Five Finger Death Punch guitarist Jason Hook has revealed the secret to how they're bucking the trend of declining record sales in metal; staying off the booze.
"I'm writing songs every day, sobriety gives you an incredible amount of extra hours," says lead guitarist Hook, who has been with the Las Vegas five-piece since 2009.
The band's relentless touring and recording schedule reaped rewards when their third album American Capitalist sold nearly 90,000 copies in the US during its first week last year. Almost unheard of for an metal band in the current climate of illegal file-sharing.
"We're all naturally hard workers," explains Jason. "There's nothing more exciting than when your band is connecting with people – when it's really working out. But that's when everyone in a band can start to get soft, start using drugs and sleeping all day. But we look at it that now is the time to really press the gas. It's way more exciting and motivating when you know people out there want to hear your music."
Hook hopes the band will have around 30 songs to choose from when they begin recording their fourth album early next year.
"In today's climate of sharing, stealing, cloning, ripping, e-mailing and downloading – it's critical that the records are not just ok, they have to be incredible," admits Jason. "You need ten great songs so you have a choice – you can either show up on day one and say let's try to write ten great songs or show up on day one and have maybe 30 songs prepared and try to whittle it down to the best ten."
And the guitarist has been putting his years as a session player learning and developing his Pro Tools skills to use on their current Trespass America Tour with Killswitch Engage and Trivium while the band works on new song ideas.
"I love Pro Tools to an obsessive geek level," he admits. "I spend all my time energy and money on gear, studio mics and plugins. To know Pro Tools well enough to be able to get anything done that you have in your head, it's an amazing tool – hence the name!"