Five Finger Death Punch (also initialized as FFDP or 5FDP) is an American heavy metal band from Los Angeles, California. Formed in 2005, the group's name is derived from classic martial arts cinema. 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 and was replaced by Chris Kael in 2011.
Their debut album The Way of the Fist was released in 2007. Following its release, the band began achieving success rapidly. 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 over 500,000 copies each in the United States. The band's third album, entitled 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 and 2013.
Five Finger Death Punch are the recipients of the Radio Contraband Rock Radio Awards for "Indie Artist of the Year" in 2011, 2012 and 2013. They were also honored with the Radio Contraband Rock Radio Award for Album (American Capitalist) and Song of the Year ("Coming Down") in 2012.
Formation and The Way of the Fist (2005–2009)
Five Finger Death Punch was founded in 2005 by former U.P.O. bassist Zoltan Bathory and drummer Jeremy Spencer, deriving the band's name from classic martial arts cinema. Bassist Matt Snell joined in early 2006. Later that year, Bathory contacted vocalist Moody (formerly of Motograter), 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.
By the end of 2006, their debut album, The Way of the Fist had been recorded, entirely produced by the band. The album was recorded with Stevo "Shotgun" Bruno and Mike Sarkisyan and was mixed by guitarist Logan Mader. After searching for a second guitarist, they found Caleb Bingham who played some shows with the band, but was later replaced by Darrell Roberts. Shortly after recording the album, they signed a record deal with Firm Music, a branch of "The Firm". On July 10, 2007, they released an EP, Pre-Emptive Strike exclusively through the American iTunes Store. The album's lead single, "The Bleeding", was released on July 13, 2007. 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.
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. 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. 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. He made a full recovery and they began to tour again. They supported Disturbed on their Indestructible US Tour from April through May 2008.
The Way of the Fist was re-released on May 13, 2008, with 3 bonus tracks. 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, and in Europe on January 19, 2009. In January 2009 Darrell Roberts was asked to leave the band and was replaced by guitarist Jason Hook. They ended their support for their first album playing the main stage at the 2009 Download Festival.
War Is the Answer (2009–2010)
War Is the Answer was announced as Five Finger Death Punch's second studio album in May 2009. The album was produced by Kevin Churko and mixed by Randy Staub. The album debuted at number 7 on the Billboard 200 and has been certified gold by the RIAA. The first single from the album, "Hard to See" was released on July 21, 2009. 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.
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, and "No One Gets Left Behind", released on March 8, 2010. During March 2010, Five Finger Death Punch traveled to Iraq and played 10 shows for the United States troops. The band's cover of Bad Company's song "Bad Company" 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.
Five Finger Death Punch also played the Maurice Jones Main Stage at the 2010 Download Festival on June 12, 2010. 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". They played the main stage at Mayhem Festival 2010 with Korn, Rob Zombie and Lamb of God from July 10 until August 14, 2010. On August 17, 2010 they performed the songs "Bad Company" and "Hard to See" on the ABC show Jimmy Kimmel Live!. On September 16, 2010, The band released "Far from Home" as the sixth single from War Is the Answer. They supported Godsmack on their "The Oracle 2010" tour from October 3 – November 4, 2010. 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)
The band began to record their third studio album entitled American Capitalist in November 2010 at The Hideout studios in Las Vegas, Nevada. The album was released October 11, 2011. The album was produced by Kevin Churko, who also produced the band's previous album, War Is the Answer. It was announced in April 2011, that bassist Matt Snell had departed from the band in December 2010 and in June 2011, Chris Kael was announced as Snell's replacement. The first single from American Capitalist, entitled "Under and Over It", was released on July 27, 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. The song "Back For More" is included on the soundtrack for the video game Madden NFL 12. "Back for More" was released as a digital single on September 13, 2011. "Remember Everything" was released as the second official single for American Capitalist in November 2011, with a music video following in February 2012. "Coming Down" was released as the third official single from American Capitalist in April 2012, with a music video, directed by Nick Peterson, following in June 2012. The song also won the band an Independent Music Award in 2013 for Best Metal/Hardcore Song.
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.
The Wrong Side of Heaven and the Righteous Side of Hell (2013–present)
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 Ivan being the last member to do some vocal recording for the new album. On March 12, an update video was posted to YouTube. On March 18, the band was announced to be playing Mayhem Festival 2013. On March 18, Five Finger Death Punch posted a promotional video of their next upcoming tour with the new short song of "Here to Die".
On May 1, 2013, Five Finger Death Punch announced the release of their next studio albums: Volume 1 scheduled for release on July 30, with Volume 2 following later in the year. Bathory said, "We came off the road after a couple of great years of touring and were really amped up to write the 4th record. Everybody was in the right headspace and the band tighter than ever so it was a perfect storm. We jumped in head first and found ourselves 12-13 songs deep fairly quick but were still coming up with better and better material so we looked at each other and said... okay why stop there?... let’s keep going. Once we passed the 24th song we knew we’re going to have to do a double album. We had this massive amount of music that’s very dear to us, possibly the best material this band has ever created. At that point there was no way to decide which songs to leave off the album. So we made the decision to release them all."
During the fifth annual Golden Gods Awards, Five Finger Death Punch performed their 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 art cover for The Wrong Side of Heaven and the Righteous Side of Hell, Volume 1 and also released a snippet of the future single "Dot Your Eyes" Volume 1 was released on July 30 and debuted as the #1 Rock album globally. It grabbed the #2 position on the Billboard 200 with 113,000 records sold in its 1st week, making it the band's most successful debut to date. The Wrong Side of Heaven and the Righteous Side of Hell Volume 1 has sold over 210,000 copies to date.
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, released on November 19, 2013. So far, it sold 77,000 copies in its first week, and once again landed in the number 2 position on the Billboard 200.
On December 12, 2013, Five Finger Death Punch revealed in a radio interview that they were already working on a sixth studio album, which is planned to be released in 2015.
- Studio albums
- The Way of the Fist (2007)
- War Is the Answer (2009)
- American Capitalist (2011)
- The Wrong Side of Heaven and the Righteous Side of Hell, Volume 1 (2013)
- The Wrong Side of Heaven and the Righteous Side of Hell, Volume 2 (2013)
- Official website
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Image from Discogs