Five Finger Death Punch is one of the most relentless touring bands in the music industry. Serving as an ever-present fixture in communities throughout the United States, FFDP has experienced exponential growth since its Las Vegas formation in 2005.
Over the last couple of years, things have changed for the band. Two members of the band have exited, co-founding drummer Jeremy Spencer and longtime axeman Jason Hook. This week, with news of the latter’s departure from the band coming to light, many have smugly declared that this would be the end of the group.
In the comments, you will find people declaring that ‘Death Punch had lost their last talented member or that the band would no longer be successful. This sentiment is made by those who fail to understand why the band is successful in the first place.
Those who dislike Five Finger Death Punch, or any band for that matter, tend to oversimplify things they cannot understand. When Limp Bizkit sold fifty million albums, the critics scratched their chins and pontificated about why the band’s success wasn’t legitimate. Then, Nickelback conquered rock radio, and once again, the critics couldn’t understand why the band was selling millions of albums. Their own bias against their music blinded them.
Today, music discoverability is easier than ever. Every band or recording artist has the chance to get before a broad audience. Still, most artists miss the essential component of building a strong relationship with your fanbase.
In a world where hip hop artists have become far more authentic than many of the hyper-cautious rock musicians terrified to offend, Ivan Moody has no problem firing up his iPhone camera and smashing his television on Instagram live. Five Finger Death Punch is not an act. The band members live the lifestyle they portray in their music, and their fans believe them.
The band’s members are just as twisted up as the rest of us, and they don’t pretend to be anything else. The overly virtuous, modern rockstar that hides behind their publicist will never build the strong relationship FFDP has with their fans. Playing it safe will never take you to the highest level. This band embraces their flaws, takes risks often, and brings their fans along for the ride.
Their fans see themselves in the members of the band. When Ivan Moody publicly struggled with his sobriety, the band didn’t run from it. The group was open and transparent about Moody’s fight to get clean, and they publicly held him accountable. Since then, Ivan has been a steward of sobriety for others and an example that it does in fact, get better.
Five Finger Death Punch is also one of the few bands that can tour in parts of the midwest rarely visited by others.
For the same reasons that Joe Rogan is the most prominent podcaster, Five Finger Death Punch has quickly become one of the world’s biggest bands. Dudes need places to be dudes, and for some reason, there are always people waiting in the wings ready to take a shot at those who are unapologetically rough around the edges. Many bands choose to walk on eggshells their whole career and will never experience the success of this band.
If you’re waiting for this band to be over, you might want to grab a comfortable chair. The band’s guitarist Zoltan Bathory is a skillful businessman who truly understands his fanbase. The group’s new members, drummer Charlie Engen and guitarist Andy James are both exceedingly talented and will gain the respect of Death Punch fans in short order. If anything, the addition of these two new members has solidified the longevity of Five Finger Death Punch for years to come.