Ivan Moody of Five Finger Death Punch Talks "The Way of the Fist," New Album, "Saw 3D" and Bringing Forth Demons
Wed, 10 Nov 2010 09:52:06
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Five Finger Death Punch's debut, The Way of the Fist, packs a serious punch. However, The Way of the Fist box set packs an even bigger punch. On November 23rd, the band will release the "Iron Fist Edition" of their debut, and it features the songs we all know and love, new artwork [with the knucklehead!], a poster, 11 new B-sides and rarities, trading cards and so much more.
In fact, the box set allows fans to dig even deeper into the record that established Five Finger Death Punch as the most important new heavy metal band on the scene. There's an elegant darkness to songs like "The Bleeding" and "The Devil's Own" that still unsettles, while cuts like "Ashes "and "Death Before Dishonor" pummel with pulverizing power. Five Finger Death Punch's brilliance lies in the fact that they can infuse raw and real emotion into precise, calculated thrashing. There's no band quite like the…
"We leave it all on the floor and walk away sweating and bleeding," exclaims frontman Ivan Moody with a smile. There's really no better description of the Death Punch experience…
Five Finger Death Punch singer Ivan Moody sat down with ARTISTdirect.com editor and Dolor author Rick Florino for an exclusive interview about the making of The Way of the Fist, the new box set, "Saw 3D", what's next for Five Finger Death Punch and bringing forth the demons…
What do you think of when you remember the sessions for The Way of the Fist?
Man, I was poor as hell, for one. I was living on friends' couches, and I was in and out of my sister's place. I stayed there for a little bit. I was doing odd jobs too. I just knew that I still really wanted to play music no matter what after Motograter. I knew I had to give it one more chance, especially because I wasn't a young pup and I had spent so much time doing it already. In my heart, I knew if I didn't give it everything I had to one more shot, I probably wouldn't be able to sleep at night. Looking at it now, the things I put into that material—the pain that's in some of those songs—is pretty deep.
There's a real sense of urgency. Were those sessions really frenetic? Was The Way of the Fist recorded fast?
That's the weird part of it. It was recorded fast. I had so much bubbling up inside of me when they sent me material that the lyrical content was just flowing. It was a natural thing. I didn't really force anything. After we recorded vocals, Zoltan [Bathory, guitar], Logan [Mader] and Jeremy [Spencer, drums] went in and touched everything up. It's amazing how quick it came out and how positive we were about it. I'd look across the room and see Zoltan, Matt and Jeremy smiling. We knew we had something, and we still have something for that matter.
You've always told stories, but it seems like you genuinely evolved on The Way of the Fist. Do you feel like it was a turning point lyrically?
When you know you have nothing left to lose, you put it all on the line. In Motograter—as well as in Ghost Machine, to a degree—even though it sounds like I'm being really outgoing , a lot of that material was written about other people. I think The Way of the Fist was my first real attempt at writing about myself. If you listen to Motograter, it was politically based. It was similar to an outsider looking in or me pointing a finger at the world. Ghost Machine was the same thing minus "Burning Bridges" or "God Forbid." Those songs were two pieces I actually started working towards something like The Way of the Fist. I think The Way of the Fist is the most raw that I had ever been up to that moment. Then War is the Answer came out. The funny thing was taking that same monster, challenging it and knowing that I had to dig in just as deep, if not deeper. This third album is going to be interesting.
War is the Answer got heavier, but it also got more melodic at points.
Which is exactly what we're going for, and I'm glad you noticed. This third album is going to be a step up from that. Outdoing ourselves every time is part of fun of being in the position we're in. How deep can you dig and what demons can you bring forth? We don't plan on going anywhere. To me, this third album seems like our first. Time's gone by so quickly. There are new topics to write about and deeper and darker things to dig into. I can't wait to outdo this shit.
What are you most excited about in the box set?
I'm taking credit for the trading cards [Laughs]. I always used to love comic books and how they had trading cards, bubble gum and whatnot. With the way that Zoltan put it together, it has an Eddie/Iron Maiden feel. We put a poster inside as well. It has all of our tour dates on the back, but they're in Chinese. Then there's the DVD, and it covers everything. It's 60-minutes long, and it's literally every insight you could want into how we've gotten to the point we're at.
Do you feel like these past three years have been a whirlwind, or do certain memories stand out?
It's like Groundhog's Day. You get up, and it's the same repetitive act every day. I remember just about all of it, and I do that on purpose. Back in the '90s, a band would take ten years to really get credible. By that time, people had to catch up to you. We knew we didn't have that much time. People have ADD in this day and age. If you don't do it now, then you've got no reason to be there. Our plan was to shove it down their throat as hard and as fast as possible and stick around for as long as life will allow the five us to. I think we've done pretty damn good up to this point.
The songs stand out acoustic too.
That's what I want to do. On this album, I was talking to Zoltan about doing a double-disc kind of release. Look for it; we may do it. Have a second disc that's all acoustic as well as instrumentals of the new album. We really want to expand. We're not going to do anything that doesn't come from our hearts. I'm always going to be real with myself.
What's the next evolution for Five Finger Death Punch?
I've talked to Zoltan about it, and I told him that I'm going to put myself in a remote place when the new material comes in. I'm not going to talk to anybody for a good month or month-and-a-half. I'm going to dig into places that I've never been before in myself. Especially now that I've been more involved with the industry during the last few years, I have so much pent up inside of me that I haven't gotten to release. Even War is the Answer was done pretty quickly. For this next album, I want [the process] to be similar to how Deftones went into White Pony. I want to get into a side of myself that I haven't necessarily explored yet and see what comes out on the other side.
What movies have you seen recently?
I loved Saw 3D. I thought it was brilliant! I could not get away from it. It was one of the better 3D movies I've seen. It was the most ingenious way to end that. It was so demented and so perfect. Shout out to Chester [Bennington, Linkin Park & Dead By Sunrise]. He does a great job! I did see The Human Centipede, and it was gnarly. Splice had some twisted shit. I loved the ending!
Will you be buying The Way of the Fist box set?
Watch our most recent video interview with Ivan here!
Also check out our most recent interview with Chester Bennington of Linkin Park about Saw 3D here!