Chris Kael: “Here’s how I joined Five Finger Death Punch”


Five Finger Death Punch bassist Chris Kael was recently interviewed by The NFR Podcast about joining the band in 2010 and his sobriety.

Chris Kael made his debut with Five Finger Death Punch on the band’s third album, 2011’s “American Capitalist.”

About his sobriety, Kael said: “Before I got sober, I was thinking, ‘Oh, man, I’m not gonna be creative, I’m not gonna be able to do this…’ And then I had to think about it, and I was like, ‘Motherfucker, you haven’t written shit in three years, what are you worried about?’ I was like, ‘Yeah, you’re right.’ So just being present and aware and clear now, the music’s really just, I’m like a conduit, it’s flowing through me, some stuff that I’ve written that I’m like, ‘Where the hell did that come from?'”

He continued: “I have no idea, just open to it. There’s been so many times where I’d be laying up in bed asleep, wake up to hear a riff in my head, and have to go downstairs to put it on guitar and record it real quick. And I think I’ve written 10 songs now and five of them started waking up in bend and getting right to the guitar, so just being aware of things when they happen and taking advantage of those opportunities and getting it.”

On if he records all the instruments when making demos, Kael said: “Oh yeah, I’m playing guitar, I am singing, playing bass – wrote all the stuff. I’m actually taking it to the rest of the guys here in a couple of weeks and getting their opinion on it, so we’ll see. As I said, I don’t know where it’s going to go, but I’ve enjoyed it, and even at the end of the day, if it never sees the light of day other than sharing it with my friends like you, it’s been worth it for me. But the songs are fucking good. My vocals are actually what got me in the gig with Death Punch.”

Kael continued: “They wanted somebody that could back up Ivan [Moody, vocals], do the harmonies and kind of fill up that sound behind him, and when Jason [Hook, now-former guitarist] asked me, ‘How are your vocals?’ I sent him some stuff from like 15 years ago that I’d written, and I’m doing all the vocals on that. And when I went in for the audition, I jumped in right on that mic and was very comfortable – because I love singing. I jumped up, hit the backgrounds [backing vocals], and they all kind of looked at each other and were like, ‘Unless this dude’s a complete fuckup, that’s the guy.’ Luckily, I was only half a fuckup, so it worked out good. [Laughs]

Chris concluded: “I didn’t become a complete fuckup until I was in the band and let loose… Zoltan [Bathory, guitar] had always said that he wanted to put a band together that was like a gang, all for one, that kind of thing, and it’s feeling more like that today than it has at any point I’ve actually been in the band.”


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