Zoltan Bathory (born in 1978) is a Hungarian-born American musician and martial artist. He is the founder and rhythm guitarist of Las Vegas-based heavy metal band Five Finger Death Punch. In 2010, he was named Golden God's "Best Shredder" by Metal Hammer magazine. He is an actively competing martial artist, a black belt in both Jiu-Jitsu and Judo. Bathory is also a founding board member of the veterans nonprofit Home Deployment Project in Las Vegas and sits on the Board of Advisors at VETPAW (Veterans Empowered to Protect African Wildlife), an anti-poaching organization operating on the African continent, composed of US combat veterans.
|Born||1978 (age 43–44)|
Bathory joined the post-grunge band U.P.O. in 2004, replacing Ben Shirley on bass. He left the band in 2005, switched back to guitar, and went on to form the heavy metal band Five Finger Death Punch in Los Angeles, California.
Five Finger Death Punch recorded their debut album in 2006 with engineers Steve Bruno and Mike Sarkisyan. It was mixed by Soulfly/Machine Head guitarist Logan Mader. Soon after finishing the album, the band was signed by a major management company The Firm and The Way of the Fist was released on July 31, 2007. This self-produced record sold 500,000 copies in the US and spawned three top-10 singles. Their follow-up album, War Is the Answer was released on September 22, 2009, through Prospect Park Records. The record debuted number 7 on the Billboard 200 and all four singles (off of the album) made it to the top 10 mainstream rock charts. War Is the Answer stayed on Billboard's Top 100 for over a record-breaking 92 weeks and sold over 1,000,000 copies.
Their third record American Capitalist was even more successful. It debuted at number 3 on the Billboard 200, had another three top 10 singles and it achieved Gold status within a year of its release. It has since been certified Platinum. In 2013, the band released a double studio album The Wrong Side of Heaven and the Righteous Side of Hell, Volume 1 and Volume 2 within three months from each other. Both albums debuted at number 2 on the Billboard 200 chart. Volume 1 featured guest vocalists Rob Halford of Judas Priest, Maria Brink of In This Moment, Tech N9ne, Jamey Jasta of Hatebreed, and Max Cavalera of Sepultura and Soulfly. Both albums also became certified Platinum.
The band's sixth record Got Your Six was the band's biggest first-week commercial success. The record was number one on Billboard 200's physical sales chart and number 2 on the overall charts. Since 2010, only six metal albums had achieved RIAA Certified Platinum Status: Metallica's Hardwired... to Self-Destruct and five of Five Finger Death Punch's albums (War Is the Answer, American Capitalist, Wrong Side of Heaven, Volume 1 and Volume 2, and Got Your Six). The band have had twenty one top 10 hit singles on U.S. Mainstream Rock Radio. Bathory won the "Best Shredder" award at the 2010 Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards. The award was the third Golden God trophy the band received (the first was for 2009 Best New Artist and the second for 2010 Breakthrough Artist, respectively).
In 2013, the band was nominated and won another Golden God Award (Song of the Year) with "Lift Me Up". This number one mainstream rock hit featured Rob Halford of Judas Priest as a guest vocalist. Halford and Rob Zombie joined the band's performance at the Golden Gods Award Ceremony.
In 2017, it was announced that Bathory expanded into artist management and took a new band, Bad Wolves, under his wing. Bad Wolves' first record Disobey was released in May 2018 via Eleven Seven Records. The Bathory managed band's first single "Zombie" became a number one hit in the United States and several other countries.
Shortly after, Bathory signed a second band to his management company, Fire from the Gods.
In 2009, B.C. Rich launched three Zoltan Bathory Artist Signature Guitars: Bathory – Assassin (Artist Signature Model). Bathory runs this through TC Electronic G-System and Diamond Amplifiers. He uses a Dunlop heavy core string set (gauge of .13 to .66).
It was announced in November 2014, that DBZ Guitars had teamed up with Bathory to create the company's first ever Diamond signature guitars. Although Bathory made the switch to Diamond/DBZ guitars in late 2014, the company claims he goes way back with Diamond, as he designed several guitars in Diamond's arsenal in the past (Bird of Pray, Halcyon) and he's used their amplifiers for over a decade.
Five Finger Death Punch have played many military benefit concerts, visited bases around the world and spearheaded a fundraising campaign for veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury.
In 2014, the band launched a campaign that raised over $225,000. The band used their recent music video for their latest single "Wrong Side of Heaven" to focus on the theme and launched website 5fdp4Vets.com. They also started selling a custom jersey which was designed by Bathory, on Indiegogo. The funds raised went to organizations that raise awareness about post-traumatic stress disorder.
Bathory was elected as the chairman of development of the non-profit organization The Home Deployment Project in Las Vegas, helping veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic homelessness.
