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Five Finger Death Punch guitarist Zoltan Bathory has released a statement regarding the band’s new video for “Living The Dream.”

Upon its release yesterday, many outlets (including this one) pointed out the many symbolic moments depicted in the video. Among them included alluding to mask-wearers being Communists and references to ANTIFA and QAnon.

“As much as some *news sites* used ‘anti-mask’ as a clickbait title (And I must applaud the capitalist in them or I myself would be a hypocrite) Let’s make this crystal clear: In a fictional story, Amongst shopping cart zombies, Tide Pod eating fat superheroes and all the other metaphors, why would anyone think the mask scene isn’t one,” wrote Bathory via his Facebook page.

Bathory continues, “The scene in question is not about the masks…it’s NOT an Anti-Mask message…in fact you can go to FiveFingerDeathPunch.com. Right now and buy some cool ones…If I must explain this, the whole video is in the framework of fiction, a dystopian nightmare of one of the founding fathers – right before he signs the constitution. Just as I prefaced it: ‘We as artists, have a unique opportunity to portray and ridicule the absurd to prevent it from *becoming* reality. The mask segments are about hypocrisy on the highest level. When the rules are made for you but those who made them are exempt. Pretty much the standard in all dictatorships and totalitarian regimes (I had the displeasure of growing up in one) hence the reference.”

Bathory adds, “I often say, ask us!!! The immigrants… the Cubans, the Venezuelans, the North Koreans, anyone from the former Soviet block… Talk to us and we will tell you …. WE were lucky, because we had a place to escape to. We are fortunate that we could come here…. but if America is gone, where will you go? We immigrants also remember how our freedom slipped away, how our rights were ripped from us, how we were kept under the thumb and in fear of our own governments. So maybe, just maybe… we have valuable experience we can tell you about, we can forewarn you of the things we have seen before.”

Bathory continues, “So We the people must do everything in our power to stay free as a society. We must prevent the rise of tyranny in all shapes and forms, we must resist the would-be dictators and the totalitarian ideals. This is what the founding fathers worried about and tried to prevent by creating the constitution. Believe it. America is a miracle, and I LOVE this country… and I will never shut up about it.”

Bathory concludes, “Anyway – not anti mask – and if you reduced this entire video to that scene and missed the metaphor behind it … Well… the good news is – It is STILL America so you have the right to have and even print your own opinion.” It’s noteworthy that Bathory didn’t mention the Qanon reference in the video, where “The Great Awakening” is on the ticker during a newscast.

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Erica Banas is a rock/classic rock news blogger who's well versed in etiquette and extraordinarily nice.