Interview with Jason Hook  
Exclusive Interview with Five Finger Death Punch's Jason Hook

Exclusive Interview with
FFDP's Jason Hook

by Katie J. Norris

RUKUS MAGAZINE had a chance to catch up with Jason Hook of Five Finger Death Punch and here’s what he had to say:

RUKUS MAGAZINE: Hi, Jason, how are you?
JASON HOOK: Good, good. Just woke up.

RM: Oh you did? It’s 3:30p over there, right?
JH: Yeah. I mean, when we start the tour we have all these great plans of like “I’m gonna get up early; we’re gonna go to the gym every day,” you know? And you start to realize that we wake up early and there just isn’t anything to do. The internet doesn’t work because the satellite dish is facing the wall of the building and there’s no TV, and the trucks are unloading the stage and everything. And there’s bad coffee. So there’s no reason to get up early anymore. So all we do is get up for the press. It usually starts at 3:00PM and the meet and greet starts at 5:30PM. So I usually try to time it so that I’m up for the press.

RM: So, I guess let’s talk about your tour real quick. You are currently in the thick of your Share the Welt Tour with All That Remains and Hatebreed. How is it going so far? Is it still awesome?
JH: Yeah, it’s been great, all our shows have been sold out. The crowds are really diggin’ the package. The three bands together make a nice aggressive, you know, arrangement.

RM: Great. Your portable studio that you were planning to take on tour with you…have you recorded anything yet?
JH: Yeah, we’re sketching ideas. You know, it’s not meant for any kind of, you know, deep, finished-type work. It’s basically set up so that we can…I like to use the word ‘sketch’. But the idea is that we’re just sort of roughing out song ideas. And then I guess at the end of this tour we’ll go back and listen to what we have and see if there’s anything there that pokes out at us, you know, as special song ideas.

RM: Speaking on that, I really admire how intensely passionate and driven you are about staying focused and productive all the time. And you have your studio with you on tour, and you’re constantly working, and I understand you don’t drink or do drugs. So then what do you do as a fun pastime on tour? You must take a five minute break at some point?
JH: Well, I spend a lot of time on the internet, kinda just lookin’ around. I got some books… I’m kind of a gear nerd, so I’m always shopping for gear and trying gear and stuff like that. I really do like to write and record so that’s part of the reason why I pushed us in to bringing a recording rig on the road so that we can continue doing studio type work, or you know, writing and recording. The reality is that there is so much social interaction on tour with the fans and the publicist and the label, that we really wanna capitalize on the fact that we’re out here on this campaign to build and grow and meet new people and gather fans and all this stuff. So that really becomes the primary job out here, to kind of snowball this thing and spread the awareness. So they got us pretty busy with the social aspect of it; you know, going to the meet and greet at the record store, going to the radio stations and going on air for DJ’s and we have a meet and greet that we organize everyday at 5:30. Plus all the publicists have us doing press, crazy amounts of press, all the time. So, I’m reminded that that really is all there is time for out here even though I kind of squeeze other things in. It’s pretty consuming.
How’s that for a short answer?! [laughs]
RM: It’s great! I love it.

RM: So, do you have one specific, favorite guitar that you just couldn’t play without on tour?
JH: I have a fleet of Gibson explorers that I take out with me, but I seem to always land with the black and green one. I have a striped black one; it’s a black guitar with green stripes. And that seems to be the one that I always default to. For some reason it just plays well and I think it’s in 98% of all the photographs that are taken while we’re out there playing. So that would be it.

RM: The new album, American Capitalist, is doing really well, #3 on the billboard charts its first week. You guys seem to be increasingly getting better and better with every album release. Anything specific you guys do to make each record so solid?
JH: I think it just comes down to songs, you know? And, you know, we recognize the importance of songs. And they have to transmit or transfer some sort of feeling to the listener and if that is accomplished, people will be drawn to it. So we’re really just focused on, you know, having some solid songs. And I’m thinking that Ivan does such a good job with the lyrics and that people are really drawn to the story lines and what he’s saying. So I just think that’s part of why people like the band so much, you know?

RM: Great, yeah. I totally agree. Actually my next question is about the lyrics. “100 Ways to Hate” is one of the songs that has a sense of detail that sparks a curiosity; it’s so detailed. Can you tell us who Ivan is singing about in that one?
JH: Well… you’d have to ask him. But I think it’s just an overall angry song, as far as…yeah, I don’t think it’s directed at someone in specific.

RM: What’s the craziest thing that happened while making the music video for “Under and Over It?”
JH: Well, the whole weekend was pretty crazy. We spent the day in this mansion with these girls and we went swimming in the pool with my guitar for—I don’t know what it was—three or four hours. But that was probably the craziest thing. All the pool scenes were fun.

RM: That’s cool! So, the guitar in the pool… Does that mess it up at all? [laughs]
JH: Well, yeah, guitars don’t like to go under water. But I uh, I ended up auctioning that guitar off for charity. Gibson put it together, but basically that was it. The guitar was auctioned off for a good cause.

RM: Well, great! Thank you so much Jason, I appreciate your time.
JH: Okay, bye.

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