FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH drummer Jeremy Spencer spoke to Artisan News about the recent revelation that the band's lead singer Ivan Moody developed a serious drinking problem while the band was touring in support of its last album, "American Capitalist". The situation apparently also carried over into the writing process for the band's new CD, "The Wrong Side Of Heaven And The Righteous Side Of Hell", which will be released as a two-record set.
"Without getting too personal about stuff, I think that maybe [Ivan] had some personal stuff going on at the beginning of the [songwriting process for the new] record," Spencer said (see video below). "And he wasn't really ready to pour his heart into all this material yet. I get it. I mean, it's hard to create; you can't just turn it on when you have to turn it on. So it was a slow start to it. But I think once he got in there and got focused and started chilling out on some of that stuff, things started flowing, man, and it was actually a lot of fun working with him. 'Cause I was pretty much in there on all of the sessions with him. So I think it turned out really good, man. And I'm proud of him for stepping up and doing as well as he did."
Spencer also spoke about the importance of supporting his bandmates during tough times, especially while they are sharing living quarters on the road.
"I'm sober 18 months, so I'm not around… Our bus is very mellow; it's pretty boring," Spencer said. "I go there and play video games. [laughs] It's Nerd Central, man. I've done all that stuff to death; I've partied enough to last ten lifetimes, man. I'm good. But you know, I wouldn't change any of the experience. I've had great times, not-so-great times. And I think that we need to support one another. If somebody is trying to chill and be good, you help him out. I mean, you have to. This is a family and it's a business."
Moody told Revolver that when he performed live with his FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH bandmates at the end of the "American Capitalist" tour, he "was a totally functional alcoholic." He added: "I could do my job. But then half of the tour for 'American Capitalist', I couldn't even tell I had been onstage. I would literally wake up the next day and say, 'Where the hell are we? What did we do last night?' And someone would go, 'Well, we played a show in front of 20,000 people.'"
The situation apparently got to the point where the band was threatening to replace Moody with a different frontman. He recalled, "While I was drinking myself into oblivion, I lost all contact with my three kids and my family . . . I got to a point where I wouldn't wake up in the day at all. I'd just sleep through it and then wake up and go to the bar and then go back to bed."
Moody added, "I had just gotten divorced, so I was going through women like water and it just turned into a pattern. I felt gross. I felt like a junkie. My own bandmembers wouldn't return my calls and I lost multiple tour managers, crew members. I can't tell you how many friends stopped talking to me."
Bathory confirmed that things got tense between him and Moody, saying, "We never actually punched each other. We'd shout at each other and go toe to toe like we were going to throw down . . . It came to that point many, many times, but I always knew that there's no way I would ever let him go."
Moody said he finally decided to get sober after a heart-to-heart conversation with KORN frontman Jonathan Davis, who struggled with drugs and alcohol early in his career.
Moody recalled, "I went on his bus and he sat there. He lit me a cigarette and he looked me in the eyes and said, 'First things first, dude. You need to get off the juice. You've got the most talented band and you're a great performer, but you're fucking up and I've been there.' What he was saying was so potent because he was someone I had looked up to my entire life."
The first half of the two-record set will arrive on July 30, with the second part due later this fall.