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Five Finger Death Punch Speak Out About Singer's Addiction Struggle

By David Konow 12/20/17
“It got to the point where the band actually had to have an intervention. We had to say, ‘It’s 100% you are going to die if this continues—it’s not even a question.'”
5 Finger Death Punch's Ivan Moody
5FDP singer Ivan Moody

Five Finger Death Punch, named after a kung-fu technique in the Kill Bill movies, have been one of the most successful metal bands in recent memory, but the band’s success was nearly derailed because of lead singer Ivan Moody’s struggles with addiction.

During a road jaunt this summer Moody quit the band onstage in the Netherlands, then subsequently checked into rehab before returning to the band this August. (The band had to cut several concerts short in the past due to Moody having similar meltdowns on stage.)

As guitarist and founding member Zoltan Bathory recalled to The Scottish Sun, “It got to the point where the band actually had to have an intervention. We had to give him the ultimatum as it was the second tour that he couldn’t finish. It was really about his life. We had to step in and say, ‘It’s 100% you are going to die if this continues—it’s not even a question.'”

Bathory mentioned to Moody how a lot of rock stars in the last several years had died, “so many of them are gone to unnatural causes. We just had to step in and say, ‘Look, you’re next if you are not going to stop and it’s not going to happen on our watch.’ It was tough love. We said, ‘You have to choose the band or alcohol, but you can’t have both.’”

Even Nikki Sixx, who struggled with heroin addiction and had an infamous near-death experience, was shocked by Death Punch’s antics, to the point where he shook his head and told the band, “Guys, you are out of your mind.” As Bathory continues, “If he is saying that, then you should stamp on the brakes.”

Bathory says, “This is the first time we have seen [Moody] sober. It’s like he has woken up and realized he is a rock star—it’s so much fun. It’s great to experience everything through his eyes because we have been around the world but he doesn’t remember it.”

After getting out of rehab, Moody told Team Rock, “I learned a lot about myself. 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 giving up who I thought I was and starting over from scratch and realizing the man that I am was good enough.”

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In addition to contributing for The Fix, David Konow has also written for Esquire, Deadline, LA Weekly, Village Voice, The Wrap, and many other publications and websites. He is also the author of the three decade history of heavy metal, Bang Your Head (Three Rivers Press), and the horror film history Reel Terror (St Martins Press). Find David on LinkedIn and Facebook.

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