Five Finger Death Punch teamed up with country star Brantley Gilbert, Queen’s Brian May, and blues-infused rock legend Kenny Wayne Shepherd to create a music video featuring the heroic actions of first responders.
All proceeds from the new single, “Blue on Black,” will be donated to the Gary Sinise Foundation to help benefit first responders, the band said in the video release.
The collaboration is a fresh take on the hit song that first appeared on Shepherd’s “Trouble Is…” album in 1997, Louder reported.
Five Finger Death Punch has long stood in support of the military, law enforcement, and all first responders, and their latest work is no different.
“To raise awareness for and support first responders is a cause that’s always been close to our hearts,” Guitarist Zoltan Bathory told Louder.
“It’s a pretty heavy video,” Bathory explained during an interview with Billboard. “We’re trying to portray their life.”
“Compared to them we’re just citizens. We’re living our lives,” he continued. “These fire fighters and soldiers and first responders are out there risking theirs. It’s close to our heart. So, with different artists from different genres we can also bring a unified awareness to this cause.”
The heavy metal band first covered Shepherd’s timeless song on their most recent album, “And Justice For None.”
After receiving positive feedback from Shepherd on their rendition, the band approached him about collaborating together on the song.
Gilbert, who was working in the same studio on another project at the time, heard about the venture and also jumped on board.
When mutual friends brought May into the mix, everything just came together, Bathory said.
“When the opportunity came up to sing on Five Finger’s version, with both Kenny Wayne and Brian May of Queen, I jumped at the chance – who wouldn’t?” Gilbert told Louder. “It incorporates so many different musical perspectives, but our collaboration just works brilliantly.”
Bathory said that the joint project was a unifying experience.
“We feel like it’s a multi-dimensional, multi-level effort unifying the different genres,” he explained to Billboard. “There was a time when music was always a unifying element, when the genre didn’t matter – a good song was a good song… for us it’s an honor to have this record with these people and have hard rock, classic rock, country all together on a song.”
“What better way to make a difference than to join forces with some of our friends in country, blues and classic rock who happen to be some of the biggest names in those genres and together celebrate these heroes,” Bathory told Louder.
Sinise, a Hollywood actor best known for his role as “Lieutenant Dan” in Forest Gump, has been advocating for “our nation’s defenders” for 40 years, according to the foundation’s website.
In the wake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, he spearheaded a multitude of projects in support of first responders, military members, and their families, he explained on his website.
“My personal mission is what led to the founding of the Gary Sinise Foundation in 2011,” he explained. “We will continue to expand this mission in support of our nation’s defenders, veterans, first responders and their loved ones, while upholding the importance of keeping our country strong by taking care of those who serve.”
The foundation made headlines in December of 2018, when it sent 1,750 Gold Star family members to Disney World for the trip of a lifetime, CBS News reported.
“Each one of these children who are going on these airplanes have lost a parent in military services – either combat related or illness or unfortunately suicide sometimes,” Sinise said at the time. “We wanna take care of these kids and make sure they know we don’t forget.”
Over 91 percent of the funds donated to the Gary Sinise Foundation goes directly to first responders, according to the foundation website.
Back The Blue 5k has partnered with the Gary Sinise Foundation to raise money with a virtual 5k so people anywhere in the world can take part. Learn more about the virtual 5k HERE.
“While our programs and projects have certainly made a difference in many lives, there’s much more work to be done,” Sinise said.
You can watch the band’s latest video below: