FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH's Jason Hook - "It All Started Back In 2009, When We Were Asked If We Wanted To Go To Iraq And Play"
August 11, 2014, a year ago
It's not often that a rock band opts to not appear in a music for video for their song, and more importantly, offers up a thought-provoking message in it. But that is what Five Finger Death Punch has accomplished in their latest clip, for the title track from their two-volume The Wrong Side Of Heaven and the Righteous Side Of Hell releases.
Directed by Nick Peterson, the video focuses on the effects that many war veterans experience who suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). And at the end of the clip (which you can see below), there is a list of organizations from which veterans in need can get help. 5FDP guitarist Jason Hook recently talked with BraveWords correspondent Greg Prato about the video, his band's continued support of the military, and future plans.
BraveWords: How did the storyline come up for the video for 'Wrong Side Of Heaven'?
Jason Hook: "As you may know, we're sort of close to the troops anyway. And we had a videographer on tour with us, that shot a documentary called Battlefield of the Mind, and it was a film that he put together exposing five different characters suffering from PTSD. That's sort of what initially perked out interest, and from there, we started to think more about 'What can we do to raise awareness or to help out?' So we decided to center the video around that issue."
BraveWords: What are your thoughts on the finished video?
Jason Hook: "I think it's powerful. With anything that we do, I think it's important to create stuff that centers around real things, real feelings, real people. We certainly could have made a video with all of us standing in front of fans and dry ice blowing around the set. But we like to bump it a little higher and see if there's something that we can do that would be really meaningful for a lot of people. So this was it."
BraveWords: Has Five Finger Death Punch worked with any of the organizations listed at the end of the video?
Jason Hook: "Not to my knowledge. It's still pretty new to us, but we're jumping in with both feet. We're actually creating a site called '5FDP for Vets,' and it's going to be a destination for more info about PTSD and our video will be there. I think we're going to make a special jersey - if people purchase the jersey, all the proceeds go to a charity dealing with PTSD."
BraveWords: It's good to see what 5FDP is doing with this video, and I recently saw KISS and Def Leppard perform a show, and Joe Elliott took a moment to thank the troops and explained that both bands hired military veterans as roadies for the summer's tour.
Jason Hook: "It's great. It's a real issue, and there isn't a lot of help out there for those guys, so we're trying to do our part and see if we can make a difference."
BraveWords: How did 5FDP first become involved with the military?
Jason Hook: "It all started back in 2009, when we were asked if we wanted to go to Iraq and play. We've discovered right away that whatever music we're making seems to resonate well with the guys over there. And they had specifically requested that we…I guess they took a questionnaire, like, 'If we could bring anybody here to play for you guys, who would you like?' And they picked us. So we went over there and it was a great honor. We played five or six military bases and hung out with the guys and shot guns, and it was really awesome."
BraveWords: Now that Volume One of the Wrong Side Of Heaven has been out for over a year, what are your thoughts looking back on it, and do you still agree with the decision to release Volume One and Volume Two separately and several months apart?
Jason Hook: "Yeah. There's no crystal ball, you've just got to do what feels right. We kind of wanted to release them both on the same day, but it's kind of like, that's a lot of new data for the audience to try and sift through. We decided that by separating them, then you could have more attention put on the second release, because it's not mixed in with the first one. And it's different - it's fresh for us. It's a different thing, like, 'We did a double record and they come out with a matching cover, aside from the color scheme.' It's something that we needed to do just to keep things fresh and to take a slight turn. And everybody has their favorite - some people like the first one, some people like the second one."
BraveWords: Looking forward to the upcoming tour with Volbeat?
Jason Hook: "Absolutely. It's going to be killer. The tickets are selling like hotcakes, and it's a big tour for us. And we're closing the show. It's a first - we're breaking through barriers that we always hoped we would. And that's exciting."
BraveWords: Any future plans beyond that tour?
Jason Hook: "Quite honestly, we need some time off. I don't know exactly what I should be saying, but there's always stuff being planned. Always."