Jason Hook knows there is a potentially huge problem with being a rock star: You can have all the fun you want, whenever you want.

When you’re in a hard-charging, heavy metal band like Five Finger Death Punch, that dilemma becomes magnified. The legion of fans who come out to your shows to party and scream and stay up all night expect the boys in the band to do the same thing.

“We’re doing 48 shows in a row or something, but for the people who come out, it’s their big night out, something they’ve anticipated for weeks, and they’ve got this big burst of energy. When 12,000 people are screaming at you with one big burst of energy, it’s kind of hard to not get absorbed by it,” said Hook, guitarist for Five Finger Death Punch.

“The irony is, because your band is popular, you have all the fun you can handle right there waiting at your doorstep. But if you take part in all that, it tears down the very thing that made you popular — you don’t want to do soundchecks, you feel like crap, and the business grinds to a halt. It’s definitely something a few of us have struggled with.”

Hook has been around high-level rock long enough to know the pitfalls. Before joining Five Finger Death Punch a few years ago, he played in the band of legendary rocker Alice Cooper.

Cooper has famously told reporters over the years that he lived the kind of life you’d expect from his on-stage persona for about five years before deciding it would probably kill him. He still rocks, but plays a lot of golf and lives in the Arizona desert.

Five Finger Death Punch play Lewiston’s Androscoggin Bank Colisee on Saturday. The outfit will be bringing its “Share the Welt Tour” to town, along with three other hard-rocking bands: All That Remains, Hatebreed and Rains.

But if you’re looking for Hook to party with you, don’t be offended if he declines.

“The way I look at it is, it’s always there if you want, but you can’t forget the band — ever,” he said.

With a name influenced by martial arts films, Five Finger Death Punch was formed in Los Angeles about six years ago and quickly landed a big gig as part of Korn’s “Family Values Tour” in 2006. So far, it’s released three albums and become a favorite on the festival circuit. Its latest CD, “American Capitalist,” debuted at No. 3 and sold 90,000 copies in its first week last July.

The band has had a lot of personnel changes: Hook is the third guitarist, for example. His immediate predecessor, Darrell Roberts, was asked to leave.

Was it awkward for Hook to step into that situation?

“Not at all. Most every gig I’ve ever had, I replaced somebody,” he said. “I was in Los Angeles and had known these guys a long time, and had watched the band come together. I was hoping this would happen, but at the time, I was playing with other artists.”

Hook grew up in Toronto, and remembers KISS being the first band that really “clobbered” him.

“I was listening to their album and looking at the artwork and thinking, ‘How can they sound like this?’ and ‘How can they look like this?’ ” said Hook.

“Then I saw them play, with the fire and explosions, and I was hooked.”

Staff Writer Ray Routhier can be contacted at 791-6454 or at:

[email protected]


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