Our second interview* for the site is with none other than Ivan Moody of 5 Finger Death Punch. Leave the Hall correspondant and self-confessed 5FDP fanatic Strachs met up with the vocalist and metal icon to discuss what makes him tick and give a little insight into the band.
Leave the Hall: Good day Ivan.
LTH: It’s pretty safe to say that 5 Finger Death Punch are one of the most revered and critically lauded bands in metal right about now and are on a seemingly unstoppable mission to conquer the hearts of every music fan worldwide. I’ve got to ask you sir, what’s your secret?
IM: Well playa, it’s like this. We basically take styles of our favourite bands, yo – Crazy Town and Ill Nino – and combine them. Like my main, main, main man Freddy Durst said, it’s about my g-g-generation. Or, kinda taking shit from 10 years ago and putting some metalcore riffs in there. Pretty cool that no-one has noticed! Yeahhhh Boiiiiii, open the skyyyy!
LTH: You are undoubtedly the middle finger of this generation. Like a seething, unpredictable and dangerous mix of James Dean, Elvis, Johnny Rotten and Kurt Cobain only exponentially more charismatic and influential than them all combined. Who has helped you to nurture this incredible gift?
IM: Well you know I gots to break this shit down. My fuckin’ brother of metal and my inspiration, the Dre to my mutha fuckin’ Snoop has got to be Dez Fafara. To be in not one but two of the greatest bands of all time is off the hook! Coal Chamber are so influential to me yo, their music is like my blood and shit. From a technical, riffing side, we’re totally influenced by Coal Chamber, and that ain’t easy yo, only a handful of bands can step to this shit and match Coal Chamber. Then the crazy mutha fucka comes out with DevilDriver – the most extreme and brutal band of all time. It’s like get the fuck out of town home dog!
And getting a beard tattooed on your face? Forget about it! That shit is radical!
LTH: You’ve touched on your influences briefly during this interview, and it offers a fascinating insight into the world of 5FDP that I, for one am thrilled, excited and, frankly, a little over-awed by. If I may peer a little deeper into the well of metallic perfection that is your life, what are your top 5 albums?
IM: Broseph, I only need one albizzay up in this bitch. Only one album can step to me, step to me motherfucker and that’s Fieldy’s Dreams.
LTH: Ah I knew it! Superb choice! I must commend you on your flawless taste. It has been speculated upon by scholars of this fine art that you were lyrically influenced by Fieldy and I feel that my choice of studying this for my thesis is now vindicated by your revelation. There is so much more depth to your lyrics though, Ivan. Would you care to shed some light on them?
IM: Well the key to success in this metal game is you gotta come across as bein’ a bad ass jock. I gots that demographic cornered bitch. If you can be homophobic and call people faggots too then it’s all good yo. I likes to think my lyrics are a window to my soul, like Durst or Wes Scantlin. You got to overcompensate for your deficiencies as a man playa, so I talk about knockin’ punk-asses out and fuckin’ dominating these hater fools, and if you can do it posing in MMA shorts then it totally means it’s true.
And let me tell you something, it’s nothing to do with me being really unpopular at school and girls laughing at me, calling me Ivana, then the bigger boys would push me and I was like “one day you’ll step to me and I won’t piss my pants! I’m gonna be a singer and work out to be real big too! I swear! I swear it… I swear it…
LTH: It’s ok Ivan, let it all out.
Have a tissue, take a minute.
IM: Yeah, so as I was sayin’ I’m a bad ass. You liked my joke about bein’ a fragile pussy just there right? Haha I hate faggots! I’m totally not gay! No siree!
LTH: You were involved in a car accident recently. I, along with millions of others, kept a vigil at my 5FDP shrine, praying that you; sweet, blessed urban poet would pull through and live to shine your bright, beautiful light into our cold, dark hearts once again. I understand this is difficult, but would you like to tell us about it?
IM: Well dawg, it’s like this. Everyday is a new day, I’m thankful for every breath I take.
I won’t take you for granted, so I learn from my mistakes. It’s beyond my control, sometimes it’s best to let go, whatever happens in this lifetime. So I trust in love (so I trust in love), you have given me peace of mind.
IIIIIIII feel so alive, for the very first time. I can’t deny you, I feel so alive. IIIIII feel so alive, for the very first time. And I think I can fly… Fly… Fly…
I’m writin’ a song about it, it’s gonna be a fuckin’ original smash.
LTH: I, like so many other dedicated acolytes am fit to burst with sweet, sweet anticipation of your future musical endeavours, something that, in my humble opinion, promises to be the zenith of man’s musical achievement to date. What’s next in store for 5 Finger Death Punch?
IM: Well motha fucka we just bought some Papa Roach CD’s at a charity shop so we’re gonna see what we can take from there. Plus I been studying some of John Cena’s interviews and been looking for some lyrical inspiration within his mad rhymes. Plus our guitarist used to be in Hilary Duff’s band so we gonna get him to bring some more of her trademark shreddin lead sound over to this bitch and totally beef it up, injectin those mad ‘roids into our tunes like I do to my ass.
LTH: We all know that your band cannot be matched in terms of compositional skill, lyrical genius and technical ability, but if you could give some advice to aspiring metal musicians, who one day aspire to be in a band that makes such a difference as 5 Finger Death Punch or, god willing to even share a stage with you in future, what would it be?
IM: You gots to stay faithful to the classics dawg, pay your fuckin’ dues and win the fuckin’ war. If I hadn’t spent my formative years – 1999-2001 – listening to Spineshank, Adema and the Kings of Metal – Puddle of Mudd, then I wouldn’t have been able to produce the cutting edge shit I’m bringin’ today. Also dawg, let me tell you something, if you ain’t got a coloured, plaited beard or maybe a Mohawk you can forget about makin’ it in this business bro.
And bitch, if you ain’t got tribal tattoos, I just gots just one thing to say – ‘1, 2 Fuck You!’
LTH: Superb, ribald wit Mr Moody, It has been an honour and a privilege to spend this moment discussing your phenomenal musical career.
Thank you Sir.
* Disclaimer: No, we didn’t really interview Ivan Moody. This is, however, exactly how it would have gone.