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Although metal titans Five Finger Death Punch have a busy summer ahead of them filled with high-profile appearances at rock festivals across the globe, guitarist Zoltan Bathory is already counting the days until the band's co-headline tour with Volbeat this fall (the bill also includes Hellyeah and Nothing More).
“Festivals are cool, but there's nothing like doing your own show," Bathory says. "Last year, we did the Mayhem Fest with Rob Zombie, just as our first Wrong Side Of Heaven record came out [The Wrong Side Of Heaven And The Righteous Side Of Hell, Volume 1; Volume 2 came out last November]. You don’t really get to do your full show on something like that. This co-headline tour with Volbeat gives us a chance to play for over an hour, so we can dip into the new albums as much as we like.”
The decision to co-headline with Danish hard rockers Volbeat was one that 5FDP had been considering for a while – the two bands had played together on various festivals bills in the past. "We know each other a bit but not that well," Bathory says. "Whenever you’re putting together a tour, you have to look at what another band can bring to the show. In the case of Volbeat, their music is different from ours but not too different. And both bands have very loyal fans, so putting the two groups together should make for a really great bill that pleases a lot of people.”
Prep for a headlining tour involves weeks of pre-production, but according to Bathory, three months of festival workouts will have his guitar chops good to go. "As it stands now, I don't have to practice much," he says. "But after doing a bunch of gigs, the guitar playing comes pretty naturally. Not that I'm lazy, but I have been playing for decades, so picking up the guitar and doing what I do is something I have at my disposal. And if I am rusty, we'll do pre-production, so I'll be all warmed up before we do that first show.”
Fore more information on Five Finger Death Punch's co-headline tour with Volbeat, visit the official 5FDP site. On the following pages, Zoltan Bathory runs down his picks for 10 essential guitar albums.