Five Finger Death Punch was founded in Las Vegas in 2005 by former U.P.O. bassist Zoltan Bathory and ex W.A.S.P. drummer Jeremy Spencer.
In 2006, Bathory contacted former Motograter singer Ivan Moody, asking him to audition for the vocalist position. Moody flew from his home in Denver, Colorado to Los Angeles, but was so chronically shy, he had to perform with his back turned to the rest of the band. Despite his shyness he was still recruited.
Ivan Moody has never played any instruments, but has always been a singer or a writer. He recalled to the Denver Westword: "I started playing in bands when I was sixteen years old. I remember the first band I was in out there was at a club called the Wooden Nickel in Aurora, Colorado. My first show ever was then, and they told me I could play the show but that I would have to leave right after I got off stage. From that point on, I knew that was my calling. I loved it so deeply. I played in countless bands in Colorado and eventually uprooted and moved to LA."
Jeremy Spencer started playing drums at age six on a drum set his grandmother purchased at Sears.
Spencer recalled to KLAQ's Lisa Sanchezhow, how when he was 17 years old and growing up in Boonville, Indiana, his band at the time, Cornucopia of Death, opened in Indianapolis for Panera: "We were doing a soundcheck, and we were playing a song that was really fast - a really fast double-bass part - and at the end of it, we hear this guy going, 'Faster! Play it faster!' And it was [Pantera guitarist] Dimebag [Darrell Abbott] on the side of the stage just kind of messing with us. So we gave him one of our band t-shirts, and he was, like, 'I'll totally wear it, man.' And I looked in the Metal Maniacs magazine a couple of months later, and he was wearing our shirt in the magazine. So I thought that was really cool. I was, like, 17 years old."
Bathory derived the band's name from the ultimate death blow in the Quentino Tarantino movie, Kill Bill 2. Ivan Moody explained to Dabelly magazine: "Zoltan was watching Kill Bill , you know he's from Hungary, right? His sense of humor is a little bit different, so to him I guess it was the funniest thing in the world, this five finger lotus punch or whatever it was. And I guess it started out as a joke thing, he said, 'This would be a great band name' and yada, yada, yada."
"When they came to me they were actually thinking about changing it and I told them, 'Dude, that is the most killer heavy metal band name ever. That's like Slayer, that's Metallica, Five Finger Death Punch, it sits well with me.' I pushed it around in my own head to make it work a little bit more metaphorically."
Speaking to radio personality Jenn Marino, at the 2015 edition of the U.K.'s Download festival, Ivan Moody discussed the band's songwriting for their Got Your Six album. "We've got a really unique way of writing," he said. "And I don't know how most musicians do it, but… Again, I don't play instruments, so what the [other] guys [in the band] do is they'll write the song and they'll send it to me. So when you guys hear the CD, that's exactly how I got it without the lyrics and melodies and whatnot. So it's a great method. I don't have to get in their hair, they don't get in mine. They don't wanna be next to me. I'm like a monster in a cage."
Speaking to France's TV Rock Live, Zoltan Bathory described the chaotic way that Ivan Moody likes to lead his life. "Any kind of rule you try to impose on him… A schedule - just a simple schedule - he just has to break it," he said. "I don't remember the last time he actually didn't miss an airplane. In ten years, I just don't remember a single time that he could catch the airplane he was originally scheduled to make, because he has this… some kind of inner chaos that [he] just has to break the rules - whatever rules it is."
"So, in one way, I don't understand, because I'm a very methodical kind of guy," Bathory added. "And that's why we have this weird relationship. I'm fascinated by this - that how even he survives, you know - and I think it's a necessity that a lead singer is absolutely crazy. But I don't understand."
One of Jason Hook's first big music gigs, before he joined FFDP, was as the touring guitarist for singer Hilary Duff. He recalled to Louder Noise TV
: "It was a fantastic learning experience, because I was touring around the world, massive venues, a lot of television appearances, and it taught me how to be a professional and how to be responsible. And I had to be prepared at any given moment to play thirty-something songs."
"They would go, 'Jason and Hilary are gonna go down to Good Morning America
tomorrow and play this song.' 'Okay.' You know? And I loved every minute of it. I thought it was fantastic. She's a wonderful person and her family treated us very well. And here I am, staying positive."