Five Finger Death Punch guitarist Zoltan Bathory said in a new interview that the band is doing its best to help frontman Ivan Moody battle “his demons” on tour.The vocalist has been struggling with substance abuse and Bathory confirmed that the whole group has made behavioral changes to help Moody’s recovery. Bathory explained, “You have to change the habits on the road — what happens, what’s on the rider. You have to take off all the alcohol — even mouthwash. It’s about trying to eliminate all of the triggers.”
Bathory continued, “He’s been battling his demons, and when you’re in a rock band, it can be really difficult to be on the road. If you have any kind of addiction or addictive personality, everybody wants to hang out and party. People are going to come up to you and say, ‘Hey man, let me buy you a drink,’ or ‘Let’s hang out.’ For them, that’s a big thing. They don’t realize that to us, it was the same thing yesterday, and the day before that, and the past 300 days before that.”
Drummer Jeremy Spencer, who’s been sober for several years, admitted that staying clean on the road is tough: [“When you get sober, at first you just think, ‘Well, I’m sober now, I’m not drinking anymore, I’m fixed, right?’ But there’s a lot of stuff that you have to learn how to deal with. It’s about living life sober and especially being in a successful band, like I woke up, you know, one day I’m sober, now I have to learn how to deal with all this stuff, which is, it’s a great problem to have living this lifestyle, but I had to learn how to do it because I honestly didn’t know how.”] SOUNDCUE (:22 OC: . . . didn’t know how.)
- Bathory also spoke in the same interview about a possible direction for Five Finger Death Punch’s seventh studio album, on which work just got underway this month. He said, “I think now is the time when technically we could do any kind of album. This is the moment where we can sort of experiment.”
- The guitarist added, “We have a couple of ideas floating around. One of them is to make a little bit of a retro record, just to have fun and do a thrash metal vibe, and then there are new ideas that are completely different, involving elements that we’ve never had before. Both directions are exciting, so we’ll have to make a decision.”
- Moody’s addiction problems have received more attention recently after the band was forced earlier this year to cancel an Australian tour due to his hospitalization.
- His issues surfaced again when the band’s label, Prospect Park, sued Five Finger Death Punch in April, alleging that the group wanted to rush the recording of a new album to “cash in” before the anticipated “downfall” of Moody, who was revealed to be in rehab.
DID YOU KNOW? In May 2015, Five Finger Death Punch endured an onstage meltdown that saw drummer Jeremy Spencer engage in an argument with Moody in front of the audience. The conflict culminated in the band walking offstage before finishing their set. Guitarist Jason Hook blamed the incident on Moody being “s**tfaced drunk” and Moody admitted the incident was “humiliating.”
- Does it seem like the band is making a sincere attempt to help Moody or are they driven by money as their label has alleged?
- Have you ever been around someone who needed significant help with their recovery, to the point of removing alcohol from the premises, etc.?
- Does the rock ‘n’ roll touring lifestyle make it too difficult to stay clean and sober?
INTERNET COMMENTS at Blabbermouth — agree or not?
Michael Cavallaro wrote: “A thrash record would be great and a nice change from all the bubblegum music you have been putting out. That might excite fans of your first album that you disenchanted with the rest of your releases.”
Ian Fraser wrote: “So things are so bad that his bandmates have to ‘hide the mouthwash’? Fire the singer.”
Edgar Rorshe wrote: “If you are struggling with addiction issues to point of chugging mouthwash to get drunk then ‘on tour’ is one of the last places you should be.”
Bill Raschendorfer wrote: “Recently saw them live. One of the worst performances I’ve ever seen. The lead singer is still a mess. He spent more time having the audience try to sing then he did himself.”
Lester Jameson wrote: “dont like this band but its good that they want to help the singer. rock/metal culture promotes a bad lifestyle.”