FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH guitarist Zoltan Bathory has told News & Record that much of the band's forthcoming album will find singer Ivan Moody, who is the group's primary lyricist, chronicling his struggles with alcohol and his journey to recovery and sobriety.
"He came through hell. He came back. And that journey, that message is there in the lyrics," Bathory said. "A lot of it is about that, his experiences of what happened to him when he was down, how people treated him. He came back, and how people doubted him, that he could come back. And when he comes back, the world is different and he has a different attitude. He can process what happened as a person. So all of those phases, lyrically, are definitely on the record."
Earlier this year, Moody, who celebrated his first year of sobriety this past March, credited several of his friends and musical peers with helping him get through some of his darker moments, including JUDAS PRIEST's Rob Halford and KORN's Jonathan Davis. "Rob is actually one of my — and I hate to put it this way — sober coaches," he told "The Jasta Show". "He's been sober now for almost 40 years. And when I went through recovery, and even my bandmates and I weren't talking, Halford was on the phone with me. I got two 10-minute phone calls a day, and Halford was one of them every single day. No matter where he was in the world, he picked up, he left me messages, he sent me cards. Jonathan Davis was the same way — he was very supportive of me. And this was coming from a kid who grew up on JUDAS PRIEST and I'm turning around and this guy is a father to me in certain ways and very much a piece of who I am now."
A year and a half ago, Moody told the Green Bay radio station Razor 94.7 that he nearly died due to an alcohol-related seizure and woke up surrounded by EMTs and his daughter holding him while crying. He also admitted that he went to rehab five times before the last time finally stuck.
Moody revealed that he was sober but massively hung over during his onstage meltdown in Europe in 2017, with the band sending him home after that and later welcoming him back on a "probationary" basis after both Phil Labonte from ALL THAT REMAINS and Tommy Vext from BAD WOLVES filled in on a couple of tours.
According to Ivan, his battles with alcohol abuse also heavily inspired the lyrics on FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH's most recent album, "And Justice For None".
FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH's forthcoming eighth LP is being helmed by the band's regular producer, Kevin Churko, in FIVE FINGER's hometown of Las Vegas. The drums on the disc were laid down by Charlie "The Engine" Engen, who made his live debut with the group during its fall 2018 tour with BREAKING BENJAMIN. He stepped in for original drummer Jeremy Spencer, who left the band in December due to a back injury.