FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH Stopped Using Pyro Out Of Fear of Injury For Drunken Ivan Moody
It's been a tough year for Five Finger Death Punch frontman Ivan Moody. Moody previously threatened to quit the band while performing onstage in April, and was in no condition to perform that night. The following day, Moody released a message saying he had "a mental breakdown" and didn't actually quit the band. He ended up leaving the tour and checking into rehab while other musicians filled in on vocals. Moody returned to the stage one month later, then gave a strange interview implying he was leaving the band before walking that statement back, saying he was just going to take a break from the band to do a side project.
Another occurrence happened this summer: Moody arrived late to the band's gig in Tilburg, Netherlands and missed the first two songs. Tommy Vext of Bad Wolves filled in. When Moody arrived, he didn't seem pleased that the band started the performance without him and had an exchange of words with guitarist Jason Hook, who eventually threw his guitar down and left the stage. The band concluded the set without Hook, with Moody ending the show saying this would be his last performance with the band. Moody eventually checked himself into rehab, and has been sober since. The band is back on the road, and even released some new material. Moody recently opened up about his struggles with addiction for the first time since returning from rehab.
Moody, as well as other members of Five Finger Death Punch, spoke to Metal Hammer on the topic. Perhaps the most shocking part of the interview is when guitarist Zoltan Bathory reveals the band stopped using pyro because they were afraid Moody might hurt himself:
“Ivan was a functioning alcoholic – this guy could probably fly the space shuttle drunk and you wouldn’t even know. You wouldn’t notice that he was drunk until he’d say something really bizarre, and then you were like, ‘Oh shit, you’re drunk!’”
“Now we go out and the machine is absolutely precise, to the minute. He’s actually where he’s supposed to be, meaning that if we wanted to use pyro, now we can. Before, you couldn’t tell him, ‘Don’t stand there,’ because he will.”
Moody also opened up about how he's dealt with the sobriety:
“I learned a lot about myself. Things that I had forgotten. I learned what it was like to not battle myself anymore, which is really difficult to admit, because at the end of the day–and I’m sure anyone can agree with this–you’re your own worst enemy.
I just got to a point where I was lying to myself constantly, so I had to face up to that. It was a lot of, I don’t want to use the words ‘self sacrifice’, but that’s what it felt like. It was giving up who I thought I was and starting over from scratch and realizing the man that I am was good enough.”