Just one day after Five Finger Death Punch assured fans that recent personal conflicts among members had been smoothed over, the metal band has a new announcement: Frontman Ivan Moody will sit out the remainder of the band’s European tour due to his struggles with substance abuse.
Bad Wolves vocalist Tommy Vext is set to fill in for Moody, who threatened to quit the band onstage at a concert Monday in Tilburg, Netherlands. Though the group quickly confirmed that their European tour would continue — because “that’s rock ‘n’ roll” — it now seems they’ll be doing it sans Moody.
In an emotional statement to fans, Moody credits his leave of absence to his known substance abuse problems. “I am embarrassed and ashamed to admit that I have fallen off the wagon again,” Moody writes. “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 band mates 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.”
Adds Five Finger Death Punch guitarist Zoltan Bathory: “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.”
Vext also released a statement, noting his own past struggles with sobriety. “It is a tremendous honor to share the stage with Five Finger Death Punch on these remaining dates. 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,” Vext said.
Five Finger Death Punch recently tacked on an extra five-week run beginning in November to their European tour, during which they’ll be joined by Swedish metal band In Flames. The group will continue touring now through late December, hitting festivals like Hellfest in France, Moonstock Festival and Louder Than Life this summer.