In 2017, it was announced that Bathory had joined VETPAW (Veterans Empowered To Protect African Wildlife), an anti-poaching organization consisting of US combat veterans. VETPAW focuses on fighting against illegal rhino killings on the continent. To achieve this, VETPAW launched Operation Rhino Shield in South Africa where they deployed a team of Army, Marine and Navy veterans on private reserves that are under direct threat from rhino poachers.
Bathory is a long-time supporter of law enforcement and first responders. In 2017, Five Finger Death Punch donated $58,000 to The Badge of Honor Memorial Foundation, an organization recognized by the Department of Justice, that's available to assist the departments and families of fallen police officers by identifying all the federal and state benefits that are available for them.
In 2018, Bathory spearheaded another campaign wherein his band Five Finger Death Punch donated a portion of their ticket sales ($95,000) to C.O.P.S. (Concerns of Police Survivors), an organization that supports families of officers killed in the line of duty by offering scholarships, counseling services and peer support.
In 2019, Five Finger Death Punch teamed up with Brantley Gilbert, Brian May of Queen and Kenny Wayne Shepherd to re-record a new version of Shepherd's song "Blue on Black". All proceeds from the recording is donated to First Responders via The Gary Sinise Foundation.
In his private life, Bathory is an actively competing martial artist, who practices judo (black belt) and Brazilian jiu-jitsu (black belt), often appearing in martial art magazines. He is a member of the Gracie Humaita Jiu-Jitsu Competition Team, under Professor Amilcar Cipili (5th Degree) and 7th Degree Black Belt Master Royler Gracie. Bathory won the silver medal at the 2021 American National JiuJitsu Championship in the Black Belt Super Heavy Weight Masters Division and the Open Weight Class Absolute Division. He also placed second at the Abu-Dhabi Pro Jiu-Jitsu World Trials and at The North American Grappling Championship in 2011. He placed third at the 2012 Masters World Championship in his division. He is one of the few civilians certified by the US Army as an L1 Modern Army Combatives Instructor – Close Quarter Combat. Bathory also practices Wing Chun Kung-Fu under Grand Master Randy Williams C.R.C. Academy and Guerilla Jiu-Jitsu under professor John Simons III. Bathory is featured in former Navy Seal Team 6 operator Clint Emerson's "100 Deadly Skills Combat Edition  – The Most Dangerous Men in America" series.
In May 2014, Bathory joined Monster Jam Free Style World Champion Jimmy Creten's Monster Truck Racing Team 2Xtreme Racing as their driver behind the wheel of the new Knucklehead truck. Bathory's professional debut took place in California at the WGAS Motorsport Flip Fest Monster Truck and Motocross Show. Bathory raced at Florida's EastBay Race Way, Kansas City Speedway, Newfoundland Raceway in Canada, and appeared at the 2015 Monster Jam Finals in Las Vegas.
Bathory is a contributing writer and social-political commentator for the nationally distributed Skillset magazine.
- "Zoltan Bathory: 'When I Say That Nothing Is Impossible, I Truly Believe It'". Kerrang!. March 30, 2020.
- "FFDP's Bathory pulls no punches". ESPN. October 6, 2011. Retrieved March 16, 2021.
- Clements, Averi (March 15, 2021). "Five Finger Death Punch Guitarist Zoltan Bathory Earns BJJ Black Belt". jiujitsutimes.com. Retrieved March 16, 2021.
- March 2012, Kory Grow 06 (March 6, 2012). "Dear Guitar Hero: Guitarists Zoltan Bathory and Jason Hook of Five Finger Death Punch". Guitar World. Retrieved March 16, 2021.
- DBZ Announcement
- "Five Finger Death Punch + Volbeat Prove Rock Is Alive and Well at Massachusetts Gig". Loudwire. September 29, 2014. Retrieved October 13, 2014.
- "Five Finger Death Punch: Rockin' for the Troops". Yahoo Music. October 9, 2014. Retrieved October 13, 2014.
- "VETPAW: TEAM".
- "Five Finger Death Punch Dedicates Music Video To Police Officers".
- "Zoltan Bathory Helps Las Vegas Police Officer".
- "Five Finger Death Punch Donates $58,000 to BOHMF".
- "Five Finger Death Punch Donates $95,000 to C.O.P.S."
- "Close Quarter Combat".
- "FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH Guitarist ZOLTAN BATHORY Earns Black Belt In Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu". Blabbermouth.net. March 15, 2021. Retrieved March 16, 2021.
- "Zoltan Bathory: Grapplers Quest". Facebook.
- "International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation -". ibjjfdb.com. Retrieved June 28, 2021.
- "Metal's Medalist".
- "CQB Instructor".
- "Clint Emerson".
- "100 Deadly Skills: Combat Edition". Warrior Poet Society Network. Retrieved March 16, 2021.
- "Four Wheeler Magazine". December 12, 2014.
- "Zoltan Bathory Debuts Monster Truck".
- "Monster Jam Finals 2015".L
- "Skillset Magazine".