Five Finger Death Punch (5FDP or FFDP) - is an American heavy metal band from Las Vegas, Nevada. 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, 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.
Five Finger Death Punch was founded in 2005 by former U.P.O. bassist Zoltan Bathory and drummer Jeremy Spencer, Zoltan deriving the band's name from classic martial arts cinema. Bassist Matt Snell joined in early 2006. Later that year, Bathory contacted vocalist Ivan 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.
Musical style and influencesFive Finger Death Punch has been described as heavy metal, groove metal, thrash metal, alternative metal and hard rock. 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. Five Finger Death Punch also occasionally play ballads.
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". 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".
Five Finger Death Punch guitarist Zoltan Bathory cited Pantera as an influence. Ivan Moody cited vocalists such as Mike Patton, Phil Anselmo, Layne Staley and Lynn Strait as influences. Moody also said, "Pantera is one of our biggest influences". Jeremy Spencer cited drummers such as Lars Ulrich, Dave Lombardo, Gene Hoglan, Dave Grohl, Buddy Rich and Tommy Aldridge as influences. Spencer also cited Prince and David Bowie as influences.
FFDP Band members
Former membersMatt Snell – bass, backing vocals (2005–10)
Darrell Roberts – lead guitar, backing vocals (2006–09)
Caleb Andrew Bingham – lead guitar, backing vocals (2005–06)
Current membersZoltan Bathory – rhythm guitar (2005–present), bass (2005), lead guitar (2005)
Jeremy Spencer – drums (2005–present), vocals (2005)
Ivan Moody – lead vocals (2006–present)
Jason Hook – lead guitar, backing vocals (2009–present)
Chris Kael – bass, backing vocals (2010–present)