In response to a recent lawsuit filed against the members of FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH by their label, Prospect Park LLC, the band has released the following statement:
"Desperate people do desperate things.
"We are saddened, but not surprised by the recent lawsuit filed by Prospect Park, LLC against the members of FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH. It is the latest in a long line of exploitative and abusive bullying tactics used by our former manager and current label CEO Jeff Kwatinetz to extract money from and wield power against the band.
"Jeff Kwatinetz is well-known as a former music industry powerhouse whose erratic behavior and affiliated corporate bankruptcies have caused most of his companies' clients, including BACKSTREET BOYS, KORN, SMASHING PUMPKINS, JANE'S ADDICTION and Azalea Banks to flee in droves. In fact, we also fired Prospect Park management four years ago in an effort to escape an arrangement that more resembled indentured servitude. FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH's recordings are now one of Prospect Park's last remaining and most valuable assets still under contract.
"FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH is prepared to record and deliver the final album this year under its recording agreement, but instead of allowing us to record, Prospect Park has chosen to sue us, hold us for ransom and squeeze extra money out of its contract rights by attempting to sell an interest in future recordings. What's worse is that Prospect Park very deliberately filed their meritless lawsuit the same week we are trying put our fall co-headlining arena tour on sale.
"In its lawsuit, Prospect Park states that FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH has plateaued and that its sound is stale, yet on multiple occasions and in writing Mr. Kwatinetz referred to the most recent album, 'Got Your Six', as the band's 'best album yet.' FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH is the best-selling Active Rock band of the last 24 months and one of the top-selling Active Rock bands of this decade. Every single first week album sales figure has been higher than the last. In fact, there is not one shred of evidence to suggest that FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH's career remains on any trajectory other than an upward one. Any statement or suggestion that FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH is suffering from some kind of slump is untrue.
"Prospect Park does not want us to record our next album with Kevin Churko, who at this point is part of our family and who has produced the last five of our six albums. As for the creative process, Mr. Kwatinetz has never been to the studio during the making of any of our albums, he has never met Mr. Churko and Prospect Park repeatedly failed to pay Mr. Churko on time.
"As for our singer, Ivan Moody, his issues are no secret and were recently and successfully addressed with the love and support of his family and bandmates in a rehabilitation facility. Never once did Prospect Park Management or Recordings support any efforts to get him sober, preferring the band continue making albums and touring.
"We are confident that the evidence will expose the allegations in Prospect Park's complaint as completely meritless and that the band will recover substantial damages and be released from any further obligations to Prospect Park based on the cross-complaint that we intend to file."
In its lawsuit against FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH, Prospect Park accused the band of failing to honor certain conditions under its current contract and for "shamelessly attempting to cash in before the anticipated downfall of their addicted bandmate." In addition, Prospect Park wanted more time to promote "Got Your Six", and asked the band to provide just two new songs for a greatest-hits collection in the interim.
But the group allegedly rejected that plan, insisting instead on recording a new full-length album — in anticipation of Moody soon being unable to record or perform due to an increasing substance abuse problem.
According to the lawsuit, FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH's four-album contract prohibits the band from beginning to record a new effort until at least nine months have passed since the release of the previous one.
FIVE FINGER's third album under the agreement, "Got Your Six", was released on September 4, 2015, which means that the band is "prohibited from recording any portion of the required Fourth Album until at least June 4, 2016."
The suit, which was filed on April 21 in California Superior Court, alleges that FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH is "rushing" to record one more full-length album using Moody on vocals and wants to "cash in before the anticipated downfall of their addicted bandmate." But the label says it wants to "prevent the band from disregarding the health and safety of a bandmate and destroying itself."
The documents allege that Moody's "escalating substance abuse is placing both the future of FFDP, and indeed his life, at risk" and that the band is trying to "salvage" the sale value of its catalog before Moody ends up dead or in jail.
The band also notified Prospect Park at one point that Moody was "in an in-patient rehabilitation facility for an unknown duration of time."
In addition to its concern over Moody's well-being, the label alleges in the suit that "radio has told Prospect Park that the 'sound' of FFDP is getting stale, requiring greater creative input" in the recording of its next album.
Amidst all this, FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH has announced a new co-headlining arena tour with SHINEDOWN that will kick off on October 18 in Little Rock, Arkansas and run into December. SIXX A.M. and AS LIONS will be along as support. Tickets go on sale Thursday (April 28).
In an interview done before the news of the lawsuit came out, guitarist Zoltan Bathory told The Pulse Of Radio that putting together this tour was a no-brainer. "You put together bands that really have a big following, they're strong on radio, you know, so there's a radio support and we can actually sell out arenas," he said. "And thank God we are in a position that we can put these tours together and it's a big success for everyone."