Five Finger Death Punch released a music video for their song “Living the Dream” in October 2020 that received a lot of negative attention due to its anti-mask rhetoric and allusions to QAnon and communism. Turns out, singer Ivan Moody wasn’t too happy with the video either.
In a new interview with Metal Hammer, Moody said of the controversial video, whose creative direction came via guitarist Zoltan Bathory, “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!”
Moody added, “There was the mask thing and the awkwardness of the whole thing. That’s what he visualized, 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.”
Following the video’s release and subsequent backlash, Bathory issued a lengthy statement where he denied the video was anti-mask and said, in part, regarding the video’s symbolism, “…We the people must do everything in our power to stay free as a society. We must prevent the rise of tyranny in all shapes and forms, we must resist the would-be dictators and the totalitarian ideals. This is what the founding fathers worried about and tried to prevent by creating the constitution. Believe it. America is a miracle, and I LOVE this country… and I will never shut up about it.”