To appreciate the present, you've got to look at the past, even if takes you to some dark places. For Five Finger Death Punch vocalist Ivan Moody, 2016 brought his longtime issues with alcohol to a head, but after some struggles he now appears to be on the path to a healthier future. Moody has infused some of his journey into the band's new album F8 and he says in a new interview with Metal Hammer that he's lucky to be alive.

In November of 2016, Moody took the stage at a show in Worcester visibly emotional with the band eventually cutting their set short. Not long after, it was revealed that All That Remains singer Phil Labonte would finish out the run.

Moody required a stint in rehab. Guitarist Zoltan Bathory recalls, “We were running off the rails and we were like, ‘OK, we can’t keep Ivan on the road because he’s going to fucking die. He has to go to rehab. Whatever it takes.’”

Moody adds, “At first, man, I was fucking livid, but Phil’s a blessing, man. That guy saved the day for me. If I would’ve finished that European tour, I’d have died on the plane ride home.”

The following year another incident occurred when Moody didn't start the show with band while on tour in Europe. Bad Wolves' vocalist Tommy Vext, who had stepped in at the beginning of the night, would eventually fill in for Moody during the European dates as well, while another rehab stint was in order.

“I didn’t want to quit,” Ivan recalls. “To me, drinking was fun and it was part of the life and it was just something that was a part of me. So I figured as long as I didn’t hinder on anybody else’s good time, it didn’t fucking matter. And what I didn’t realize is that it was killing everything around me. It was like putting gasoline on a lawn and expecting it to grow back.”

The singer credits both Korn's Jonathan Davis and Judas Priest's Rob Halford for some tough love and support as he continued his battle with sobriety.

In the Louder Sound piece, Moody said that eventually a close friend pointed out how he had everything he'd ever dreamed of and that's when it finally set in what was on the line. "Holy shit, I’ve got everything I ever wanted and more. What’s wrong with me? Why do I get all this?" said Moody. "It really fucked me up, man. I don’t understand why some people get access to the universe and other people feel like they’re meant to just be stagnant and fail. It hurts, man. When I watch people I love so much just deteriorate in front of me and I can’t do anything about it… why in the fuck am I in this position and nobody else gets to see that light? It’s taken a lot for me to understand that the position I’m in is meant to benefit other people.”

Now, 19 months sober, Moody is on a healthier path, and it's showing up in the music. Producer Kevin Churko says, “His range is different now than when he’s drinking, and stronger in many ways. It’s benefited him in almost every way. He shows up on time. He shows up.”

Moody also isn't shying away from his battle, using it to fuel some of the new music. “To hear this takes me to places that I’ll never be able to escape. This is as raw as I’ll ever be. It’s painful as a motherfucker to hear some of it because it’s still so fresh,” says the singer.

Five Finger Death Punch's F8 album is on track for a Feb. 28 release. Pre-orders are currently being taken here, while there are also merch bundles available at this location. The band is currently in the midst of a European tour, with a U.S. run to follow in April. Get ticketing info here.

In other Five Finger Death Punch news, you can currently enter to win a chance to check out the band playing with Papa Roach in Phoenix. I Prevail and Ice Nine Kills will also be part of the show at Talking Stick Arena. Get entry details here.

See Five Finger Death Punch in 2020's Most Anticipated Rock + Metal Albums

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