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Move From Hungary Paid Off For Five Finger Death Punch Leader

Of the Oakland Press

Posted: Thursday, October 15, 2009

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Five Finger Death Punch guitarist Zoltan Bathory came to the U.S. from his native Hungary during the mid-’90s, seeking rock ‘n’ roll fame and fortune — albeit with another band, U.P.O.

“I didn’t have to literally cross over the minefields or anything like that,” Bathory, 31 says with a laugh. “We made it over here and the band kind of crumbled up. The singer decided to save the rain forest or whatnot in the middle of the recording and disappeared.

“I’m like, ‘That’s great, but you should have done this after we finished the record ... ”

Nevertheless, Bathory figures he’s better off with FFDP, which he formed in 2005 with former Motograter and Ghost Machine singer Ivan Moody and former W.A.S.P. drummer Jeremy Spencer. The group topped the Billboard Top Heatseekers chart with its first album, 2007’s “The Way of the Fist,” and its sophomore outing, “War is the Answer,” debuted at No. 7 on the Billboard 200 in September.

“We’re not 18 years old,” Zoltan says of FFDP. “Everybody in this band has been doing this for a long time. We all played in hundreds and hundreds of different bands, figuratively speaking — OK, a lot of different bands. So we have all that experience to build on, and we didn’t make typical mistakes that people starting their first bands make.

“We’re able to build on all those experiences, so when we play, we can get right to it and ... it’s pretty crushing.”

Five Finger Death Punch, Shadows Fall, Otep and 2Cents perform Thursday (Oct. 15) at The Crofoot Ballroom, 1 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20. Call (248) 858-9333 or visit www.thecrofoot.com.

Web Site: www.thecrofoot.com

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