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Five Finger Death Punch

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Five Finger Death Punch
5fdp.jpg
Five Finger Death Punch performing at 2010's Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards.
Background information
Also known as
  • 5FDP
  • FFDP
  • Death Punch
Origin Los Angeles, California, United States
Genres
Years active 2005–present
Labels
Associated acts W.A.S.P.
Website fivefingerdeathpunch.com
Members Zoltan Bathory
Jeremy Spencer
Ivan Moody
Jason Hook
Chris Kael
Past members Matt Snell
Caleb Bingham
Darrell Roberts

Five Finger Death Punch, often shortened to Death Punch and abbreviated as 5FDP or FFDP, is an American heavy metal band from Los Angeles, California. Formed in 2005, the band's name is derived from a fictional martial arts maneuver in the 2003 film Kill Bill. The band originally consisted of vocalist Ivan Moody, guitarist Zoltan Bathory, guitarist Caleb Andrew Bingham, bassist Matt Snell, and drummer Jeremy Spencer. Bingham was replaced by guitarist Darrell Roberts in 2006, who was then replaced by Jason Hook in 2009. Bassist Matt Snell departed from the band in 2010,[1] and was replaced by Chris Kael in 2011.

Five Finger Death Punch's debut album The Way of the Fist was released in 2007, following which the band began achieving rapid success. The 2009 follow-up album War Is the Answer further increased their popularity, leading to both of the albums being certified gold by the RIAA, selling at least 500,000 copies each in the United States. The band's third album, American Capitalist, was released on October 11, 2011 and achieved Gold status within the year. The band has played international music festivals including Mayhem Festival in 2008, 2010 and 2013, and Download Festival in 2009, 2010, 2013 and 2015.

Five Finger Death Punch are the recipients of the Radio Contraband Rock Radio Awards for "Indie Artist of the Year" in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014. They were also honored with the Radio Contraband Rock Radio Award for Album (American Capitalist) and Song of the Year ("Coming Down") in 2012 and "Video of the Year" for "Wrong Side of Heaven" in 2014.

History[edit]

Formation and The Way of the Fist (2005–2009)[edit]

Main article: The Way of the Fist

Five Finger Death Punch was founded in 2005[2] by former U.P.O. bassist[3] Zoltan Bathory and drummer Jeremy Spencer, Zoltan deriving the band's name from classic martial arts cinema.[4] Bassist Matt Snell joined in early 2006. Later that year, Bathory contacted former Motograter vocalist Ivan Moody, sending him some of the material the band had recorded and asked him to audition for the vocalist position. Moody flew from his home in Denver, Colorado to Los Angeles and quickly began recording material with the band.[5]

Jason Hook, who replaced guitarist Darrell Roberts in 2009

By the end of 2006, their debut album, The Way of the Fist had been recorded and entirely self-produced. The album was recorded with Stevo "Shotgun" Bruno and Mike Sarkisyan and was mixed by guitarist Logan Mader.[6] After searching for a second guitarist, they found Caleb Bingham who played some shows with the band, but was later replaced by Darrell Roberts.[7] Shortly after recording the album, they signed a record deal with Firm Music, a branch of "The Firm".[8] On July 10, 2007, they released an EP, Pre-Emptive Strike exclusively through the American iTunes Store.[9] The album's lead single, "The Bleeding", was released on July 13, 2007.[10] The Way of the Fist was released on July 31, 2007. The album entered the Billboard 200 at number 199 and was certified gold in 2011.[11]

Jeremy Spencer in 2014

From July 30 – September 2, 2007, the band went on their first major tour cycle as one of the supporting acts on Korn's Family Values Tour.[12] They were also a supporting act of the North American leg of Korn's Bitch We Have a Problem Tour from September 22 – October 27, 2007.[12] They were set to tour with Chimaira and All That Remains from January through March 2008, but due to singer Moody developing cysts on his vocal cords they were forced to pull out.[13] He made a full recovery and they began to tour again.[14] They supported Disturbed on their Indestructible US Tour from April through May 2008.[15]

The Way of the Fist was re-released on May 13, 2008, with 3 bonus tracks.[16] One of the bonus tracks, "Never Enough" was released as the album's second single on July 15, 2008. Later that year they were a part of the 2008 Mayhem Festival playing the Jägermeister Stage. The third single from The Way of the Fist, "Stranger Than Fiction" was released on September 17, 2008. The Way of the Fist was released through Spinefarm Records in Canada on November 4, 2008,[17] and in Europe on January 19, 2009.[18] In January 2009 Darrell Roberts was asked to leave the band[19] and was replaced by guitarist Jason Hook.[20] They ended their support for their first album playing the main stage at the 2009 Download Festival.[21]

War Is the Answer (2009–2010)[edit]

Main article: War Is the Answer
Vocalist Moody performing at Rock on the Range 2010 in Columbus, Ohio.

In May 2009, Five Finger Death Punch announced their second studio album, War Is the Answer.[22] The album was produced by Kevin Churko and mixed by Randy Staub.[23] The album debuted at number 7 on the Billboard 200[24] and has been certified platinum by the RIAA.[25] The first single from the album, "Hard to See", was released on July 21, 2009.[26] To promote War Is the Answer, Five Finger Death Punch embarked on "The Shock and Raw" US Tour. Main support on the tour was provided by Shadows Fall, with additional support coming from Otep and 2Cents. Upon completing the US run of the tour, Five Finger Death Punch then brought the Shock and Raw tour to Europe, finishing off with a run of dates in the UK. Main support for these dates was again Shadows Fall, and opening acts for the UK portion of the tour were Rise To Remain and Magnacult.[27]

Zoltan Bathory in 2012

The second single from War Is the Answer, "Walk Away", was released on November 2, 2009. The album also spawned two UK-only singles, "Dying Breed", released on November 16, 2009,[28] and "No One Gets Left Behind", released on March 8, 2010.[29] During March 2010, Five Finger Death Punch traveled to Iraq and played 10 shows for the United States troops.[30] The band's cover of Bad Company's self-titled song was released as the fifth single from War Is the Answer on May 17, 2010. On their way to perform at Rock am Ring and Rock im Park Zoltan Bathory, Matt Snell and Jeremy Spencer were detained by German police for alleged international weapons violations. After recognizing the event as a misunderstanding, German police released the band members and they appeared at both Rock im Park on June 4, 2010 and Rock am Ring June 6, 2010 as scheduled.[31]

Five Finger Death Punch also played the Maurice Jones Main Stage at the 2010 Download Festival on June 12, 2010.[32] While playing the song "Dying Breed", their set was cut due to too many people crowd surfing up to the stage. They were allowed to play one final song, "The Bleeding".[33] They played the main stage at Mayhem Festival 2010 with Korn, Rob Zombie and Lamb of God from July 10 until August 14, 2010.[34] On August 17, 2010 they performed the songs "Bad Company" and "Hard to See" on the ABC show Jimmy Kimmel Live!.[35] On September 16, 2010, The band released "Far from Home" as the sixth single from War Is the Answer.[36] They supported Godsmack on their "The Oracle 2010" tour from October 3 – November 4, 2010.[37][38] The song, "Dying Breed" was featured on the soundtrack for Namco Bandai Games' remake of Splatterhouse, released on November 23, 2010.

American Capitalist (2010–2013)[edit]

Main article: American Capitalist

The band began to record their third studio album in November 2010[39] at The Hideout studios in Las Vegas, Nevada. Bassist Matt Snell departed from the band in December 2010,[40] and in June 2011, Chris Kael was announced as Snell's replacement.[41] The band's third album, titled American Capitalist, was released October 11, 2011.[42] Production for the album was handled again by Kevin Churko.[43] The first single from American Capitalist, entitled "Under and Over It", was released on July 27, 2011,[44] following a music video in September 2011. In support of the album, Five Finger Death Punch embarked on their "Share the Welt" tour from October 16 – December 14, 2011 with support from All That Remains, Hatebreed and Rains and their "Furious and Deadly" tour from March 23 – April 12, 2012 with support from Soulfly, Windowpane, and Persist.[45] The song "Back For More" is included on the soundtrack for the video game Madden NFL 12.[46] "Back for More" was released as a digital single on September 13, 2011.[47] "Remember Everything" was released as the second official single for American Capitalist in November 2011,[48] with a music video following in February 2012.[49] "Coming Down" was released as the third official single from American Capitalist in April 2012,[50] with a music video, directed by Nick Peterson, following in June 2012.[51] The song also won the band an Independent Music Award in 2013 for Best Metal/Hardcore Song.[52]

From July 13 – August 28, 2012, Five Finger Death Punch took part in Metal Hammer's "Trespass America Festival" with support from Battlecross, God Forbid, Emmure, Pop Evil, Trivium and Killswitch Engage.[53]

The Wrong Side of Heaven and the Righteous Side of Hell (2013–2015)[edit]

On February 15, 2013, Five Finger Death Punch stated on Facebook that they were working on a fourth album, due in the summer. On February 28, the band posted a picture on Facebook of Moody recording vocals for the album. On March 12, an update video was posted to YouTube.[54] On March 18, the band was announced to be playing Mayhem Festival 2013. On March 18, Five Finger Death Punch posted a promotional video for their next tour with a new song "Here to Die".[55]

On May 1, 2013, Five Finger Death Punch announced the release of their next two studio albums collectively titled The Wrong Side of Heaven and the Righteous Side of Hell with Volume 1 being released on July 30, and Volume 2 following on November 19. During the fifth annual Golden Gods Awards, Five Finger Death Punch performed a new song with Rob Halford of Judas Priest entitled "Lift Me Up". The song was released as a single on May 14.

On June 6, Five Finger Death Punch revealed the artwork for The Wrong Side of Heaven and the Righteous Side of Hell, Volume 1 and also released a snippet of future single "Dot Your Eyes" [56] Volume 1 reached the #2 position on the Billboard 200 with 113,000 copies sold in its first week, making it the band's most successful debut to date.[57] The Wrong Side of Heaven and the Righteous Side of Hell Volume 1 has sold over 210,000 copies as of August 2013.[58]

On September 9, 2013, Five Finger Death Punch released a new single: "Battle Born", in anticipation of their fifth studio album The Wrong Side of Heaven and the Righteous Side of Hell, Volume 2. It sold 77,000 copies in its first week, and once again landed in the number 2 position on the Billboard 200.[59]

On August 11, 2014, Five Finger Death Punch released a video for the song "Wrong Side of Heaven". The video is about homeless veterans suffering from PTSD, TBI and depression after serving in the military, and not receiving the help they need despite this.[60]

Got Your Six (2015–present)[edit]

Main article: Got Your Six

On December 12, 2013, Five Finger Death Punch revealed in a radio interview that they had already begun working on a sixth studio album.[61]

On January 14, 2015, Five Finger Death Punch announced US Spring headline tour dates from April 25 to May 9, 2015 and their intention to enter the studio to write and record a new album.[62]

On May 2, 2015, the band released the title of their sixth album, Got Your Six as well as a teaser for a new song titled "Ain't My Last Dance" on their official Facebook page.[63] The album, which was slated for release on August 28, 2015,[64] was later pushed back by a week.

On May 19, 2015, the band announced a co-headlining North American Tour with Papa Roach to promote the upcoming album and were accompanied by In This Moment as special guests with support from From Ashes To New for the tour.[65][66][67] The band also performed on the main stage as part of Download Festival 2015.

On April 27, 2016, Billboard reported that Five Finger Death Punch's record label Prospect Park filed a lawsuit against the band on April 21, 2016 for breaching their contract.[68] The basis of the claim cites that the band began working on a new album without Prospect Park's consent.

Musical style and influences[edit]

Five Finger Death Punch has been described as heavy metal, groove metal,[70][71][72] thrash metal,[70] alternative metal[73] and hard rock.[74] Thom Jurek of AllMusic wrote that Five Finger Death Punch's "instantly recognizable sound is comprised of equal parts melodic and meaty guitar riffs, fat vamps, catchy hooks, tight, flashy solos, and hard-grooving bass and drums". Five Finger Death Punch vocalist Ivan Moody's vocals are usually singing and screaming.[73] Five Finger Death Punch also occasionally play ballads.[75]

Bathory described Five Finger Death Punch as "a straight-up heavy metal band with a hint of thrash metal — maybe a hint of the Euro stuff in there" and then said, "that's pretty much what we are".[76] Spencer described Five Finger Death Punch as "kind of like stepping on a garden rake while looking at a supermodel. Blissful yet fucking devastating". He then said, "We have an energy and a rhythmical style that's different than what's happening out there. We have songs that grab you and stay with you and rip your face off. Hooks, balls, melodies and energy — that's us".[77]

Five Finger Death Punch guitarist Zoltan Bathory cited Pantera as an influence.[78] Ivan Moody cited vocalists such as Mike Patton, Phil Anselmo, Layne Staley and Lynn Strait as influences.[79] Moody also said, "Pantera is one of our biggest influences".[80] Jeremy Spencer cited drummers such as Lars Ulrich, Dave Lombardo, Gene Hoglan, Dave Grohl, Buddy Rich and Tommy Aldridge as influences.[81][82] Spencer also cited Prince and David Bowie as influences.[77]

Band members[edit]

Touring members

Timeline

Discography[edit]

For a more comprehensive list, see Five Finger Death Punch discography.
Studio albums

Accolades[edit]

Revolver Golden Gods Awards

Year Nominee/work Award Result
2012 Zoltan Bathory, Jason Hook Best Guitarist Nominated
2012 Ivan Moody Best Vocalist Nominated
2012 Jeremy Spencer Best Drummer Won
2012 American Capitalist Album of the Year Nominated
2013 Five Finger Death Punch Best Live Band Nominated
2014 The Wrong Side of Heaven... Album of the Year Nominated
2014 Ivan Moody Best Vocalist Nominated
2014 Zoltan Bathory, Jason Hook Best Guitarist Nominated
2014 Chris Kael Best Bassist Won
2014 Lift Me Up Song of the Year Won
2014 Five Finger Death Punch Most Dedicated Fans Nominated

Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards

Year Nominee/work Award Result
2009 Five Finger Death Punch Best New Band Won
2010 Five Finger Death Punch Best Breakthrough Band Won
2010 Zoltan Bathory Best Shredder Won
2012 Five Finger Death Punch Best International Band Nominated
2012 Zoltan Bathory Metal As Fuck Nominated
2013 Five Finger Death Punch Best International Band Nominated
2014 Five Finger Death Punch Best Live Band Nominated

Kerrang! Awards

Year Nominee/work Award Result
2009 Five Finger Death Punch Best International Newcomer Nominated

Radio Contraband Rock Radio Awards

Year Nominee/work Award Result
2011 Five Finger Death Punch Indie Artist of the Year Won
2012 Five Finger Death Punch Indie Artist of the Year Won
2012 American Capitalist Album of the Year Won
2012 Coming Down Song of the Year Won
2013 Five Finger Death Punch Indie Artist of the Year Won
2014 Five Finger Death Punch Indie Artist of the Year Won
2014 Wrong Side of Heaven Video of the Year Won

Bandit Rock Awards

Year Nominee/work Award Result
2014 The Wrong Side of Heaven... Best International Album Won
2014 Five Finger Death Punch Best International Group Won
2016 Five Finger Death Punch Best International Artist Won

Loudwire Music Awards

Year Nominee/work Award Result
2013 The Wrong Side of Heaven... Rock Album of the Year Nominated
2013 Lift Me Up Rock Song of the Year Nominated
2013 Five Finger Death Punch Rock Band of the Year Nominated
2013 Five Finger Death Punch Most Devoted Fans Nominated
2013 Five Finger Death Punch Best Live Act Nominated
2014 Wrong Side of Heaven Best Rock Video Won
2015 Got Your Six Best Rock Album Nominated
2015 Wash It All Away Best Rock Song Nominated
2015 Five Finger Death Punch Best Rock Band Nominated
2015 Zoltan Bathory, Jason Hook Best Guitarist Nominated
2015 Jeremy Spencer Best Drummer Won

SiriusXM Octane Music Awards

Year Nominee/work Award Result
2015 Five Finger Death Punch Artist of the Year Won

iHeartRadio Music Awards

Year Nominee/work Award Result
2016 Five Finger Death Punch Rock Artist of the Year Nominated

References[edit]

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External links[edit]

Media related to Five Finger Death Punch at Wikimedia Commons