The Five Finger Death Punch singer got candid about the connections between his tattoos and his journey to sobriety.
Ivan Moody, the lead singer of Five Finger Death Punch, has had a very tough road out of addiction, and recently he spoke to the metal site Loudwire for a show called “The Needle and The Damage Done.”
It’s a show about tattoos, but the title, in reference to a Neil Young song about heroin, is also fitting considering his dark past.
In showing his tattoos, Moody has a phoenix drawn onto his head which represents his one-year sobriety milestone.
“I wanted to not only wake up everyday and remind myself of how far I’ve come, but how far I have to go,” he says. “I wanted to make sure that everybody knew that I wasn’t going anywhere. This is not only a symbol of my strength, but also, hopefully, a symbol that other people can look at, and know they’re not alone.”
Declared Legally Dead For 2 Minutes
Moody also has a snake tattoo, symbolizing shedding skin after coming out of a medically induced coma, During his coma, Moody was declared legally dead for two minutes, and when he woke up, he needed help walking to the mirror. He took a hard glance and didn’t recognize the person staring back at him.
“It was like [Lord of the Rings character] Gollum. I was green and ugly and pale and like, ‘What the fuck happened to me?’ And that’s when I decided I was going to shed skin and be the man that I’ve always been and I can be.”
Moody adds, “The biggest part for me, especially in sobriety, yes it’s the band, yes it was for my kids, yes it’s for my family, but at the beginning of the day, it starts with me.”
Under his eye, Moody has the spears of destiny symbol, which is out of the Bible, and he also turned a teardrop tattoo into a flame, “as a sign of the future. I wanted to do everything I could to not forget who I am, but move past it.”
This past March, Moody hit his one-year sober milestone, and as he said in an Instagram video, “I’m speechless man. A lot of people didn’t think I’d make it 24 hours. To be honest with you, there were times I didn’t either.”