ARTISTdirect editor Rick Florino recently conducted an interview with FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH vocalist Ivan Moody. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
ARTISTdirect: After you record a song does it take on a life of its own and evolve? Has [the new FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH single] “Under And Over It” undergone that process yet?
Moody: They absolutely do evolve. When I wrote the song, it was more of a lashing out. As I’ve listened to it and to other people’s reactions more, it tempers the inherent anger, releasing it in a fun and witty way instead of letting it sit inside and fester. We just played in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and a kid walked up to me and said, “That has got to be the wittiest song I’ve ever heard in my life.” I think that was the coolest compliment I’ve ever received. It shows that somebody’s actually listening to it beyond the aggression of the scream or how hard the guitar is. He was listening to what I was saying and he got it. Singers like Maynard James Keenan [TOOL] and Mike Patton [FAITH NO MORE] have such a great way of executing sarcasm. At the same time, you know there’s a certain amount of seriousness. To know someone else got that out of the song is a pretty proud moment for me.
ARTISTdirect: What’s most special about “Under And Over It” for you?
Moody: The verses are so powerful. It’s just like the old saying, “The grass is always greener on the other side.” People have heard it a hundred times but music is an industry. It’s really hard to get through this. You have so many fingers in everything you do. Opinions are thrown at you constantly, and your life is basically on display. That chorus is me saying, “If you really truly want it, this is what’s going to come with it. I’d love to trade you for just one day.” There are some days where I’d love to wake up, work the job the rest of the world’s doing, live the same schedule they are, and be able to sleep in my bad every night. That’s not a reality for me, though. It’s an amazing job, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. At the end of the day, it’s just as taxing as anything else in life.
ARTISTdirect: Audiences don’t realize how grueling touring in a band is.
Moody: Everybody says, “It’s the hurry up and wait game.” The music industry is all about hurry up and wait. One time, we were talking to Rob Zombie backstage, and he looked at me and said, “Just remember that you never get paid for that hour you’re on stage. You’re getting paid for the 23 hours of bullshit you have to deal with getting there”. I thought that was genius, and I’ve always tried to keep that in my head.
ARTISTdirect: Do you feel like this is always what the band was meant to sound like?
Moody: When we started out, we didn’t know how to be diverse yet. Through time, we learned each other. We got the chance to dig into our roots on this album and not necessarily write for what radio was going to like or what some shmuck in the middle nowhere is going to get. We wanted to put all of our musical references into a piece of art and see how it comes out. It’s night and day from the stuff we started doing. It still has some of the same elements that have drawn people in from day one.
ARTISTdirect: You also preserve that metallic side.
Moody: I’m a metal kid at heart. That’s where it all started with PANTERA, BLACK SABBATH, SLAYER, CROWBAR, and KYUSS. I love metal. It pisses the world off, and it’s one of the greatest forms of music for that reason.
ARTISTdirect: Does setup the next batch of songs, too?
Moody: We’re not going to stop there. I live and breathe music. This is all I’ve ever wanted in my life. If anybody thinks we’re making four or five albums and walking away from it, they’re highly mistaken and we’re going to prove them wrong. We’re going to be here for a long time to come.
Read the entire interview from ARTISTdirect.
“Under And Over It” audio stream: