Death Punch’d by Jeremy Spencer
-Review by Malia Kowitt
The highly anticipated autobiography Death Punch’d did not disappoint. Written by Jeremy Spencer (Heyde), drummer for the hugely successful metal band, Five Finger Death Punch, tells the story of a lifelong struggle with drugs and alcohol through the rocker’s eyes. Part metal scene exposé and part personal story, Spencer manages to work humor and humility into his mission toward redemption.
“Punch’d” grips readers immediately as the prologue describes the author’s near overdose, which later proves to be just one of many times he will ride the brink of death due to drug and alcohol addiction. The chapters toggle between his upbringing and early love of music, and the rise of his success with 5FDP. As the two stories meet up, a clear picture of how a talented and driven band can break apart. He does not use his book as a platform to simply regale his party days, because while describing his escapades, he calls himself out for anything from his inability to “get it up” as a result of his drug use, to stealing from his parents to support it.
No punches were pulled when it came to laying it all out on the table. Readers are not spared any of the gory details that go along with the substance abuse and promiscuity of a rock star, and there is plenty of it in “Punch’d”. Of course, fans want to read about the crazy, behind the stage antics of 5FDP, and Spencer revealed it all. To say that the band suffered its ups and downs is an understatement. Drug use, failure, and even success caused strife between band members and roadies.
Jeremy Spencer is charming and there is no doubt that, even though he can behave in ways that are at times off-putting, he still manages to read like a stand up guy. Perhaps where Spencer exposes his shortcomings the most is during his time with “Angel”. Of the many relationships the book delves into, this is perhaps the most volatile, and certainly Spencer’s longest-lasting. As a self described “sex fiend” when he drinks, it is no surprise that he was far from a faithful, but it seems he took most of his addiction and band strife out on her, which he detailed from beginning to end.
By the last page, the one question readers are left with is: Did music save his life? His love of family is evident, as is their willingness to help him through his trials, but ultimately it was heavy metal that saved him from the heavy metal lifestyle.