Earlier today, we posted comments Five Finger Death Punch frontman Ivan Moody said in a new interview with Denver’s 106.7 KBPI. It was his first interview, or public appearance since he was in no shape to be on stage, and had what he described as a "mental meltdown." Moody eventually left the tour saying he had "fallen ill," with the implication that he was checking into rehab.
The statement he made earlier today in full:
“To be completely honest with you, Death Punch and I have kind of come to a crossroads. We’re very proud of what we’ve done – years and years and years of work…,” he said.”
“It’s time for us to take our way and go do something else, so after this year… my new band, Villain… I’m so excited.”
It's very easy to see how one could assume "It’s time for us to take our way and go do something else" could mean he was done with the band especially when it follows the quote "Death Punch and I have kind of come to a crossroads. "
Interestingly, the original audio of the radio interview has been pulled since we went live with the story, and Rock Sound – who first reported on the story, pulled their story. This indicates to me that somebody from the band reached out to these sites and requested they be pulled so they could control the story.
Blabbermouth held off on reporting about the story until moments ago, where they posted the first comments from Ivan since the interview. Ivan publicly states for the first time that checked into rehab last year and then completely backpedals on the claims made in the interview instead choosing to blame the media for misinterpreting his words. Moody attempts to clarify that Villain will be a side project much like Stone Sour is Corey Taylor's side project from Slipknot.
Here is Moody's statement in full:
"It's no secret that this has been a tough year for me and for my bandmates in Five Finger Death Punch. When you put everything you have into making music, both on and off the stage, it can be very frustrating when the music you work so hard to create is not allowed to see the light of day. I know we share this frustration with our fans too, who have come to expect new music from us — fans who mean everything to us.
"It is true that Five Finger Death Punch has come to a crossroads — and that crossroads is we're all at a place where we will never again let someone or something hold us back from making music for our fans.
"The lawsuit by Prospect Park holding our new album hostage has taken a toll on me. I was in a rehabilitation facility when Prospect Park decided to sue the band last year, and that was very difficult for me to handle all at once.
"Yesterday I made a statement that was taken out of context by the media — a media always looking to create headlines that will make people click them. The truth is, I want to start a side-project like Corey Taylor has with Stone Sour or Maynard has with A Perfect Circle and I want to do it when Five Finger Death Punch's deal with Prospect Park is over and we are out of this lawsuit.
"THIS DOES NOT MEAN I PLAN ON LEAVING FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH!
"The great thing about being a musician today is that you can explore your creativity in multiple ways without compromising your primary focus. I learned this watching people like Corey and Maynard and I think their fans are glad they've put more music out into the world. I hope my fans are, too.
"All that said, Five Finger Death Punch fans can expect our next album via Prospect Park and we are geared up to tour all throughout 2017. We are about to leave for South America and Europe and we have other dates [to be announced].
"All of us in the band have worked incredibly hard over the last ten years to build this band and none of us are going to let that go just because our record company is trying to sabotage us. I am sorry if the media took my statement as a resignation, but I assure you it wasn't."
It's very easy to lay the blame on the media, especially when the story has already been out for over eight hours. Even the original story posted by KBPI teased that the audio featured Moody going in an unexpected direction with them saying "While most expected to get an update on the new Five Finger Death Punch album, Ivan actually revealed that the band is headed in a different direction and he is working on a new project."
This isn't even the first time it seemed like Moody was leaving the band. There was the infamous incident in 2015, where Moody was so shitfaced (which the band later admitted) that it caused Jeremy, their drummer to walk off stage, leaving people in attendance to speculate the band had just broken up.