I remember the first time I heard Five Finger Death Punch. I was on five day music cruise, and you were the opening act. I frantically called my husband and said, “Oh God. What the hell did I do?”
I remember the first time I saw you. You stuck your tongue out at my friend. You were a short guy with a tall order, and I liked you at that moment. Away from the craziness of the live experience, I put your music on and let you blast my eardrums. I got it. I couldn’t wait to see you perform live. I did, many times after that. I literally almost got stomped to death in one of your pits. Worth it.
I remember the first time I met your dad. I had the privilege of standing next to him in the photo pit. I asked him, “What was Ivan Moody like as a kid?” He grinned a proud, dad grin and said, “Like he is now, only smaller.” He told me how times weren’t always great, but how much he loved you, and how you made him proud, and how happy he was to have a relationship with you.
I love your work and your message, and I have defended you to every person that gave you shit for bringing kids up on stage. I laud your accomplishments as an artist, and I brag about your dedication to our servicemen/women. I was and am, a fan of Five Finger Death Punch. I will never negate your talent, but please stop. Stop recording and performing. Stop hurting your band members and fans and FAMILY with your alcoholism. We love your music, but this shit has to stop because it’s disrespectful to all the aforementioned. Mostly, this shit has to stop because it will kill you.
Today on Facebook a memorial meme to Scott Weiland appeared on my feed. I remember the last time I saw Scott Weiland. He was a mess, couldn’t perform, could barely stand. He was also dead nine months later. I don’t want you to be a meme, Ivan Moody. You’ve always written your story and that’s your right. Just maybe stare at this for a moment before you consider the next chapter.
My friend Tiffany Bernier has the real message I want to leave you with, and I really want you to hear it in her own words. I hope you’ll take the time to read this, but mostly I hope you’ll take the time to DO this. This, really, is all that matters — not the first time I heard you, saw you, or photographed you. What matters is will there be a next time?
We don’t want a VH1 special in 20 years chronicling your downward spiral into death. Another wasted talent. Another wasted life. Another human that couldn’t or didn’t break the chains. Another family in pain wondering where THEY went wrong. Because trust me, that’s a guilt that stays with those you leave behind.
It is my sincere hope that you, not as the vocalist of one of my favorite bands, not as a rockstar but as a fellow human being, finally take the hands reached out to you. Don’t just go to rehab. Stay. Stay and use the resources NOT available to most addicts. Most addicts can’t afford more than a couple days in an inpatient treatment center and that’s even with insurance. This is a huge advantage you have. Please, avail yourself. Pay back the fans that made you tons of money by getting help and not leaving until you’re better. No, you don’t owe anyone anything. You owe it to yourself. Take care of you and your devoted fans will still be right here waiting.
*Ms. Ervolina contributed to this article in her personal capacity. The views expressed are her own and do not necessarily represent the views of Shockwave Magazine.