This week’s biggest rock debut belongs to Five Finger Death Punch, whose appropriately titled sixth album, Got Your Six, sold 119,000 units to debut at No. 2 on the Billboard 200. The 114,000 in pure album sales makes it the No. 1-selling album of the week and is their best sales week to date.
The Las Vegas-based metal band formed in 2005, featuring veterans of other bands including U.P.O. (guitarist Zoltan Bathory), Motograter (singer Ivan Moody) and W.A.S.P. (drummer Jeremy Spencer). They released their debut album, The Way of the Fist, in 2007 and haven’t looked back since. Here are five things to know about Five Finger Death Punch, often shortened to 5FDP.
Their Albums Sell Really Well
It’s not common to see an album sell over 500K these days, but no one’s told Five Finger Death Punch. Their first four albums all sold at least 500,000 units, and their first five LPs have sold 3.2 million copies in all. Despite their chart and sales success, they still haven’t had a No. 1 album, though Got Your Six is their third consecutive set to debut at No. 2. The Wrong Side of Heaven and the Righteous Side of Hell, Volume 1 is still on the chart in its 83rd week. Their sophomore album, 2009’s War Is the Answer, is their most popular. It’s sold 907,000 units to date and remained on the Billboard 200 for 113 weeks.
They’ve Got a Team of Veterans Behind Them
Five Finger Death Punch has a team of seasoned rock and metal veterans helping guide its career. Longtime Mötley Crüe manager and 10th St Entertainment/Eleven Seven Music Group founder/CEO Allen Kovac manages the band. Their record label Prospect Park, which was founded in 2008, includes Peter Katsis and Jeff Kwatinetz, who left management company The Firm (Korn, Linkin Park, Dixie Chicks) to start the collective, which also works as a television production company and artist management company. The label’s roster also includes Korn and Like a Storm.
They’ve Gotten Big Support From Radio and the Metal Community
Radio has played a big part in the success of 5FDP. While they’re heavy enough to appeal to metal fans, they’re also able to craft radio-ready songs. This has resulted in 14 top 10 hits on the Mainstream Rock Songs chart, three of which — “Coming Down,” “Lift Me Up” and “Battle Born” — have hit No. 1. They’ve won the Radio Contraband Rock Radio Award for indie artist of the year in 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014.
They’ve also gotten support from SiriusXM, on both their Octane and Liquid Metal channels, whose Jose Mangin says, “Since day zero, SiriusXM has led the Five Finger Death Punch charge throughout the country, making them one of the most-played and successful bands on our rock platform. Plus, having the guys in the band as subscribers and fans of SiriusXM means a lot because it means that our mutual respect and admiration is a two-way street!”
They’ve also been able to balance their mainstream rock success with metal cred, with Judas Priest’s Rob Halford, Soulfly and former Sepultura singer Max Cavalera, and In This Moment’s Maria Brink appearing on tracks from the band (Halford is on the aforementioned “Lift Me Up”).
Touring Has Helped Too
5FDP’s first major tour was Korn’s Family Values tour in 2007. Since then, they’ve risen up the ranks on The Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival from a secondary stage in 2008 to the main stage in 2010 to co-headlining the festival in 2013. They also headlined the Trespass America tour in 2012, alongside Killswitch Engage and Pop Evil. The band is currently on the road with Papa Roach. “I hope they can identify the next superstars like themselves and give them a chance,” Mayhem Fest co-founder and Warped Tour founder Kevin Lyman says.
There’s Been Recent Controversy
Moody’s personal life has seen some strife recently, namely a legal tiff with common-law wife Holly Smith who alleged physical abuse in April 2015. The claims were dismissed on July 14 and battery charges were dropped.