Five Finger Death Punchand Chevelle are two bands at Lazerfest Sunday.
Here's an extra Q&A with the band members that's too awesome to keep to ourselves.
Jason Hook of Five Finger Death Punch.
Q: You’re a more recent addition to the band. How did you end up becoming a part of Five Finger Death Punch?
I’ve been friends with Jeremy (Spencer, drummer) since the mid 90s. He helped start the band and pulled me in as a result of us being friends.
Q: By the time you joined 5FDP the band’s star was already on the rise. Did you have any fears about how you would fit in, or about disrupting the flow they already had?
Not really, I know how to approach situations in a non-threatening way. My whole police was I wanted to help as much as possible. If I suggest something that doesn’t work, it doesn’t hurt my feelings. We have a common goal, which is to make our music great. It’s not an ego thing, I just have a desire to help where I can.
Q: What’s the creative process like for the band?
We basically build tracks of music, then try to refine them. Zoltan (Bathory, guitarist), Jeremy and myself, we carve new pieces into rough arrangements and then send them over to Ivan (Moody, vocalist) and see if anything strikes a chord with him. We don’t work directly with Ivan, since he likes to work all hours of the night and we do more in the day. So we give him the music and he writes the lyrics.
Q: You’ve had a second solo album in the works for a while. Is it getting close to being done?
Yeah, the never-ending incomplete project. I put in little bits here and there. It’s pretty much finished, but the band is so busy and every corner we turn there’s a litany of things that have to be done. The band gobbles up 98% of my time. In a perfect world the album would be finished, but I can’t really say when.
Sam Loeffler from Chevelle
Q: What’s the meaning of the album’s title, “Hats Off to the Bull"?
The song itself is about animal cruelty. The whole sport made a really big impression on Pete (Loeffler, vocals and guitar). But the album title is more of a reference to all Americans, and how we’re the underdog versus our elected government. So many times officials are out for themselves, rather than to help all of us.
Q: Since you guys are all family, what’s the collaborative process like?
It’s a good one. We write songs in different ways, sometimes. Most of the time Pete brings a riff or melody to us, but sometimes in rehearsal a beat or bass line will come up. “The Meddler” came about because of a baseline Pete wrote on guitar. That ended up being my favorite song on the record.
Q: Fred Armisen did some comedy stuff for your first EPK (electronic press kit) back in 1999, before he was on “Saturday Night Live.” How did you guys end up working together?
That’s all because of Steve Albini (who produced “Point #1"), who is still one of the smartest people I’ve ever met. He was close friends with Fred, who is a proper drummer and used to drum for Blue Man Group. He knew Steve through that. The guy who ran our label was really open to trying some cool and unusual stuff. We saw some of Fred’s skits, which were kind of similar to what he does on SNL now, and we thought, “This guy is amazing, he has no shame.” Really, he’s just a brilliant comedian. So we brought him out and he did a bunch of different characters. I have hours of other stuff he did that I’ve never shown anyone. I’ve thought about putting it on Youtube. I think Fred would be very surprised to see it. Some of the stuff is probably pretty offensive, but it’s really funny.