According to Billboard, FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH's cover of the Kenny Wayne Shepherd's "Blue On Black" has landed at No. 2 on the Hot Rock Songs chart after the arrival of its new rendition featuring Shepherd, Brantley Gilbert and QUEEN's Brian May. The song had 3.7 million U.S. streams and 33,000 sales in the tracking week.
FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH's latest appearance on Hot Rock Songs marks its best rank on the tally, exceeding the No. 7 peak of another cover: the band's take on BAD COMPANY's "Bad Company" in 2010.
Along with recording a new version of "Blue On Black", FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH released a behind-the-scenes video. All proceeds will go to the Gary Sinise Foundation, which honors America's defenders, veterans, first responders, their families and those in need.
FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH guitarist Zoltan Bathory stated: "To raise awareness for and support first responders is a cause that's always been close to our hearts. These brave men and women leave their homes every morning not knowing if they'll ever see their families again. Yet they make a conscious choice to do so for the greater good."
Just last month, FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH celebrated its seventh No. 1 single at rock radio with "When The Seasons Change", a song from the band's 2018 album "And Justice For None".
Asked how FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH goes about choosing which songs to cover, Zoltan told "Whiplash", the KLOS radio show hosted by Full Metal Jackie: "First and foremost, it has to be fun. Everything you cover has to be something that is fun to redo, fun to interpret in your own style, your own voice. And that, actually, is not that easy, because everybody has to agree, so the whole band has to agree that we actually like that song.
"Ivan [Moody, FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH singer] is a very emotional kind of guy who re-lives all his lyrics when he's singing, so if he's lyrically not connected to a song, he's not gonna sing it — he just simply won't," Zoltan continued. "So it has to make sense to him. If all those criteria are there, then it's a go. "
As for FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH's decision to tackle "Blue On Black", Zoltan said: "In this particular case, actually, the [other] guys [in the band] wanted to do this song. I was the one who was, like, 'Ahhh… I don't hear this song. It has a blues-ish, southern vibe to it, and I can't really imagine that DEATH PUNCH could remake this song.' And then we did it — we made the song in the studio, we recorded it — and when Ivan was recording the vocals, it started to really come together when I was, like, 'Wow!' And in retrospect, I'm glad we did it, because it completely fits the record — it doesn't stick out like a sore thumb. We made it our own, and I think it sounds amazing.
"As I said, I just didn't see this one — I just didn't see that this would work — and it came out great, in my opinion," he added. "And it's another flavor that we've never really done before. So I think it actually adds to the album another dimension, another kind of flavor that we wouldn't have otherwise."
"And Justice For None" debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 chart back in May 2018. The set launched with 71,000 equivalent album units earned in the U.S. in the week ending May 24, according to Nielsen Music. Of that sum, 60,000 were in traditional album sales.
FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH previously landed in the Top 10 of the Billboard 200 chart with "Got Your Six" (No. 2, 2015), "The Wrong Side Of Heaven And The Righteous Side Of Hell: Volume 2" (No. 2, 2013), "The Wrong Side Of Heaven And The Righteous Side Of Hell: Volume 1" (No. 2, 2013), "American Capitalist" (No. 3, 2011) and "War Is the Answer" (No. 7, 2009). According to Billboard, the group's only studio album to miss the top 10 was its debut effort, "The Way Of The Fist", which topped out at No. 107 in 2008.