"Loud, Dynamic, Agressive and Fun!" That's The Fifth. That's the music these guys from North Carolina put out. After listening, I can tell you this is the perfect description. Not only is it a great description, it is also GREAT music! This band has been there, done that, and has a great story. They've opened for Queensryche (among others), roll across the U.S. in an RV, played Skull Fest last year and watched the Super Bowl in Tokyo (awesome story below). We are HUGE fans. So, check out my "Six Pack" with Icky Jim, best name ever, of the metal band, The Fifth.
Bro: Metal comes in many different forms. How would you describe your style of metal?
Icky Jim: Depends on who you ask. These days, everyone has their own opinion about what is “metal” and what isn’t. Our music is melodic, dynamic, aggressive, and fun. Peaks and valleys. Hard rock, melodic rock, metal… label it how you see fit. If you’re into strong melodic vocals over heavy riffs, then we are right up your alley.
Bro: How did you get started as a band?
Icky Jim: Our singer, Roy Cathey, started the band in 2001 after fronting Cold Sweat with guitarist Marc Ferrari. Roy replaced Oni Logan in Ferrari’s band after Oni left to join Lynch Mob. In the wake of the grunge explosion, Cold Sweat disbanded. Roy played in Sweatin’ Bullets and Pain Society prior to forming The Fifth. I joined the band in 2006. We released the “Confessions Of Man” CD ourselves, our single “The Gift” started to get airplay, and we were picked up by EMG/Universal as a result. We gained momentum from there. EMG/Universal re-released “Confessions Of Man”, we shot a video for “The Gift”, toured Japan, and went from there.
Bro: I have been listening to your music on ReverbNation and really dig it (“Confessions Of A Man” is sick!). Are there any plans to release more music?
Icky Jim: Thank you. Yes, there is a ton of new material. We have sorted thru alot of demos and have zeroed in on three tracks, and those three are nearly complete. We’ll record at Digital Wave Recording in our hometown of Fayetteville, where “Confessions Of Man”, “Welcome To The War”, and “Plead” were all done. Andy Pow at Digital Wave is like family. Its comfy there, and we work well together. So we’ll record these three tracks, shoot a video, release those tracks, and zero in on the next three. Given the current climate of the music industry, its pointless to spend a ton of money & time on a full-length release. Its a singles market right now, so we are looking at releasing new music in smaller batches, and more frequently. Look for new music from The Fifth very soon. In the meantime, you can grab several free mp3’s from us at www.reverbnation.com/thefifth.
Bro: All metal fans love hearing stories from the road. What is your touring schedule like? Any crazy stories from the road you want to share?
Icky Jim: We typically travel in an RV. We had a show with Queensryche a while back, just before the Tate/band split. We arrived at the venue late for load-in, parked alongside their bus, and then BOOM!! Our radiator had exploded a mere ten feet from the Queensryche bus’ back lounge, and it sounded like a bomb. Loud. As. Hell. Needless to say, we were stranded for the night. But it was an epic show, and the Queensryche guys were all very cool to us. In Japan, we toured during their worst snowfall in a decade. Our tour manager/driver had never driven in the snow, and her English was poor at best, so it was a tad freaky. At one particular show, we made it to the venue, but they had closed the highways during the show, which made navigating back to the hotel just plain scary. It took most of the night, driving on snow-covered secondary/rural roads, but we somehow survived. We watched the Super Bowl at a bar in Tokyo. Kickoff was at something like 8am on a Monday morning. We had to quickly learn their rail/transit system, we weren’t missing the game. No one spoke English, at least not to us, but we eventually found the bar. $50 admission covered all you can eat & drink. Booze & chicken wings at 9am, and we sure as hell got our money’s worth. We stumbled out into the blinding sunlight after the game, and off we went to explore Tokyo before our first show, making beer pit stops along the way. Good times in Japan. Funny story about our Japanese tour manager, Ryoko; She had toured in America with her own band, Last Target, along with Dropkick Murphys. So we asked her what she liked best about America. Her answer…”Walmart”.
Bro: Cheesy question for each of you: Who are your musical influences?
Icky Jim: Naturally, each band member has his own influences. Collectively, our roots are planted in the 80’s hard rock & metal we grew up listening to. Bands like Iron Maiden, Ozzy/Sabbath, Motley Crue, etc. Alice In Chains is another one, musically speaking. As a guitarist, Jerry Cantrell’s style is as influential as Tony Iommi’s style. Those two guys largely shaped the world of heavy riffing, and it continues today. In terms of newer music, its nice to still find influence & inspiration from what goes on around us. Bands like Alter Bridge and Avatar for example, are both awesome and inspiring.
Bro: Final question, what does The Fifth have in store for 2014
Icky Jim: 2014 has been a busy year behind the scenes for The Fifth. We recently signed with Head First Entertainment, and look forward to working with our main man Dave Tedder over there. Dave is working on some exciting stuff for The Fifth as we speak. Roy and I played an acoustic show in November of last year at Skull Fest in Nebraska, a 3-day festival consisting mostly of 80’s hard rock & metal bands (Faster Pussycat, Stryper, London, etc.). We connected with so many amazing people at that one show. We realized that due to Roy’s ties to Cold Sweat, our music is reaching both today’s modern hard rock/metal audience AND these amazing fans of the old school stuff. It’s a unique and interesting balance we have going on at the moment. So that has opened some doors also, including an appearance at the Rock N Skull Festival in Pekin, IL later this year (Nov. 14, 15, 16, 2014). We will probably do a big Halloween show, and I know we have something special going on with Rubicon Cross toward the end of the year. In the meantime, Roy and I have been concentrating on new music and rehearsing with our monstrous new drummer, Darius Rose. Franko, our bass player, has been out of the country for most of the year, returning home occasionally. We have a photo shoot next week, and a very talented artist in Poland working on some new merch designs for us. Recording will begin soon, with Franko adding his bass parts upon his permanent return in a couple of months. We’ve had some success in licensing our music for television & advertising (Dodge Ram, Gray’s Anatomy, Nikita, etc.), so we will continue to explore that realm as well. Things are busy. Things are going very well.
Quick shout out to our friends & fans in social media land. THANK YOU!! We are beyond grateful for your continued support of this band. Your tweets, Facebook messages, Fifth tattoos, and your friendship... You are all simply amazing. Older, younger, rich, poor, black, white, band, fan, doesn’t matter. Metal is still very much a brotherhood (and sisterhood). Its awesome. \m/
The Fifth is:
Roy Cathey - Vocals
Icky Jim - Guitar
David Franko - Bass
Darius Rose - Drums
Icky Jim and the boys from The Fifth are what rock and metal are all about. Its playing great music and having a great time. I want to personally thank Icky Jim for what is one of the best "six packs" we have done on Bro-Metal. Go support this this band, I promise you will not be disappointed!