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Ivan Moody hated Five Finger Death Punch’s controversial ‘anti-mask‘ video for Living The Dream

Five Finger Death Punch
(Image credit: Travis Shinn)

MHR364 Cover Five Finger Death Punch

(Image credit: Future)

Five Finger Death Punch singer Ivan Moody has revealed that the controversial video for 2020’s Living The Dream single caused tension between him and guitarist Zoltan Bathory.

Interviewed in the brand new issue of Metal Hammer (opens in new tab), featuring the Las Vegas band on the cover, Moody says the video “went down like a fart in a church” and that “it won’t ever be done in my name again.”

The Living The Dream video, released during the height of the pandemic, featured an authority figure wearing an ‘exempt’ badge, who pins a hammer-and-sickle-emblazoned badge reading ‘compliant’ on people who don masks.

After leading a group of mask-wearing ‘slaves’ around on chains, she orders them to smash up an ice cream van displaying the American flag. The video was widely perceived to be an anti-mask statement, seemingly depicting mask-wearers as communists.

Speaking to Metal Hammer, Ivan says he gave Zoltan free reign on the video’s concept: “I showed up for two days and Zo told me to run across the grass, screaming and holding the American flag, so I was curious to see it. Then when he released it, I called him, like, ‘You implemented your own platform into Five Finger Death Punch, and now I’m gonna have to answer for it, because I’m the singer.’ And it ended up going down like a fart in church!

“There was the mask thing and the awkwardness of the whole thing. That’s what he visualised, but it’s not what I had in mind when I wrote it. For those who understood it, great. And for those who didn’t, I’m sorry, I didn’t agree with it either. I love Zoltan to death, that’s his opinion, but it won’t ever be done with my name on it again.” 

In the same interview, which runs ahead of FFDP’s upcoming new album AfterLife, Zoltan defends the video, while acknowledging that it cause a huge amount of controversy.

“Obviously, that video created a lot of dust, and I really don’t want to kick up another shitstorm about it,” says the guitarist, who was born and raised in communist-era Hungary before emigrating to America. “But it was about the blatant hypocrisy of what was happening. You can do this, but the population can’t! As a band, we sort of withdrew from politics and that was the last political commentary, but it flew over people’s heads and we were accused of the craziest shit.

“It’s crazy, because music was a cultural weapon. And now punk music and rock music is the soundtrack to the establishment all of a sudden? But it’s like, ‘OK, we’ll just play music and create concerts.’ People are educated by clickbait headlines, but there’s so much else to talk about.” 

Read the full interview with Five Finger Death Punch in the brand new issue of Metal Hammer, out now. Order your copy here (opens in new tab).

MHR364

(Image credit: Future)

Five Finger Death Punch

(Image credit: Future)
Metal Hammer
Metal Hammer

Founded in 1983, Metal Hammer is the global home of all things heavy. We have breaking news, exclusive interviews with the biggest bands and names in metal, rock, hardcore, grunge and beyond, expert reviews of the lastest releases and unrivalled insider access to metal's most exciting new scenes and movements. No matter what you're into – be it heavy metal, punk, hardcore, grunge, alternative, goth, industrial, djent or the stuff so bizarre it defies classification – you'll find it all here, backed by the best writers in our game.