INTERVIEW: Chris Kael (FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH)
Chris Kael: Hey Levi, how are you my friend?
Levi: I'm good, man how are you?
Chris Kael: I'm very, very good.
Levi: I'm just checking out the charts at the moment, and your album, it's in the top ten in almost every country. It's number three I think here in Australia, you got number two in America. Are you pretty surprised by that outcome, are you excited?
Chris Kael: I don't know about surprised, I put a lot of hard work into continuing to develop the momentum that we've got going. It's flattering, but knowing the amount of work that's gone into doing these songs and touring the world and all that, I can't say say that its surprising. Flattering, but not surprising.
Levi: Yeah for sure, it's an awesome album. Just having a listen now, it feels like you guys have definitely developed a lot over the years, like every album's it's still the same Five Finger Death Punch but you're always throwing something different at us. How did it go recording thing go and what was your intention with the album?
Chris Kael: With this album we were kind of examining our live set and noticed that we've got some great songs in the sense of "Coming Down", "Remember Everything", the slower type stuff. And we were thinking to ourselves we wanted to get some new stuff in there that's got a little heavier vibe to it with the floor on the floor stomp doing the hard rock heavy metal kind of up tempo songs on the line of "Lift me up" or "Under and Over". That was intent on the album, I think we knocked it out of the park. We've got a lot of great up tempo stuff. We've got one of the heavier songs that Death Punch's done in a long time called "No Sudden Movement".
I think we went in knowing exactly what we wanted to do on this record and in our eyes we nailed it. And judging from the numbers of fans that have supported and bought this record, I think the fans approve as well.
Levi: Yeah and I know you've got a lot of Five Finger fans here in Australia. Can we expect you to come to us any time soon?
Chris Kael: One hundred percent. We'll be over there next year, don't have the dates or the supporting acts lined up just yet, but that is on the radar for next year, 2016.
Levi: Awesome man, I'll be looking forward to that. I noticed you've got a lot of hits on Spotify, how does that go for you these days? Do you see much revenue from Spotify? I know a lot of bands have been really talking shit about it lately. Do you think it's a worthwhile thing, streaming? Does it go well for you?
Chris Kael: I'm gonna be one of those bands that also talks shit about it. I am a member. It's one of those things, as a consumer I love it, but as a member of a band, I hate it. I'm guilty of being on Spotify a lot. It's very simple in the sense that you've got the songs on your phone. You don't have to load anything on the computer and save it, it's there. I do have a lot of songs on Spotify. But I am also one of those guys that every Friday, when records come out, I'm picking up physical copies of the CD as well. I know that as a subscriber of Spotify, I have paid more money to Spotify than I have received. And if you look at the millions of spins that we have on Spotify, there's something wrong with that.
Levi: Yeah. I see you guys a lot in the metal press, it kind of seems like you're this decade's equivalent to Motely Crue. Like you're always getting up to mischief? Do you guys get along well? Just yesterday Zoltan came out and said that ... "Ivan creates his own personal hell" and stuff like that. I'm just wondering, you're talking about each other in the press, are you all good buddies?
Chris Kael: Yeah, we definitely get along. It's one of those things that you've got five dudes, that are brothers. We're going to be here for each other and support each other the whole time. We'll stand up for each other at every given moment. But as brothers, living on a tour bus together, touring the world with the stress of travel and appointments, playing shows and being tired and hungry and not on a schedule, there's going to be times when things blow up. It happens in a house, it's gonna happen on a bus as well. It's just part of being a family.
Levi: Yeah for sure. I know you've got a family as well. What do you do when you're not playing, recording albums, and touring? Is there any other hobbies you like to do outside of music?
Chris Kael: When I'm in Vegas, I do go check out a lot of shows. I'm still one of those guys in a band that likes going out and checking out live bands. I've been a fan of rocking metal before Death Punch and I'll be one long after Death Punch. I still go out and check out concerts.
The wife and I will hit different restaurants around Vegas. Vegas is tons of restaurants. I could go to a different restaurant every single night and never repeat if I wanted to. There's a lot of dining options.
I'm into mountain biking, motorcycling, just being a tourist, going around vacationing, scuba diving, just trying to stay busy. That and a lot of charity work as well. I just got off of a twenty five hundred mile motorcycle ride through the desert, raising money for an AIDS charity called "amfAR". I think we raised three hundred fifty thousand dollars towards finding a cure for AIDS. I definitely stay busy out there, for sure.