FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH has been sued by its record label, Prospect Park, for failing to deliver a new record album and a greatest-hits collection. In addition, the members of the group are being accused of "shamelessly attempting to cash in before the anticipated downfall of their addicted bandmate."
According to the lawsuit, a copy of which was obtained by BLABBERMOUTH.NET, FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH signed a four-album contract with Prospect Park in December 2012. The agreement between the band and the label states that the group "would not commence recording any" new album "any earlier than the date which is nine months after the release of the immediately preceding" album under the contract unless the company agreed otherwise in writing.
FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH's third album under the agreement, "Got Your Six", was released on September 4, 2015. According to the lawsuit, "FFDP is unambiguously prohibited from recording any portion of the required Fourth Album until at least June 4, 2016."
When Prospect Park asked FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH to deliver two new masters for a greatest-hits record, the band refused and insisted on recording it for a different record label out of concern for FFDP vocalist Ivan Moody, according to the complaint.
Prospect Park says in the lawsuit, which was filed on April 21 in California Superior Court: "Regrettably, with the encouragement and assistance of their entertainment lawyer and business manager, the members of FFDP have unequivocally repudiated their contractual obligations to permit Prospect Park to determine the recording elements of a new record and a greatest hits record. In doing so, the members of FFDP are shamelessly attempting to cash in before the anticipated downfall of their addicted bandmate. By this action, Prospect Park seeks to hold FFDP true to its obligations under its written recording contract, thereby allowing Prospect Park to obtain the benefit of the bargain it struck in that agreement, and at the same time, to prevent the band from disregarding the health and safety of a bandmate and destroying itself."
Prospect Park claims that "FFDP has unequivocally stated that it will not comply with its obligations under the Recording Agreement. FFDP has stated that it intends on recording the Fourth Album and two new Greatest Hits Masters using a producer of its choosing, without consultation or involvement of Prospect Park, and without acknowledgment of the rights of Prospect Park under the Recording Agreement. To date, FFDP has failed to submit any proposed Recording Elements for [Prospect Park's] approval. FFDP has submitted Recording Budgets, but those budgets were disapproved by FFDP. Despite the foregoing, [the members of FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH] insist that they intend on recording the Fourth Album in June 2016, all in direct repudiation of the Recording Agreement. Similarly, [the members of FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH] insist that they intend on recording the Greatest Hits Masters in direct repudiation of the Recording Agreement."
The lawsuit continues: "In rushing to record a new Fourth Album, FFDP is damaging itself and Prospect Park by cutting off the marketing and promotion and success of the Third Album, which is currently in its album cycle. Additionally, Prospect Park alleges on information and belief that FFDP is threatening to record the Fourth Album and Greatest Hits Masters, in violation of the clear provisions of the Recording Agreement, because it is concerned about the health and well-being of Moody, and in particular his ability to continue to fulfill his obligations as a member of FFDP and under the Recording Agreement. Based on FFDP's own assessment, Moody is unable to perform at the level required under Section 3.01 of the Recording Agreement for delivery of the Fourth Album's master recordings or Greatest Hits Masters.
"In recent months, members of FFDP and their representatives have repeatedly told Prospect Park of their extreme concern for the health and well-being of Moody, whose escalating substance abuse is placing both the future of FFDP, and indeed his life, at risk. FFDP's own words demonstrate this fact: (a) a November 28,2015 text that the 'the writing is on the wall,' and that, 'it's a matter of time before [Ivan] hits the wall — and once he does — it will be too late to sell'; (b) a December 3, 2015 email stating: 'if Ivan does something stupid — dies...., goes away to jail — then the catalog is a bust — then we won't be able to sell and we'll be trying to salvage what we can — IF we can ... so to me it's imperative to make a move and sell]'; (c) a January 8, 2015 text referring to Ivan as a 'ticking time bomb' that was getting in the way of an "8 digit payday" for FFDP; (d) a January 19, 2016 text stating: 'there is no sign of him slowing down both his health and his behavior is deteriorating — heaps of legal troubles and he is burning the candle at both ends.'; and (e) a January 19, 2016 text stating: 'I don't want to cry doomsday ... but I don't want to be saying I told you so either (as far as Ivan is concerned) — there is a moment we need to cash out the chips — betting one more hand is almost irresponsible at this point." More recently, [the members of FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH] have notified [Prospect Park] that Moody is in an in-patient rehabilitation facility for an unknown duration of time."
Prospect Park adds in the lawsuit: "On information and belief, Prospect Park alleges that the other members of FFDP seek to capitalize monetarily as soon as possible, at the expense of Moody's health and welfare, and the clear mandates contained in the Recording Agreement.
"In light of the foregoing, control over the Recording Elements is particularly important for at least the following reasons: (a) the precipitous decline in sales that occurred when Prospect Park acceded to the demands of FFDP in the recording process; (b) the fact that radio has told Prospect Park that the 'sound' of FFDP is getting stale, requiring greater creative input; (c) Prospect Park's determination that the Fourth Album is critical to the success of FFDP and the value of the catalog; (d) Prospect Park's disappointment that FFDP has failed to reach the Platinum and Multi-Platinum success of numerous of its previous artists; and (e) the real concerns about the health and well-being of Moody, many of which have been expressed in writing by his bandmates and representatives."
Prospect is seeking declaratory judgment that FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH breached its contract with the label, that it has no right to terminate its prospect, an injunction, and compensatory damages for anticipatory breach of contract and breach of faith and fair dealing.
FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH's latest album, "Got Your Six", entered the Billboard 200 album chart at No. 2, selling 119,000 copies in its first week of release. This was the band's third straight No. 2 debut, following both volumes of "The Wrong Side Of Heaven And The Righteous Side Of Hell" in 2013. "Got Your Six", however, did rack up the band's best single sales week ever, surpassing the 112,000 copies sold of "The Wrong Side Of Heaven And The Righteous Side Of Hell, Volume 1", in its first week.
Each of FIVE FINGER's previous albums has been certified gold in the U.S. for sales of 500,000 copies or more.