Denver’s Ivan Moody has become one of the most celebrated hardcore musicians to surface from the Mile High City and his band, Five Finger Death Punch, has rapidly become one of the biggest contemporary hard rock/metal bands in the world.
Through it all, Moody has not forgotten his Denver roots.
Q: How did you make your way from being a musician in Colorado to the front man of Five Finger Death Punch?
A: I started singing when I was 15 or 16 years-old. I lived in Denver most of my life and I decided to move to L.A. when I was 22. That’s when I met my old band, Motograter. It didn’t really pan out and a lot of logistics stuff went awry. I joined another band called Ghost Machine; it really wasn’t going in the direction I wanted it to so I took some time off and came back home to Denver and got an email from a guy named Zoltan—I was pretty much done with music at that point, to be honest with you—asking me to come out and audition for him. I went out and fell completely in love with the guys and have been with them for about three and a half years now.
Who influences you as a musician?
I know it’s probably not the answer you want, but I’m influenced by just about everybody; people like Martin Luther King, Neil Armstrong, Michael Jordan. For music I’ve always been a huge Mike Patton fan, I love Phil Anselmo, Layne Staley, Lynn Strait…I’ve always been such a sucker for music.
FFDP is the only band to have two songs on the Active Rock Top 20 charts.
And we are also the only band that has five songs in the Top 100.
How do you feel about that?
I feel amazing about it! It’s a lot of hard work finally paying off. Nothing came easy for us. Everybody seems to assume that just because you’re a rock band everything is thrown in your lap — it’s nothing like you see on TV. I love what I do but at the end of the day it kinda takes a toll on you.
A lot of people are saying that Denver is the next big city for music. Do you think that’s true?
Denver has had the potential to be the next Seattle for the last 10 years. Radio stations like KILO and KBPI do so much for local projects. I’ve been all over the world and most DJs don’t give a shit — they don’t want to rotate you and it’s not their concern. So, for Willie, Nasty and Missy (KBPI) and Wendy at KILO to go out of their way and make these special moments for these bands and create situations for them to open for bigger projects is a big deal. Denver has amazingly talented people here, it always has.
What is going to give FFDP the staying power they need to make it in the long run?
I think it comes down to the members. How much do we have in us? Are we wanting to go out there and make another four albums? We do. Do we enjoy touring 10 months out of the year? Yes, we love it. The old saying is that the pay is great but the hours suck.
So what’s next for FFDP?
After the Godsmack tour I’m coming home and the rest of the guys are going to Vegas and we’re going to start working on the third album. We’ve got Kevin Churko, who’s worked with Ozzy and Nickleback. I’m just looking forward to some time off to be honest with you; I’d like to go check out some local acts and get back in the mix.
Paige Montgomery is a Denver-based freelance writer. Check out more of her work on MySpace.