Five Finger Death Punch drummer Charlie Engen was recently interviewed by Minnesota Drummer. You can read some excerpts below.
Asked if he has seen a change in Ivan Moody since he first played with the group two years ago, Engen said: “I’ve seen a crazy change in Ivan since the first time I met him till now… When I went down and started the [fall 2018] tour, our only rehearsals were four days before the tour started. And so we were at S.I.R. in [Las] Vegas, and in those days, Ivan, he was more… I think there was just so much turmoil in general, I don’t think he was focused on me as a person, I guess you would say. I don’t think he gave a crap whether he liked me or didn’t like me — it was all irrelevant. [It was just about] ‘Can you get up there and play the drums and do the gig?’ But that changed. And so we became really close, actually, and we’re really close now”.
Engen continued: “Ivan then — and I would tell him this, too; I’m not speaking out of turn here when I say this — he was living things in life that he would ignore,” Charlie continued. “His booze was his vice, [and] he would use the booze to escape certain, maybe, thoughts, I’m just going to assume — processes of life. And, obviously, you’re a megastar, too, so there’s that aspect of it. But he would ignore that with booze, while I could tell he was learning new ways about himself in that era. And the difference from that-era Ivan to now, even like last-summer Ivan, which was the second tour I did with Death Punch, in 2019, that was a major shift, where I was, like, ‘Oh, wow!’ Like, crazy difference. Just overall demeanor — happier, if you wanna call it happy. Just more himself; you could just tell he was settled in with himself. And then the last tours we did, the two, it was even the next level of it. You can just tell he came into his own sober self in a really good way. So it made the transition a lot easier because if the lead singer’s pissed off, everybody’s pissed off. And Ivan is an emotional guy — that’s Ivan; that’s what makes him so good too. So if you have him in a bad mood… Nobody wants anybody who is boisterous — not in a bad way boisterous, but you know what I mean, just the personality. If he was in a bad mood, you felt it”.
Moody concluded: “Man, the fun we’ve had on the last two tours, in particular, just ’cause they’re fresh in my memory — especially Europe; we had a blast. We all hung out. We did things, which was pretty new, since I’ve been in the band, ’cause I was the new guy too. So, it’s been such a change. It’s been awesome. And we talk almost every day, too, on the phone — like, texting.”