December 18, 2018

Drummer Jeremy Spencer has announced his departure from FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH. After sitting out the fall leg of the group's recent co-headlining tour with BREAKING BENJAMIN, Jeremy underwent a second back surgery and will need a significant amount of time to recover; the band fully supports his decision.

Spencer said in a statement: "It's with mixed emotion that I share with you the following news: I regret that I've decided to step down as the drummer of FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH. This decision has been weighing on me for months. Now the time has finally come. I've been playing drums since I was six years old. After years of the physicality leading to surgeries, I feel it's best to step down.

"As with professional athletes, when the body and mental state don't achieve the standard required to meet the rigorous demands necessary to perform at a high level, the choice is clear. I feel fortunate that my body has provided me with several decades of doing what I love: playing double-bass and shredding the drums. However, the rigorous physical wear and tear has worn down my body to the point where I feel I can no longer deliver a performance you great fans deserve and one that brings me satisfaction and joy. In addition, I feel the band deserves to get someone with fresh fire and energy — capable of delivering DEATH PUNCH music the way fans deserve. I'm confident they will! Like you, I will be cheering on the band to continue making great music as they tour the world and bring exciting shows to all our cherished fans.

"Personally, I have a number of future projects I'm excited about — all of which require that I be physically able to move fluidly and without pain. I hope you'll continue to be part of the next chapter of my life.

"I sincerely wish nothing but the very best for my brothers in DEATH PUNCH family. And I encourage our fans to continue supporting whoever replaces me.

"We decided early on to do everything possible to make you fans feel special. As a result, we've always had the most supportive and dedicated Knuckleheads. I know I speak for everyone when I saw we're grateful beyond words. Personally, you have made these years the highlight of my life. Thank you for helping make this dream a reality. Please know I am eternally grateful. Thank you for everything."

For its fall tour with BREAKING BENJAMIN, FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH was joined by drummer Charlie Engen.

The 33-year-old Engen, who was previously identified only as "a drum prodigy" called "The Engine", played his first show with FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH on November 6 in Wichita, Kansas.

The Saint Paul, Minnesota-based Engen has been teaching drums for more than 15 years and currently offers private and Skype lessons at his home studio, along with playing in the bands SCALE THE SUMMIT and IDEOLOGY.

In 2014, Jeremy released his autobiography, "Death Punch'd: Surviving Five Finger Death Punch's Metal Mayhem", which hit the Top 10 on the New York Times Celebrities Best Sellers list.

Spencer told The Pulse Of Radio a while back how his book came about. "I decided to clean myself up and I went into rehab a few years ago, and the day I got out I basically just started writing my whole life as a therapeutic kind of exercise," he said. "I was writing about a thousand to two thousand words a day. I would do it on tour, in the tour bus, wherever we were, and it started to shape up into something kind of interesting."

Spencer said at the time that he'd "received dozens of messages sharing how my story has inspired others to seek help or stay clean."

FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH's latest album, "And Justice For None", debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 chart back in May. The set launched with 71,000 equivalent album units earned in the U.S. in the week ending May 24, according to Nielsen Music. Of that sum, 60,000 were in traditional album sales.