FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH frontman Ivan Moody opened up about his struggles with alcohol addiction during a new interview with "The Jasta Show", hosted by HATEBREED's Jamey Jasta. The singer, 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, saying (hear audio below): "Rob [Halford of JUDAS PRIEST] is actually one of my — and I hate to put it this way — sober coaches. 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 [of KORN] 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."
Moody went on to say that Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), considered to be a prerequisite in any recovery treatment model, didn't work for him.
"[I've] have never very orthodox with [my] sobriety," Ivan said. "Neither was J.D. or Rob, which, again, that's what I really appreciate. I don't go to a lot of meetings. I respect it, and I understand why other people used and benefited from [it], but for me personally, it's just not what I need. So that was something I always looked to with guys like J.D. and Rob — [they] were strong enough… [Let me] rephrase that — don't quote me on that, because I don't mean that anybody's weak by any means. I'm just saying that that wasn't my path and I didn't need it… I did go to meetings when I first got out. I walked in. I was optimistic. I was, like, 'This is gonna help me. This is what I need.' And I would walk out of there and feel like I absorbed everybody else's… And the effect of somebody who's only got three days under their belt compared to some guy who's really judgmental that has 20 years under his, and they're combatative [sic]… It's like this competition. And then I would walk out feeling like I was used — like somebody was feeding off of me — and that's not how I wanted to feel. So I was, like, you know what? I'm a little better being off by myself, educating myself doing whatever research I need to to stay strong, but reaching out to people that I respect in my industry, like Jamey Jasta and Rob Halford, and getting that side of it, because that, to me, means more than sitting in room full of people drinking coffee and reeking of cigarettes, telling me how they're not gonna make it through another night. That scares me."
Despite his negative experiences, Ivan didn't discount the benefits of joining a recovery support group such as Alcoholics Anonymous, which teach you about the 12 steps of AA and how to prevent relapse.
"I've been to a meeting — a meeting; one — where there were a lot of people that the world wouldn't believe were in there," he explained. "I didn't believe they were in there. And those meetings changed my life, because those meetings showed me… You will get something out of a meeting, but choose your battles, is all that I'm saying. They helped thousands — hundreds of thousands of people… It's positive. So I'm not trying to backpedal, but, again, it just wasn't for me."
Back in May 2018, 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 latest battles with alcohol abuse heavily inspired the lyrics on FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH's most recent album, "And Justice For None". The follow-up to 2015's "Got Your Six" was originally delivered to Prospect Park in December 2016, but a legal battle with the record company delayed the LP's arrival.