FFDP’s Ivan Moody – I Got Sober by Making Alcohol My Worst F–king Enemy
Five Finger Death Punch’s Ivan Moody is one of modern rock’s great success stories. Along with achieving massive popularity with FFDP, Moody was miraculously able to turn his life around after a very public bout with alcoholism. The singer is now four-and-a-half years sober, and he shared with Loudwire the full story of his recovery.
“The energy I put into being drunk… that was exhausting,” Moody recalls. “In the mornings I would wake up on the bus and I could always judge how my day was gonna go by the reaction of everybody in the front lounge. I’d walk out in the front lounge and I’d kinda peek my head through. If everybody kinda gave me the scuff look or a dirty look, I knew something happened the night before.”
Some of those rough nights culminated with onstage meltdowns, which were recorded by fans in the crowd and broadcast through YouTube and social media. A 2015 incident in Memphis saw Moody throw down his mic and leave the stage numerous times while arguing with then-drummer Jeremy Spencer. The following year, in Worcester, Mass., Moody claimed his mother was “passing on today” and left the stage before FFDP wrapped up their set. Ivan’s sister Sandi later revealed “no one in our family is sick or dying currently” and blamed alcohol for her brother’s behavior.
These were only some of the issues which led to Moody being temporarily replaced by Phil Labonte and Tommy Vext during live shows. However, after suffering from alcohol-related seizures, being put into a coma, and flatlining for two minutes, Moody finally realized he needed to get sober.
“The biggest part of it is my legacy,” Moody shares one of his main motivations. “Just seeing peers of mine, Chester [Bennington] included, people that fought with addiction — Scott Weiland, Layne Staley… the list goes on and on. I didn’t want to be one of those headstones where people walked by and took pictures in front of it and had some lost fucking idea of who they thought I should be or was. It really came down to legacy. How did I want to be remembered? How did I want my kids to go through the rest of their lives answering for me? Not being proud of who their father was.”
Moody recalls that at the peak of his addiction, his bandmates would no longer speak to him, nor would family members or friends he’d grown up with. However, one individual who was willing to take Ivan’s calls was Rob Halford, who himself has been in recovery for decades.
“When I was in my fifth recovery center, Rob Halford [reached out to my manager]. He said, ‘I really want to meet this gentleman, I want to know this kid. I want him to know there’s somebody out here who understands.’ When I was in this center, we got four phone calls a day, five minute intervals. I made it a point to call him once a day … That’s one of my heroes. Taking those phone calls meant so much to me, that somebody of a different status was reaching down for me and saying, ‘It’s okay, dude. We’ve been there. I’ve been there.’”
With nearly five years of sobriety under his belt, Moody offered some advice to anyone who may be struggling with substance abuse. “Nikki Sixx once told me, ‘It’s an honest program.’ That’s really fucking cheesy but it’s very, very, very true. You have to be able to identify with yourself, confront yourself and embrace the goods and the bads of yourself. You have to be willing to commit everything you’ve got to it. And when I say hate [alcohol], I’m talking worse than anything you’ve ever hated in your life. When I smell booze from across the room, I get bile in my stomach. I hate it so fucking deeply … Make it your worst fucking enemy.”
FFDP's Ivan Moody – How I Got Sober… and Stayed Sober
Watch our full interview with Ivan Moody above. Five Finger Death Punch’s ninth studio album, Afterlife, will be released Aug. 19. To grab a copy, click here. FFDP will be embarking on a massive tour with Megadeth, The Hu and Fire From the Gods beginning Aug. 19. Click here to grab tickets.