FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH's eighth album, "F8", is the band's first LP to be completed after singer Ivan Moody's very public struggle with substance abuse took him to rehab several times. Speaking about his sobriety, Ivan told Andy Hall of the Des Moines, Iowa radio station Lazer 103.3 (hear audio below): "It was time for me to have a transformation and to either become what I had been and stay stagnant and just be content with the human being I was, which was never gonna happen, or I had to evolve and take the steps that were necessary to not only be a better man but to be a better artist and to really get back to my roots and realize that modification is absolutely necessary in everything. My sobriety is a huge deal."
Asked if being sober makes him appreciate things a lot differently, Moody said: "On all levels. A hundred percent. I mean, there's not even a question. I was oblivious. There was a window there where I couldn't tell you some of the dates, some of the stages, some of the people. I have no recollection of certain moments, and it really was discouraging to me to know that I've come so far and done so much in my life just to basically fold and become everything that I hated. So it's a huge deal for me to get up there and remember every face in the crowd, to actually relive the moment of them singing the songs, to look to my left and my right and to see the musicians who are standing next to me and to know that I'm not done yet. There were millions of people who could've given up on me at any given moment, and they didn't, and so that, to me, it's the world and more."
According to Ivan, speaking openly about his battle with battle with the bottle is the only he can move forward in a positive way.
"I think that that's a big part of my recovery — being very blunt and to the point with it, and letting people know that I'm not ashamed," he explained. "If you dwell on yesterday, man, you're never gonna see tomorrow clearly."
"F8" was released on February 28. The follow-up to 2018's "And Justice For None" caps a turbulent period for FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH in which co-founding drummer Jeremy Spencer also bowed out of the band due to physical issues.
Much of "F8"'s lyrical content deals with Moody's battle with addiction, its aftermath and his recovery. The singer will celebrate two years of sobriety this month.
Spencer announced his departure from FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH in December 2018 after going through two back surgeries and sitting out a tour. His replacement is Charlie "The Engine" Engen, who makes his recording debut with the band on "F8".
FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH launches a spring North American tour on April 8 in Sunrise, Florida.