals and the “normal” ones is for the latter. Was that an intentional move, or it came out like that spontaneously?
Jason Hook: Nothing is planned.... Ivan does what he feels. I do know that he likes to sing... So, maybe that's why there is more of that on there than the screaming.... Metal bands that attract what we call “mainstream” are often doomed by hardcore metal fans.
Jason Hook: To have a broad audience is a good thing. I love metal but I also like to sing along to songs. If you look at Metallica , they aren't that heavy relative to what’s out there these days... James is pretty much singing all the way through the songs and they're catchy songs. The Black album was mainstream and probably turned off some of their hardcore fans but it sold 20 million copies and changed the future of that band forever..... Talking about Metallica who recently collaborated with Lou Reed, I’d like to ask you what you thought about that. It was something that caused various reactions. Others liked it, others hated it. What about you, what do you think of “Lulu”?
Jason Hook:  I played it for the guys and we were all speechless. I'm fascinated with their decision to release something like that. Brave to say the least. They say that releasing your third album might be the hardest task for a band, if we assume that your first album comes off what you’ve been writing and struggling to release, and the second one could be left-overs from the first? Did you find it hard to come up with a third album, as good as the first two? Did you feel pressure that you had to come up with something good in order not to let everybody down?
Jason Hook: Yeah, maybe a bit. I never thought I could be affected by that kind of pressure but we just want to be great no matter where we are or what we do ...  you never want to break a streak or go backwards.. So yes, that plays on your mind a little. Some decades ago, in the ‘70s, and a big part of the ‘80s, where there was no internet, or even CD’s bands had to be popular in their hometown first and then go for the rest step by step. Nowadays, it seems that a band has better chances to be heard, but does it have better chances to become huge like Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, or Judas Priest? They say that the big arena-filler bands days are over, and it’s only down to a few bands that can actually headline big venues. Do you think that this will come around, or are those days over? 
Jason Hook: Not sure... all I grew up on was the arena rock concert, so to me, it's clear on what has to be done to operate at that level... other bands may be too young to remember what that means, but we're shooting for that by putting an emphasis on the visual element. A visual show will always be more compelling in a large venue as opposed to a band just playing their music... We believe you have to stimulate the eyes as well as the ears. This was the second time that you worked with Kevin Churko, who actually played bass, as well as produced the album. Why did you choose to work with him again? How important is the role of the producer in Five Finger Death Punch? What did Kevin bring to the table?
Jason Hook: Kev is a perfect fit for this band. He lives here in Las Vegas and has his own studio..... He has a very patient and calm personality and a strong work ethic... he helps us do what we want instead of insisting we do things that he wants..... Actually, Churko co-wrote the power ballad “Remember Everything” what do you have to say about this song? It does sound a bit different than the rest of the album, but it might open more possibilities for airplay. What do you say about that?
Jason Hook: That song originated from an Idea that I was working on with Jeremy .... We didn't think anyone was going to like it.... when we presented it, everyone was thumbs up so that's where the team started carving away. The original demo is quite different ... who knows maybe someday it will be included in a box set ? ... I love the tune and I think it will touch people ... and that’s all you can hope for. On “The Pride” you are listing a bunch of brands, and organizations like iPod, JFK, NBA, Coca-Cola, Pepsi and so on. Is that a way of Five Finger Death Punch are criticizing reality, or are you just observing reality?
Jason Hook: It has no criticizing element to it at all ... it's promoting the idea of powerful business ... the pre chorus says "I'm not selling out, I'm buying in!!!!" ... fuck yeah! American Capitalist. From what one reads on magazines, or watches on YouTube Five Finger Death Punch look like a gang. Like five guys who are one. Do the band members outside of the band. Do you go for a beer, or do stuff together?
Jason Hook: Yeah sometimes ... sure. We all live within a mile of each other so we do feel the desire to stay close. If anything, we tour SO much that when we're on break , a week or two will go by before we start hanging out again... that's completely normal.... What’s the most valuable advice somebody gave you that you keep following to this day?
Jason Hook: My best friend Michael MaGahey said "Jay, no matter what you choose to do in life, just make sure you do it better than everyone else" ... fucking brilliant! do you imagine Five Finger Death Punch in ten years from now?
Jason Hook: Slightly heavier in the mid section and less of a hair line!! lol ... no I don't know ... in a perfect world we'll be big enough to be able to maintain popular albums and tours.... every band will dip at some point... I'm not delusional thinking it won’t happen to us.... I'm just not looking forward to it. Lately, it seems like “supergroups” have become fashionable again, and a lot of big names form bands, or work on projects, like Chickenfoot, Black Country Communion, Adrenaline Mob and so on. If you could put yourself in a so-called supergroup, who would the other members be?
Jason Hook: Dave Grohl on Vox, Jeremy Spencer on Drums,  John Lord on Keys and Eddie Van Halen on bass. Send a message to your Greek fans who are dying to watch Five Finger Death Punch live, and trust me they are increasing day by day!
Jason Hook: I have been to Greece and it's absolutely incredible.... We'll be there soon ... I promise...