You wouldn't think a band named after a deadly martial arts blow in a Quentin Tarantino movie would be crusading for suicide prevention, but Five Finger Death Punch isn't your typical heavy metal outfit.
“Basically how the whole thing started was with the last single that we had, ‘Coming Down,'” guitarist-songwriter Zoltan Bathory said in a phone interview from a tour stop in Battle Creek, Mich.
The suicide-themed anthem became the third single from Five Finger Death Punch's 2011 album “American Capitalist” to reach the Top 5 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock Tracks chart after “Over and Under It” and “Remember Everything.”
“Lyrically it was connected to this very subject,” the Hungary-born Bathory said.
“Our singer Ivan (Moody) and pretty much every one of us knows somebody or has somebody who we lost to suicide, or I'm pretty sure you know somebody, a friend or somebody who has a relative or somebody in your circle, even if it's not immediate.
“But it's a pretty big problem, especially among teenagers, and so when Ivan wrote the particular lyrics to this song he wrote about this subject and that's where the idea came from.”
The “idea” the band had was to launch an initiative promoting the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. They filmed a public service announcement for use on all broadcast, cable and web outlets interested in supporting the initiative, which can be viewed at www.youtube.com/user/800273talk?feature=results_main.
The band also filmed an eye-opening video accompanying the single release of “Coming Down.”
“We already had our message basically imbedded in the video, the hotline and where to call and whatnot and basically that there is a team,” Bathory said. “The band wasn't even in the video. We wanted to focus on the subject itself.”
The Metal Hammer Trespass America Festival — coming to the Zoo Amphitheatre on Friday — has pledged $1 for every ticket sold this summer to help support the Lifeline's network of crisis call centers.
Five Finger Death Punch is headlining the touring festival, which also features Killswitch Engage, Trivium, Pop Evil, Emmure, God Forbid, Battlecross and Anti-Mortem.
“Once the video premiered, we realized it was an even bigger problem than we thought because just hundreds of messages and e-mails and letters are pouring in,” Bathory said. “There are just so many people out there who either contemplated suicide or know somebody who committed suicide ... We just continued it with the tour to try to bring awareness to this because, as I said, it's actually a pretty serious issue to think about.”