According to a recent report by Blabbermouth, metal rockers Five Finger Death Punch are being sued by their record label Prospect Park for breach of contract. Prospect Park claims that the band is trying to cash in before their bandmate, frontman Ivan Moody, does something stupid or even dies. Moody is accused of being addicted to alcohol, and some worry that if things end in a train wreck, Five Finger Death Punch’s music catalog would end up worthless.
Five Finger Death Punch signed a four-album contract with Prospect Park in December 2012. The contract states that the band could not record any new material earlier than nine months after its latest release, unless the label agrees to it in writing. The band’s third studio album under contract, Got Your Six, was released Sept. 4, 2015. That means the band can’t start “any portion” of the new album in the agreement until June 4, 2016.
Also under the agreement, the band is under contract to release two masters for a greatest hits album. The band refused to deliver the masters out of concern from Moody, and members plan on recording the greatest hits album on a new record label. Part of Prospect Park’s lawsuit states:
Regrettably, with the encouragement and assistance of their entertainment lawyer and business manager, the members of FFDP have unequivocally repudiated their contractual obligations to permit Prospect Park to determine the recording elements of a new record and a greatest hits record. In doing so, the members of FFDP are shamelessly attempting to cash in before the anticipated downfall of their addicted bandmate.
Prospect Park blames the band for rushing to record the fourth album that they are contracted to, disregarding the health and safety of Moody and ultimately destroying the band in the process. The record label says that the band has reached out numerous times with concern about Moody’s addiction getting out of control and fear he may not be there to fulfill his obligations to the band and the contract, thus seeking to capitalize as soon as possible at the expense of Moody’s health.
Prospect Park also stated in the lawsuit, “Based on FFDP’s own assessment, Moody is unable to perform at the level required under Section 3.01 of the Recording Agreement for delivery of the Fourth Album’s master recordings or Greatest Hits Masters.”
The lawsuit lists numerous text messages and emails from FFDP band members and represenatives. A message on Nov. 15, 2015 reads, “The writing is on the wall, and that, it’s a matter of time before Ivan hits the wall — and once he does — it will be too late to sell.” In an email received on Dec 3, 2015, band members wrote, “if Ivan does something stupid — dies…., goes away to jail — then the catalog is a bust — then we won’t be able to sell and we’ll be trying to salvage what we can — IF we can … so to me it’s imperative to make a move and sell.” One message even says that Moody is getting in the way of an eight-digit payday.
The label states in the lawsuit some of the reasons why they want control over the recording elements. Some of those reasons include a precipitous decline in sales, the fact that radio has told the label that the band’s sound is getting “stale” and the disappointment that the band has failed to reach Platinum or Multi-Platinum level.
During a show in Memphis in May 2015, Moody was accused of having an onstage meltdown, and some fans even thought the band split up as the rest of the band left Moody on the stage by himself after he made a remark about drummer Jeremy Spencer’s book. Spencer left the stage first and the rest of the band slowly followed. Moody soon after that released a statement blaming technical difficulties, and saying the band was in good standing with each other.
At the end of March 2016, Moody was hospitalized, forcing the band to cancel their Australian tour, and a gig as a supporting act for Black Sabbath’s final run. Moody was admitted to the ER in his hometown of Denver and was said to make a full recovery. The band has recently notified Prospect Park that Moody is in an in-patient rehabilitation facility for an unknown duration of time.
Five Finger Death Punch is slated to play many of the major rock festivals this May including headlining the opening night at the first-ever Rock’N Derby in Schaghticoke on May 20. The band days ago confirmed a fall tour with Shinedown and Sixx: A.M., and a coast-to-coast tour of Canada with Papa Roach and Sixx: A.M.