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Ivan Moody of Five Finger Death Punch: "Yeah, I still vomit before every show"

Led by Ivan Moody (front), Five Finger Death Punch packs quite a wallop.

Ivan Moody may live in Vegas these days, but Denver will always be the place he considers home. Before moving to L.A. and fronting Motograter and then Five Finger Death Punch, Moody grew up here. At one time or another, he was a student at Alameda and Chatfield high schools and Drake and Oberon middle schools, among others. It really wasn't all that long ago that Moody, now 31, can remember playing one of his first shows ever at the Iliff Park Saloon and being asked to leave when he was finished because he was underage. He's come a long way since then. When he returns home this weekend, he'll be headlining an arena with a show that requires thirty crew members. We recently caught up with Moody and asked him about his approach to playing shows and writing lyrics.

This is an excerpt of the interview ran in our print edition. To read the full Q & A with Ivan Moody, go to Backbeat

Westword: I saw this quote that you gave in one interview that I thought was just awesome, and I kind of wanted to get some insight into it: The way you put it was that you "slap yourself in the face before a show and drive it like you stole it..."

Ivan Moody: [laughs] Absolutely. Every time.

I love that quote. What kind of frame of mind do you get in when you're playing?

Well, for me, I was always attracted to frontmen — or artists in general — that were really passionate about what they did. And, you know, these kids are paying hard-earned money for these tickets, and for me — I have to put myself pretty much in the same place I was at when I wrote the material. That way the fans know that they're getting 110 percent of myself and my project every time we're on stage. It always kind of pissed me off to see, you know, just musicians or artists who just didn't take it as serious. So, yeah, no, I still vomit before every show, slap the shit out of myself and just make sure that whatever I have to do to get myself in the state of mind that I need to be in to get up there, I do it.

Vomiting from nerves?

A lot of it is anxiety, yeah. You know, I just — I have a really hard time still today. I've never really been a social butterfly, so to speak. I'm pretty [much a] recluse. And to get myself, like I said, to get myself in that headspace, it takes a lot.

In terms of getting yourself back in that headspace, thematically, your lyrics with the first album started off kind of angry. It seemed you were using your lyrics for catharsis. By the third album, they're still equally angry. Can you tell me a little about that? From a lyric standpoint, is it cathartic for you?

It is. Absolutely. You know, I mean, we're all made to wear these faces, you know, of what we think society would want.... There's just a general sense of — I don't know — a lack of passion, I think. For me, I feed off everything, from bad politics to religion to relationships —I mean, just life in general. And, yeah, I'm not necessarily happy with the state of things. And I think that I get to use music as a release.

This is an excerpt of the interview ran in our print edition. To read the full Q & A with Ivan Moody, go to Backbeat

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