5FDP Update: Ivan Moody Sitting Out Tour

After initially explaining away Ivan Moody’s recent onstage remarks about his “last show” with the band as typical live show unpredictability, Five Finger Death Punch announced today that Bad Wolves vocalist Tommy Vext will be filling in as frontman on the current European tour so Moody can get help for substance abuse.

The news posted on the band’s website points out that Moody’s “struggles with substance abuse are widely known.”

Ivan Moody of Five Finger Death PunchJim HillIvan Moody of Five Finger Death PunchVan Andel Arena, Grand Rapids, Mich.

“I am embarrassed and ashamed to admit that I have fallen off the wagon again,” Moody said in a statement. “I was on shaky ground prior to our performance in Tilburg, and although a lot of the events of that show were out of my control, the shame of not delivering pushed me over the edge.  It would not be fair to my bandmates or my fans to continue to perform in my current condition.  One of the worst parts of addiction is the loneliness you feel, so having the support of my band and all the knuckleheads is what drives me.  I am committed to getting better so I can get back out on stage as soon as possible.”

Five Finger Death Punch guitarist Zoltan Bathory released the following statement on behalf of the group: “As a band, we are committed to supporting Ivan’s road to recovery.  We are as baffled and saddened as anyone to watch our brother continue to struggle.  Almost everyone in the world knows someone who struggles with addiction, and can relate to how the self-destruction of someone they care about is very difficult to watch.  Five Finger Death Punch has every intention of playing the dates we’re committed to and beyond.  The band is bigger than any one member.”

Moody was captured on video telling the audience in Tilburg, Netherlands, June 12 that the concert was his final performance with Five Finger Death Punch. The frontman reportedly didn’t take the stage with the band until the third song, with Vext filling in on vocals, according to Loudwire. The magazine points to Dutch website BD.nl that claims the band “disappeared after every song [for] minutes from the stage and seemed to quarrel among themselves.” The show was reportedly cut short after just 40 minutes.

The incident comes less than two months after Moody was forced to release a statement to clarify that his comments on a radio show about leaving the band were taken out of context.

The band also made headlines in late November for ending a show early after Moody told the audience his mother was “passing along” that day. He later told fans he had been having a “mental moment.”  All That Remains vocalist Phil Labonte ended up filing in for Moody on the band’s remaining December gigs.

Five Finger Death Punch has less than a dozen gigs left on its current European tour, concluding June 24 with an appearance at “Tons Of Rock” in Halden, Norway. After that the band has a number of U.S. festival appearances booked between August and October, followed by a European tour with In Flames in November and December.

“It is a tremendous honor to share the stage with Five Finger Death Punch on these remaining dates,” Vext said. “Today I am blessed with over 8 years of sobriety, so I can certainly empathize with Ivan’s struggles.  Not only do I feel a responsibility to deliver for the fans of Five Finger Death Punch on these remaining dates, but also to deliver for Ivan so he can get back to work as soon as he is healthy.”

Earlier this week Vext split with Westfield Massacre. The band tweeted a link to an article on ThePrP.com on Monday saying that Seann Nicols (Bobby Blotzer’s Ratt, formerly of Quiet Riot) was taking over on vocals.