One of the elements that identifies and sets Five Finger Death Punch and its music apart from other hard rock and metal bands is the warp speed, double thunder footwork of drummer Jeremy Spencer. This month, Spencer released his autobiography, Death Punch’d: Surviving Five Finger Death Punch’s Metal Mayhem This week, Jeremy checked in with Metalholic and AXS Entertainment to talk about the book, his journey through drug addiction and rehabilitation, and when fans can expect the next Five Finger Death Punch album.
Born and raised in Indiana, Jeremy Spencer Heyde grew up in an entertainment family. His father was a songwriter and author and his mother was an actress. Even his older sister is an acclaimed stage director. For an insecure boy growing up, Jeremy found trouble early on with alcohol and drugs. In Death Punch’d, Spencer gives a detailed account of his path into addiction and debauchery, detailing his thirst for substances, sex and fame.
Spencer shares his first round in rehab, his move to Los Angeles to become a famous and successful musician, his decade and a half of sobriety, and the tipping point that spiraled him back into a pit of addiction so deep, he found himself in a Las Vegas hotel near death.
“I started at a really young age getting wrapped up in drugs and alcohol and I was in rehab by the time I was 16. I got out and I was clean and sober for about 15 years–during all the time I was in Hollywood trying to make it in numerous bands. There was a lot of heartbreak and discouraging times until Death Punch finally happened. All the sudden people knew who we were and everything just started escalating and escalating to the point where I was choosing the darker side of things and things just started to catch up with me. Finally, one day at the Mandalay Bay in Vegas I had been up for a couple days straight. I had been doing my party schedule and all of the sudden my heart rebelled and started skipping beats and I started convulsing and having cold shakes. I was laying there thinking, ‘You may have done it this time you idiot. If you get out of this and survive, you need to make a change.’ So, fortunately I made it through that and I called the rehab center and checked myself in on my birthday and I’ve been clean and sober almost three years.”
Now almost three years into recovery v2.0, Spencer looks and sounds better than ever. Death Punch’d began as a cathartic, vomitous of raw emotion poured out on paper to help in his recovery. With encouragement from his father, who suggested the book could help others, Jeremy cleaned it up into a novel that delves into a young man, hell-bent on self-destruction, who found his dream come true becoming a nightmare existence.
“I basically started writing this thing the day I got out of rehab. It was just a way for me to deal with some stuff I’d never dealt with. Basically write my life and relive a lot of things. Get some stuff out. It was therapeutic for me.”
Many of the stories in Death Punch’d reveal very personal, and often embarrassing moments for the man who won the Revolver Golden Gods Best Drummer Award in 2012. Readers will also get a glimpse into his often sophomoric sense of humor and discover that he and his Five Finger brethren are as normal and human as the rest of us. Death Punch’d takes fans behind the scenes of the band’s journey as well as Spencer’s own for some startling inside perspective.
In the full interview above, Spencer provides an update on how the band is doing on the creation of its next record, the follow-up to 2013’s successful dual set; The Wrong Side of Heaven and the Righteous Side of Hell, Volumes I & II, and when fans can expect its release.