Zoltan Bathory recently caught up with Jarred Taylor of Black Rifle Coffee discussing everything from rocking up to school in a Mercedes, opening a design studio in his teens, playing arenas in Hungary with his first band, starting Five Finger Death Punch and THAT guitar he made from a coffee table.
In the 1hr 20minute in-depth interview, Zoltan covers an array of topics including the bands recent Quarantine Theater 2020 series which look back at the bands earlier music videos and bandmate Ivan Moody’s new Guitar Zero: Legends of the Fail episodes.
On his school days in Hungary
Fans will be particularly interested in the segment where Zoltan speaks about his childhood and what it was like to grow up in Hungary. Here he outlines how as a school student, that he and his classmates were seperated into attending lessons or specialist schools for subjects they were the best at. He ended up obtaining an micro-electrical engineering degree and also studied Art at University.
“We got a pretty heavy duty education. Originally the first school I was at I had like three Math classes every day. They seperated people in an interesting way. They said ‘You’re’ good at math and sciences so you’re going to go to a special school or class that will be focusing on that.'”
“I was on a path of being a Mathematician. (Laughs). I threw it all away and look what happened. I spent those years, the first eight years in school, pretty much doing science, science, science. I was working at an observatorium. My friends were Professors from other Universities. That was my group that I was hanging out with.”
“At the same time I had different talents. I could draw really well. In an interesting way that’s the hardest part because when you have talents in various ways you don’t know which way you’re going to go in life.”
“I wanted to play guitar, that was another possible goal. There was graphic design and art, there was playing guitar and there was Science.”
On that guitar he made from a coffee table…
“When I was about 12 years old I made my first guitar from a coffee table literally. Think about it, in my country someone would make monthly lets say the monthy salary of a person of the time would probably be like $100. So for me to get a guitar… that just wasn’t an option. No it was impossible”
“So what happened was I found this broken guitar where the neck was in tact so I could take the neck from the guitar and the machine heads and then I just hit my parents coffee table with a jigsaw. They were really happy about it and you know I made a guitar that was an unplayable piece of crap but it was a guitar.
Speaking on how he managed to tune the coffee-table made guitar he says, “I had the parts, the bridge, the machine head so I basically looked at how that guitar was originally made. It was a bolt on neck. I managed to put it together. I measured everything like how far the bridge had to be. It was still a piece of crap and it was really difficult to do anything with it.”
“It was in the shape of a BC Rich Warlock. I lived on a military base so I used the same paint they used on the tanks – military green – it was an impossible instrument to play but it was my first guitar.”
Also covered is Zoltan’s stint as a merch guy, designing stage setups for other bands including stadium shows, owning a graphic design studio and the underground Heavy Metal scene in Hungary...
Watch the full episode with Zoltan Bathory below:
Black Rifle Coffee is a veteran-owned coffee company serving premium coffee with a commitment to supporting veterans, law enforcement, and first responders. With every purchase of coffee made, Black Rifle Coffee gives back.
Five Finger Death Punch and Black Rifle Coffee joined forces some time ago to develop a Death Punch coffee blend. A portion of all profits generated from the FFDP-branded coffee and gear is donated to The Home Deployment Project.
This project provides one-on-one support to displaced veterans suffering from chronic PTSD by providing them safe places to live during recovery. The program also provides medical services, counseling, and social services.