FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH has confirmed that Charlie "The Engine" Engen is laying down the drum tracks for the band's eighth album, due later in the year.
Engen made his live debut with FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH during the band's fall 2018 tour with BREAKING BENJAMIN. He stepped in for FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH's original drummer, Jeremy Spencer, who left the band in December.
In a new video message from the studio, FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH guitarist Jason Hook explained how Engen came to be involved with the band.
"It was actually Jeremy that found Charlie," Jason said. "Jeremy had reached out to [him] through Instagram."
"Yeah, we had been just drum buddies for a while, talking drums and classic stuff, so we developed a relationship that way," Charlie confirmed. "And that was a year and a half before all this."
Jason continued: "And so when Jeremy told us that he was thinking about hanging it up — he had gone through a couple of different surgeries and really thought that he wasn't gonna be able to play drums up to his standards — we understood. 'But the good news is I found the guy.' He said, 'Well, it's this fellow on Instagram named Charlie.' I immediately went and started checking out the videos online, and I was, like, 'Holy fuck! This guy's a beast!' And I think I reached out to [him]."
"Yeah, we talked for a little bit before, leading up to everything," Charlie said.
Guitarist Zoltan Bathory described Charlie as "an unbelievable drummer," adding that: "The funny thing was that Jeremy kind of found him, but I followed him, so when he said who it is, I'm, like, 'Oh, yeah! That kid is fucking amazing.' So I already knew about him. So that was pretty cool. So I guess you can say that Jeremy handed down the torch."
The 34-year-old Engen, who was previously identified only as "a drum prodigy" called "The Engine", played his first show with FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH on November 6, 2018 in Wichita, Kansas.
The Saint Paul, Minnesota-based Engen has been teaching drums for more than 15 years and currently offers private and Skype lessons at his home studio, along with playing in the bands SCALE THE SUMMIT and IDEOLOGY.
Spencer, who co-founded the band with Bathory, underwent back surgery last fall that required a significant recovery period. He said at that time: "The rigorous physical wear and tear has worn down my body to the point where I feel I can no longer deliver a performance you great fans deserve and one that brings me satisfaction and joy."
It's not clear at the moment whether Engen will be made a permanent member of FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH or will continue as a hired hand.
Zoltan recently said that the new FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH material was "shifting back to that heavier side," and he compared it to 2007's "The Way Of The Fist" and 2009's "War Is The Answer".