Cannabis & Tech Today Interview with Ivan
This interview and article by Patricia Miller appeared in the Fall 2021 issue of Cannabis & Tech Today
There are few hard rock bands that carry as much clout as Five Finger Death Punch. They are the second-most consumed band in hard rock history, second only to Metallica. Lead singer and frontman Ivan Moody has been pivotal to the band’s success, his vocal range and lyrical talents earning the group 25 top 10 hit singles since 2007. Since their debut, they’ve released six consecutive certified Gold or Platinum records.
If you’ve ever seen a Five Finger Death Punch show, you understand how a single set could shred Moody’s throat. Eventually, the demands on his body during the band’s prolific tour schedule started to stack up. He needed a solution for soothing his throat and taming his anxiety. That’s where the idea for Moody’s Medicinals was born.
What started with CBD throat spray and CBD water evolved into a broad offering of powerful CBD products. From pain relief gel to tattoo recovery creams, Moody’s Medicinals is now a one-stop shop for everything CBD wellness. In this interview, Cannabis & Tech Today spoke with Moody to discover his inspiration, how CBD helped his recovery from alcohol, and how COVID-19 inspired him to release a dark poetry book.
Cannabis & Tech Today: Did growing up in the Denver area play a part in your decision to enter the CBD space? There’s such a cannabis culture here.
Ivan Moody: Most definitely. I mean, I grew up right outside of Boulder, in the Arvada, Golden area. That entire area, we were experimenting years before the rest of the country even caught on to it. Especially with Charlotte Figi and her situation with Charlotte’s Web.
I was surrounded by it from a very young age. As I’m sure you’ve noticed out there, it’s just a part of life. Holistic healing is something that Coloradoans especially and certain areas like Washington and California have really prided themselves on. So it’s been really cool to grow up around that.
C&T Today: You mentioned Charlotte Figi and seeing the concept evolve around cannabis as medicine. Was that part of your inspiration to launch Moody’s Medicinals?
IM: Of course. I mean, how could it not be? It was such a touching story, too. Again, to know that Charlotte’s parents had basically tried everything. They had really run the gamut, and it was a last resort thing. She was actually the first publicized case. But at the end of the day, there were quite a few people in that situation around town.
So it was definitely an influence. But again, it’s something I’ve been using for years. And it was something, to be quite honest with you, that I was ashamed of at first. I hate to use the word, ashamed, but you never know how to talk to people about it.
Most recently it’s been acceptable, but 10, 15 years ago, bringing it up immediately made you look like you were just trying to find a reason to use drugs. It was really hard. It’s still really hard to convince people that the benefits of it outweigh the stigma.
So I really wanted to surround myself with people who were driven, people who were involved in the idea of CBD and holistic health. I say holistic health, and I always feel like that spooks people. It’s really just a different style of natural medications and healing products. Imagine being a heavy metal rock singer that’s known for screaming and using the F-bomb and just being this monster on stage, trying to convince people that there’s a healthier and more peaceful way of living without strapping yourself into a whole bunch of over-the-counter medications. It’s a tough sale to say the least.
But I really felt like it was a necessary evil for me to come out and say, “Hey, I use this on a daily basis to replace multiple medications.”
C&T Today: How has CBD played a role in your recovery?
IM: I know a lot of people out there in recovery who are continually fighting, constantly working to find something that’s going to help them. I replaced a few medications with CBD when I first got out of recovery. I was on sleeping medications, Trazodone, which is really addictive. It builds up a tolerance, and it becomes almost impossible to sleep without. My appetite on the road was constantly in jeopardy because I have these small windows that I get to eat.
As a singer, my body is a temple. I know it’s a cliche, and it sounds [like] really cheesy, Wayne Newton kind of shit, but it’s a reality. It really is. So to take care of myself on the road and be able to eat right, I had to be able to create an appetite as I went … So again, THC and CBD products, I put it in my water. It’s just something I really have been attracted to, and it helped me out.
C&T Today: That’s especially true for heavy metal singers — live performances are so physically demanding. I’m always in awe of it when I go to shows. Was that what inspired you to create Moody’s Medicinal throat spray? It’s not something I’ve seen in other product lines.
IM: That was the first. That and the water. For anybody that’s not in recovery, I’ll fill you in on a little detail. When you stop drinking or doing just about anything, you try to completely erase it from any part of your life. And for me, that was changing everything from my hygiene products to cleaning products. Anything with alcohol in it, I had to fucking erase. So a good friend of mine, Jason Lacada out of Colorado, owns a dispensary up in Black Hawk. He was sending me CBD oils, and I started putting them in my waters before I went on stage because I can sip them.
Some of the products I was trying, 90% of all the throat sprays on the market have either alcohol or glycerin or some kind of sugars that really make it impossible to do what they’re telling you they’re doing. Because if you put alcohol on your throat, it strips it. So it was almost like completely defeating actually and a placebo to boot. So I wanted to make something that was all natural, that had no alcohol in it — not just because of my recovery, but because of the benefits that it has on my throat. When I was talking to Jackie [manager and partner in Moody’s Medicinals], she uses her voice 50 hours a day. She’s on the phone. She’s making calls. She’s also a radio DJ. She’s got her own podcast. So she’s constantly using her throat.
I know a couple of coaches, one for the Denver Nuggets, one for the Denver Broncos. Again, constantly using their throats. When you put those alcohol-based sprays on your voice, all it does is strip you down, and it takes about three minutes of pain away, and then you’re right back where you started. So I really wanted to make something that was not just for me as a singer, but for people who have to use their voice every day.
C&T Today: What was the inspiration behind your Dirty Poetry Book?
IM: Dirty Poetry, I got to tell you that’s a monster of its own. It was not something I did overnight. I mean, from the time I was about 13 years old until I was 18, I was in the system. I was shuffled from group home to group home, detention centers and so on and so forth. Being in those kinds of places, you always have to keep journals and diaries of day-to-day stuff.
I went into my library, and I had like four shelves dedicated to all these old journals and these old diary writings. So I started sifting through them during COVID[-19]. Reading stuff that you wrote when you were 20 years old, 25, 30, and some of it was so scatterbrained, but it must have meant something at the time.
So it really brought to light these colors that I almost forgot were in my spectrum. And to see them really, it sparked a lot in me. So it was something that I just wanted to put out because I thought it was interesting enough, and it definitely shows the public a side of me that I don’t necessarily think that they’ll be exposed to otherwise. I got to tell you, working with Blake Armstrong, anybody who sees the artwork in this thing is going to freak out. This guy is a wicked genius. So when I handed him over these files, he sifted through them and these visuals are what he pictured when he read through. So it’s really a cool collaboration.
C&T Today: Do you find there are similarities between writing music and writing poetry?
IM: Oh, absolutely. I mean, it’s art. Music is sonic poetry. The entire universe is held together by it. Whether it be frequencies, energy, rhythms, algorithms. Music in itself is poetry. It’s the poetry of life.