Songs for Black Days: Five Finger Death Punch's Chris Kael | Revolver

Songs for Black Days: Five Finger Death Punch's Chris Kael

Bassist spotlights "pick-me-up" cuts from Alice in Chains, Turnstile and more
five finger death punch Chris kael, Stephen Jensen
photograph by Stephen Jensen

"I have always been Mr. Positive, even when I was working at the Hard Rock back in the day," says Five Finger Death Punch bass player Chris Kael. "There was this girl who was always in a bad mood. She called me 'Mr. Shittin' Sunshine' because I was always in a good mood."

This would make Kael seem like a poorly selected candidate for Revolver's Songs for Black Days series, in which artists highlight the tunes they turn to in dark times. But as he told us, "Even a positive person like Chris Kael needs a pick-me-up now and then." So, fresh off the release of his band's new album F8, he shared with us some of his go-to musical pick-me-ups, as well as a few words of wisdom.

"There is a time to acknowledge and go with those bad feelings, but they are all temporary," he says. "It should be a 'black day,' not 'black days.' What you focus on is what comes. Choose to find the light in life — no matter how hard it might seem, instead of drowning in sorrow."

Fear Factory - "Timelessness"

The mood of the song puts you in the place where you can think about how you are feeling. It is very emo ... "Dark night of my soul ..." If I am on the precipice of breaking down, then listening to this brings the tears out and helps me through them.

Alice in Chains - "Down in a Hole"

This one is really moody and brings out emotions you may not have even known were there. It transitions from feeling the frustration, to the part where he says, "I'd like to fly" — that is trying to pull yourself out of that mindset.

Turnstile - "I Don't Wanna Be Blind"

The bass in the beginning of this one has a nice cool groove. I am such a bass nerd, so I love that. The lyrics "I got something in the way I'm losing hold on all reality, and it all falls into place, but I'll die slow if I can't escape" really shows that you might be feeling down, but there is hope and you need to get out of it before you become it.

Pantera - "Yesterday Don't Mean Shit"

This song pretty much represents the way I look at things. You can spend a lot of time beating yourself up over things that have happened in the past, but what does that help? You can't change anything. Today is today — yesterday is irrelevant.

Slayer - "Angel of Death"

The aggression, the breakdown, Tom Araya's scream in the beginning — it is impossible to be in a down mood when you put on Slayer.

If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988 or go to for a list of resources.