FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH guitarist Jason Hook says that "alcohol" is to blame for the band's onstage meltdown at the Beale Street Music Festival in Memphis, Tennessee on May 1. According to multiple reports, the group performed half a dozen songs before the entire band, except vocalist Ivan Moody, walked off stage, leaving the singer seemingly confused and talking to fans in rambling fashion.
After numerous fan posted on Twitter that it seemed as the band had imploded onstage, Moody later took to Facebook to issue a statement saying, "There were a lot of technical problems [at the Memphis concert] that were seemingly unsolvable. We had to make a decision whether to hit the stage crippled, without being able to hear ourselves; or, delay the start of the show — possibly for hours. We decided to proceed, but not being able to hear if I was in key and just guessing where we were in the song frustrated me to the point that I lost my cool."
Moody continued, "I'm not saying I handled it appropriately. Matter of fact, I've never been so embarrassed before. I apologize for taking out my anger on stage."
Moody wished some members of the band's crew "good luck in your future endeavors," adding, "To our fans in Memphis — we'll make it up to you, I promise… And to the haters... wipe that smirk off your face… We are not going anywhere."
During a brand new appearance on the "Three Sides Of The Coin" Internet show (see video below), FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH guitarist Jason Hook offered a completely different explanation for what happened the night of the Memphis concert. He said: "Well, I don't know how much I'm supposed to talk about that, but the 'net net' is every once in a while… Actually, this is the first time it's ever happened. But, you know, we have little schisms amongst each other, as all bands do, having to do with lifestyle choices. And one thing that we always agreed upon was that no matter what's going on with us personally, we never bring it up on stage, because that's not the place for it; that's sacred territory. Those are the people that booked a babysitter, took the day off work, drove two hours, bought a hotel [room] and a ticket, and you don't fuck with that no matter what's going on. You can make it through an hour and twenty minutes with your problems waiting for you backstage. And what happened, in my estimation, was that, for whatever reason, Ivan decided to get shitfaced drunk — I'm probably not supposed to be talking about this — but he started to lose his temper onstage towards, basically, the rest of us, being the band. And, you know, there's only so much of that we can handle. And he was upset with Jeremy [Spencer], the drummer, for something… Jeremy released a book, or I don't know what the problem was… But, anyway, Jeremy decided that he had enough and he got up and left. Well, it's hard to play a concert without the drummer."
He continued: "So, anyway, that's the first time that's ever happened, and that will be the last time that ever happens, because we've talked about it quite a bit, and that's just unacceptable, and I think everyone understands that it's never to happen again. But that's, you know… That's real, that's being in a band, and that's what happens. So there you go. Sorry, Memphis, we owe you a concert."
Hook also spoke about the difficulties of keeping a band creatively and physically together without resentment or jealousy getting in the way.
"You know, it's like this… In order to be successful in the music business, you have to have an extreme amount of confidence, arrogance and a massive ego — to believe I can go up there in front of twenty thousand people and lead this show, or whatever," he said. "We all have a very strong Alpha personality. And then the next thing you have to learn is how to be an Alpha, but on a committee. And there is no such thing. An Alpha is an Alpha; I am one, you are two, three, four. You know what I mean?! And that's another tool, man… That's another tool that you have to learn — when to pick your battles, when to keep your mouth shut, when to speak up, how to argue a point without making it personal. It's always about what's good for the band, what's good for the tour, what makes sense. And one thing I can tell you is that we're getting a lot better at it. We're fairly intelligent guys and we don't wanna blow it, so we're getting really good at it. I can tell you, though, one thing that fucks everything up is alcohol. I don't drink. I've certainly had my experiences with alcohol, but I just found that it tears everything apart. You make bad choices, you say things you regret, you do things that… You make mistakes. You lose your wallet, you fucking miss a flight… I mean, it's just bad. And it's always right there under your nose. 'Hey, man, want a drink? Let's go to the bar. Hey, there's beer backstage. Let's get drunk. Everyone's getting drunk, Everyone's partying. Ooooh.' But three of us don't drink, and some of the band take it way too far and we're always trying to figure that out, you know."
FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH will release its sixth full-length studio album, "Got Your Six", on August 28. Among tracks set to appear on the CD is the album's first single, "Jekyll And Hyde", which will be made available at radio in the coming weeks.
To promote "Got Your Six", FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH will embark on a North American co-headlining tour with PAPA ROACH this fall. Also appearing on the bill will be IN THIS MOMENT and FROM ASHES TO NEW.
"Got Your Six" was once again helmed by Kevin Churko, the Canadian record producer/engineer and songwriter who currently lives in Las Vegas, where he works out of his private studio, The Hideout Recording Studio.