Five Finger Death Punch’s Zoltan Bathory on Security After Terror Threats: ’90 Percent Good Is Not Good Enough’
Five Finger Death Punch have remained on tour in Europe following the recent Paris terrorist attacks at an Eagles of Death Metal show, but the group has called off a few dates along the way when it became apparent that there was a possible threat or that security was not fully ensured.
Not long after the attack, a Five Finger Death Punch concert appeared on a list of potential ISIS targets revealed by the Hacktivist group Anonymous. Five Finger Death Punch guitarist Zoltan Bathory spoke with Metal Hammer about the threat and how the band has dealt with this while being on tour.
“The first moment when that happened, when our name popped up as a potential threat, at first I was… You try to make a joke [about it and say something like], ‘C’mon, guys, our record wasn’t that bad.’ But there’s nothing really funny about it,” says Bathory. “But it happened, actually — our name popped up. And it wasn’t necessarily… The band wasn’t the target. The situation was the target — that there’s a crowd. It doesn’t matter what band would have played that particular venue. And after Paris, obviously, that was actually one of the venues we did worry about. We know that venue, we know the security, we know the ways in and ways out. And generally, the security there is pretty relaxed to begin with. So that’s why it became a target.”
He adds, “It’s not because [of] the band; it was because it was another soft target. So, immediately, obviously, we talked with the local security, and then realized that they can’t really provide the security we required for this. Then we said, ‘We cannot put…’ Even if it’s 90 percent safe, is that safe enough? Would you put your fans or friends or whoever into… ‘Yeah, most likely you’ll survive.’ No, you won’t. It’s a concert.”
Bathory said the band analyzed the situation and realized that it was credible enough that they should take precautions against an attack, and that meant bowing out of the performance for safety reasons.
As for the debate on whether bands should or shouldn’t play in the aftermath of the recent terrorist action, the guitarist stated, “I read Randy Blythe from Lamb of God and his explanation and there’s not much more to add to that. Would you be the band who were warned and threatened and you ignored it and still did the show and when something happens it’s all still your fault? So it’s like all these events are damned if I do, damned if I don’t.”
“All we can do is be logical, be methodical and check out all the intel you get, analyze it … and again 90 percent good enough is not good enough, not for the fans, not for thousands and thousands of people,” continues Bathory. “I have to ask these guys to go … the sound guy, the lighting guy, the merch guy, they’re out there with their backs to the door. I have to ask my sound engineer to sit there. If I can’t promise him 100 percent safety then how can I do that. For any band, Papa Roach, Lamb of God, any band. How can they ask their crew to sit out there after we all lost people we knew and were friends with?”
Watch Bathory’s full chat with Metal Hammer about the recent terrorist threats in the player above.