As Five Finger Death Punch guitarist Jason Hook looks towards the last remaining dates of his group’s co-headlining tour with Papa Roach, he can’t help but feel more than a little impressed with the reception that the group has been given on their Canadian tour.
“It has been an amazing time,” the Toronto native says. “We’ve been lucky enough to play some sell-out shows, but the turnouts have been great right across the board.”
With no Newfoundland concert on the itinerary, Hook acknowledges the tour is not a “true” cross-country effort, but admits he was happy to see the trek was hitting a number of off the beaten path places as they have travelled east on the Trans-Canada Highway.
A big part of that is the unique manner in which the tour was set up: Earlier this year, Five Finger Death Punch and Papa Roach invited their fans to help them decide which 14 cities the groups would perform via an online poll. When the poll closed, more than 90,000 votes had been cast.
Although it may have surprised few to see cities like Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, London and Quebec City make the final cut, the tour has also stopped in Penticton, B.C., Medicine Hat, Alta., and Oshawa, Ont. along the way.
After the tour’s touchdown at the Moncton Coliseum on Tuesday night, the trek wraps up the following evening in Halifax.
“I grew up in Canada, so I know first-hand that a significant amount of acts focus on the major cities and that’s about it. The issue with that as a band is that you’re not necessarily bringing your music to everyone that wants to hear it. Getting to these smaller cities and communities with this tour is a big deal, not just to us, but to the people in those places as well. The anticipation just builds and builds, so much so that people don’t want to miss out on seeing a great collection of acts together in the same night,” Hook says.
“We know we are lucky to be in any kind of demand anywhere, but the reaction of the fans in a lot of these smaller places often surpasses what we get in larger centres. Canada has always been important to the band, but this tour has just reinforced that notion ten times over. Plus, it’s just so relaxing to travel Canada: We don’t have to worry about massive jet lag or any of the side effects that come with travelling overseas, but also, everybody here is just so friendly. I expect we will be doing a lot more touring here in the future.”
Formed in 2005, Five Finger Death Punch has worked its way up the ladder to become one of North America’s top hard-rock and heavy metal acts. With the release of their new single “I Apologize,” the band is now four singles deep with their acclaimed sixth record Got Your Six, an album that landed the band an impressive No. 3 debut in Canada while topping the Top Album Charts south of the border.
To date, the group has racked up 16 consecutive Top Ten hits in the U.S. on their way to sales of more three million albums.
Hook joined the group in 2009, just prior to the recording of their second studio effort, War Is The Answer. Having spent years as an in-demand session musician before heading out on the road with the likes of Alice Cooper and Motley Crue vocalist Vince Neil, Hook says being a part of Five Finger Death Punch has been a dream come true in many ways.
“To get paid to do anything in the arts is pretty much a luxury. I never turned down work with artists because I see life as being about filling up buckets with a wide range of experiences. The fact is, every gig I have had has been a learning experience, and that is something I’m eternally grateful for.”
Hook shares that while Got Your Six just celebrated its first anniversary earlier in September, the band is already more than halfway through the making of the follow-up effort.
“It’s a little early to consider getting something new out, but there’s nothing to say that we can’t sit on these songs for a little bit. I expect we will look at getting the next album out in the new year.”
What: Five Finger Death Punch with Papa Roach, SIXX: AM and From Ashes To New
When: Tuesday Sept. 27, 6:45 p.m.
Where: Moncton Coliseum, 377 Killam Dr., Moncton
Tickets start at $46 plus service charges. Advance tickets are available at the Coliseum Box Office, by phone (506) 857-4100 and online at tickets.moncton.ca.