Five Finger Death Punch’s Zoltan Bathory on Ivan Moody: ‘The Last Three Shows Were the Best Shows I’ve Seen Him Do for Years’
Five Finger Death Punch have experienced a turbulent 2017. With vocalist Ivan Moody checking himself into treatment to address his battle with alcohol, FFDP’s future seemed to be up in the air. We recently spoke with FFDP guitarist Zoltan Bathory, who filled us in on the band’s future plans and how Moody’s recovery is going.
Moody had to clear up a statement he made in April, which made it seem like he was finished with Five Finger Death Punch. Just two months later, Moody claimed onstage in the Netherlands that the crowd was witnessing his “last show with Five Finger Death Punch.” All That Remains’ Phil Labonte was recruited to fill in for Moody late last year, and Divine Heresy’s Tommy Vext filled in on vocals during shows this past summer, but Moody returned to FFDP in late August and has played a number of shows since.
“He’s been battling his demons for a long, long time, actually since I’ve known him,” Bathory says. “He’s always had an issue and sometimes he’s great, sometimes he’s not. It’s a battle. He doesn’t haven’t a substance issue, he’s always had a drinking issue. I started to realize that it was a real misalignment, it’s a real illness. It can’t simply be discarded like, ‘Why can’t you get yourself straight?’ It’s not that simple. So he’s battling this and he’s trying. He’s been in rehab a few times, he’s been in for a longer period of time now.”
Seeing Moody’s recent performances has given Bathory a bright outlook for the singer’s future in the band. “The last three shows were the best shows I’ve seen him do for years,” raves Zoltan. “He looked happy and he looked healthier. Obviously, the whole band is around him and everybody’s supporting him and trying to be brothers and understanding and trying to keep him straight. So cross your fingers, I think this is the time when he can do it.”
As for a new FFDP album, Bathory hopes to release something in early 2018. “We had a little issue with our old label, we recorded an album that we’ve been waiting to release for a year now,” he describes. “Hopefully we can release a new album in 2018, somewhere in the first quarter.”
Zoltan Bathory has been using some of his free time away from Five Finger Death Punch to support VETPAW, an organization of U.S. veterans dedicated to fighting the elephant and rhino poaching epidemic across Africa. We spoke to both Zoltan and VETPAW founder Ryan Tate about the worlds of rock and conservation colliding, so click here to check it out!
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