Among the topics covered are the process of Andy James joining Five Finger Death Punch, how the song Broken World came about from a previously unreleased song, Zoltan’s move from Dean Guitars and Diamond back to BC Rich Guitars and more.
[Below excerpts from ‘Five Finger Death Punch’s Zoltan Bathory and new recruit Andy James on new beginnings and shred in the era of Covid‘ published on Guitar World (May 2020)]
Zoltan, what was the actual process of bringing Andy into the band? How did you guys hook up?
Bathory: “We kind of knew each other. I was always watching Andy’s videos because I found them so impressive. I was in the recording studio with Charlie one night, and I brought up Andy. Charlie said he’d toured with him.”
James: “That’s right. Charlie was the drummer for another band I did a tour with. We hit it off.“
Bathory: “So I asked Charlie to reach out to him, just to tell him that I was a fan of his work. Then Andy and I had a few online conversations. I was originally thinking of him to join one of the bands I manage.
“I thought he should find a bigger audience, you know? Fast-forward and I’m sending him a text to join Death Punch at Wembley.
Was there any kind of audition?
James: “There wasn’t really time for that. I basically got this crazy text from Zoltan saying, ‘What’s your music retention like?’ I didn’t know what he meant, so we got on the phone and he said, ‘Do you reckon you could learn a whole set?’ I was like, ‘Well, you’ll have to fire it over, and I’ll see.’”
“I was already a fan of Death Punch since American Capitalist, so I knew a lot of their stuff pretty well – not to play, but to listen to. I think it was a list of 17 songs I had to familiarize myself with in two days before I flew to London to meet up with the guys. I was on the plane with my headphones on, just going through the songs in my head.”
How many days after that were you on stage with the band?
James: “Just a couple more till I was thrown in. [Laughs]“