During a recent appearance on “Whiplash”, the KLOS radio show hosted by Full Metal Jackie, FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH guitarist Zoltan Bathory spoke about the group’s decision to cover “Blue On Black”, a blues rock song originally recorded by the KENNY WAYNE SHEPHERD BAND in 1998, on FFDP‘s latest album, “And Justice For None”.
Asked how FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH goes about choosing which songs to cover, Zoltan said (hear audio below): “First and foremost, it has to be fun. Everything you cover has to be something that is fun to redo, fun to interpret in your own style, your own voice. And that, actually, is not that easy, because everybody has to agree, so the whole band has to agree that we actually like that song.
“Ivan [Moody, FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH singer] is a very emotional kind of guy who re-lives all his lyrics when he’s singing, so if he’s lyrically not connected to a song, he’s not gonna sing it — he just simply won’t,” Zoltan continued. “So it has to make sense to him. If all those criteria are there, then it’s a go.
“In this particular case, actually, the [other] guys [in the band] wanted to do this song,” Bathory said. “I was the one who was, like, ‘Ahhh… I don’t hear this song. It has a blues-ish, southern vibe to it, and I can’t really imagine that DEATH PUNCH could remake this song.’ And then we did it — we made the song in the studio, we recorded it — and when Ivan was recording the vocals, it started to really come together when I was, like, ‘Wow!’ And in retrospect, I’m glad we did it, because it completely fits the record — it doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb. We made it our own, and I think it sounds amazing.
“As I said, I just didn’t see this one — I just didn’t see that this would work — and it came out great, in my opinion,” he added. “And it’s another flavor that we’ve never really done before. So I think it actually adds to the album another dimension, another kind of flavor that we wouldn’t have otherwise.”
“And Justice For None” debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 chart back in May. The set launched with 71,000 equivalent album units earned in the U.S. in the week ending May 24, according to Nielsen Music. Of that sum, 60,000 were in traditional album sales.
FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH previously landed in the Top 10 of the Billboard 200 chart with “Got Your Six” (No. 2, 2015), “The Wrong Side Of Heaven And The Righteous Side Of Hell: Volume 2” (No. 2, 2013), “The Wrong Side Of Heaven And The Righteous Side Of Hell: Volume 1” (No. 2, 2013), “American Capitalist” (No. 3, 2011) and “War Is the Answer” (No. 7, 2009). According to Billboard, the group’s only studio album to miss the top 10 was its debut effort, “The Way Of The Fist”, which topped out at No. 107 in 2008.