FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH Singer Looks Back On His Near-Death Experience: 'All These Memories Started Flashing Before My Eyes'
January 14, 2022
FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH's Ivan Moody has once again opened up about his struggles with alcohol addiction. The singer, who celebrated his third year of sobriety last March, previously said that he nearly died due to an alcohol-related seizure and woke up surrounded by EMTs and his daughter holding him while crying. He also admitted that he went to rehab five times before the last time finally stuck.
Moody's near-death experience was recounted in FIVE FINGER's music video for the song "The Tragic Truth" which was released last week to coincide with Ivan's 42nd birthday.
Earlier today, Ivan released an Instagram video in which he answered a couple of fan-submitted questions regarding "The Tragic Truth" clip. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "The question that keeps coming up more often than not is about my death. First off, was it real? Yes. I tried to quit drinking by myself, on my own, for four days, and the fourth day my body shut down, I went into seizure and I died. I was handing my daughter a glass of water one second, and we'll get into the next.
"Two, what did I see? Now, for you to hear this, for one you have to ask yourself, do you believe in life after death?" he continued. "I myself grew up a skeptic — very science ridden. Half of my family was Christian and the other half was Catholic, so from the get-go I was confused, and I found holes in the system all the way through it. Organized religion was never something I really bought in to. Needless to say, rebel as I do, I went hunting for answers. Far and wide, theology became my thing. I studied everything from Buddhism to paganism, Wicca — which is still very close to my heart, as a lot of you know — and Satanism. No, not the stuff you see on TV — not sacrificing cats and enchantments and shit like that — the real work; the stuff that actually includes empathy. But that's a whole another story; we won't go there. Needless to say, it all became moot at one point when I died. It was nothing like anything that you think or that I thought for that matter or could have imagined. There was no light."
Ivan added: "I told Zoltan [Bathory, FIVE FINGER guitarist] it was like becoming a part of the universal hum — complete peace. It wasn't cold; it wasn't hot. There was no burden of any sort. And for a brief second, I was free. And all these memories, which is, I'm assuming, why people say your life goes flashing before your eyes, started flashing before my eyes. And I saw things from my infancy all the way up to that moment. And I remember thinking, 'This is too good. And I'm not ready for this. I have more to do.' And I'm not saying that; I truly remember thinking that. And out of the distance, I heard a voice, and it was my daughter, just like the video, when you see the hand come out and grab mine. And I don't know how to explain it, and believe me when I tell you this, I don't think some things are meant to be explained, but my heart lit up, clenched — I could feel it — and I became mass again. And I [felt myself coming] right back into my body. Truth. And I opened my eyes, and it was wet. And I looked up and it was my daughter, holding my head [and] crying on my face. And above me were two EMTs with paddles. And I remember them asking me questions. And the very first words out of my mouth [were], 'Please don't tell the fans.' Documented. My first concern was that I was going to let you down and my bandmates. Not the fact that my beautiful daughter was holding my head or that I was a fucking drunk or I just had this disease and I couldn't fight through it; none of it occurred to me. The only thing that mattered was that you and my bandmates still had faith in me, because music is all I have; it's my whole connection to everything."
In September 2018, Moody told the WEBN radio station that he was "back and forth for a while" in his struggle to stay sober. "I'd do three months, then relapse." He added: "Recovery, you have to be committed; it's an honest program, and I wasn't being honest with myself at the time. I'm very, very proud of the progress I've made."
Moody went on to credit several of his friends and musical peers with helping him get through some of his darker moments. "Rob Halford [JUDAS PRIEST] is the person that I called a lot of the time when I was in recovery," he revealed. "I think he's been sober now for going on 40 years — maybe, I think, a little longer than that; I could be wrong. But Jamey Jasta [HATEBREED] — another one. Jamey's been sober now for [two decades]; Jonathan Davis [KORN]; so on and so forth. So these were all people that I looked to when I was struggling, and I was very, very lucky and blessed to have them on my team."
Moody also revealed that he was sober but massively hung over during his onstage meltdown in Europe in 2017, with the band sending him home after that and later welcoming him back on a "probationary" basis after both Phil Labonte from ALL THAT REMAINS and Tommy Vext from BAD WOLVES filled in on a couple of tours.
Originally released in 2011, "The Tragic Truth" appeared as a bonus track exclusive to the iTunes edition of FIVE FINGER's third album, "American Capitalist", and was also included on the second installment of the group's greatest-hits collection, "A Decade Of Destruction – Volume 2", which came out on digital and CD formats in October 2020.
FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH's most recent album, "F8", was produced by longtime collaborator Kevin Churko and debuted at No. 1 on rock charts around the world with Top 10 Mainstream chart debuts in the USA, Austria, Australia, Canada, Finland, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, the U.K. and more. "F8" features No. 1 hit singles "Inside Out", "A Little Bit Off", "Living The Dream" and "Darkness Settles In".