FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH frontman Ivan Moody recently opened up about his struggles with alcohol addiction in an interview with Kaytie of the Green Bay radio station Razor 94.7. Saying that he is now more than three months sober, Moody revealed that he nearly died due to an alcohol-related seizure and woke up surrounded by EMTs and his daughter holding him while crying. Moody claimed that he never relapsed after that, but continued to enter treatment centers after that to avoid relapsing.
Moody explained: “Anyone in recovery knows that isolation is the biggest enemy. And being in the industry that we are, I had to isolate myself. I lived on the bus or a hotel room, an airplane. No girlfriends, no family. My kids are everything to me and I never got to see ’em — I missed tons of moments and years. And so the bottle sang back to me, so to speak. It was the one thing that I could guarantee.
“When I was drunk, I knew how my life was gonna end,” he continued. “I planned on it. I was gonna not wake up one day, or go into seizure and die. I was comfortable, because I knew what was gonna happen. And now being sober, I don’t know how I’m gonna go. And that’s a fucking scary thing. And I’ve met a lot of addicts that feel the same way.”
Moody admitted that he went to rehab four times before the last time finally stuck, saying: “I knew I was done during my detox. It took me seven and a half days just to detox. I couldn’t walk, I couldn’t go to the bathroom by myself, I couldn’t smoke a cigarette. I had a staff member actually sleep in the room with me for the first 38 hours, just to make sure that I didn’t go under. I blew a .36 when I went in, which, to anybody who knows anything, means that that was, basically, death. And I didn’t wanna come out of it. I woke up the next day, and I was pissed that I was still alive.”
The singer said that he couldn’t explain why he had such a death wish. “I don’t know, I really don’t,” he said. “There was so many things — minor things — in my life that just accumulated into this one big fucking thing. I truly don’t know. I mean, think about it: I’ve got everything I’ve ever hoped for. I’ve got beautiful children. I’m taking care of my mother; I set her up. I’ve got a niece and a nephew. My brother’s getting married. I’ve got nice cars. I’ve got a beautiful house. I love my dog.
“Imagine if you’ve got everything you’ve ever wanted — everything — and then what? What do you do?” he asked rhetorically.
Moody said that he worked on fixing his “spirit” this time, adding: “I just don’t want my legacy to be [dying from substance abuse]. Chester [Bennington] and Chris [Cornell] and Scott [Weiland] and Layne [Staley]… I listen to a LINKIN PARK song now and I can hear [Chester] crying for help. That’s the difference. Why did it take us so long to hear that?
“I want people to hear my lyrics and my melodies and say, ‘That dude’s in pain.’ Or, ‘That guy’s victorious over something. He overcame that substance, or just life in general.’ I just wanna give hope back,” he said.
Moody revealed that he was sober but massively hung over during his onstage meltdown in Europe last summer, 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.
Asked how long he has been sober now, Moody said: “Actually, if you count the 30 days that I was in my last recovery center, plus these 60 I’d just done, I’m actually on 95 today. I’m only counting the days after, so I’m 65; that’s what I’m going by.”
Moody added that he talks to his Las Vegas-based sponsor every day. “I’ve got a sponsor who… You’re not supposed to tell people who it is, but he’s been in the [music] industry,” he said. “He’s going 65 years old, and he’s one of the icons of metal. So I’ve got people I can reach out to. It’s like having a new family all over again.”
According to Ivan, his latest battles with alcohol abuse heavily inspired the lyrics on FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH‘s upcoming 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.
“When I went back in the studio [to lay down the vocals for some of the new songs], I was, like, ‘Guys, this isn’t gonna be the most metal album we’ve ever had, but I need to pour out some demons,'” he said. ‘And so that’s what I did. I got a lot of it out of my system through music. There’s a couple of songs on there that are just tearjerkers for me.
“I’m not saying anything I’ve done in the past wasn’t real; it was just components of one giant machine,” he added. “Where this is me with my head, my soul and my heart all in the same place at the same time. And it was painful, man. There were times I had to stop recording because I was in tears.”
“And Justice For None” will be out this Friday (May 18).