During an appearance on the latest episode of Doc Coyle‘s “The Ex Man” podcast, FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH drummer Charlie “The Engine” Engen spoke about how he landed the gig as the replacement for FIVE FINGER‘s original drummer, Jeremy Spencer.
For a fall 2018 tour with BREAKKING BENJAMIN, Spencer was replaced by Engen in order to undergo surgery on his back. On December 18, it was announced that Spencer would not be returning to the band due to the damage in his back.
Engen now says it was Spencer who first reached out to him about possibly stepping in for him while he recovered from his operation.
“Me and Jeremy had known each other for probably a year and a half or something, just through social media,” he explained. “He liked my playing a lot. We would talk randomly about drum stuff or life stuff a little bit, about music industry stuff. And he was saying stuff even early on, like, ‘I wanna get you a good gig, man. You’ve gotta be on the big stage.’ And I have a feeling at this point, everybody already knew it was in the works, but I didn’t know.
“So I was just thinking, ‘Yeah, that’d be awesome. If something comes up, definitely let me know.’ Anyway, then Jason [Hook, FFDP guitarist] got in touch with me, and this was May of 2018. And we just talked about music and whatnot. He kind of gave me a little insight of, like, ‘Hey, you never know what’ll happen down the road here.’ ‘Cause Jeremy‘s back had been bugging him for a while at that point already. And the summer kind of went through… [A short time later] I saw my phone blowing up next to me, and it was from Zoltan. And by this time I had talked to Zoltan too. It was Jason, Zoltan and Jeremy all, like, ‘Hey, call me.’
“And I was gonna go hang with those boys the next week in Chicago, ’cause I’m only six hours from there. So I was just gonna go to the show. And they were, like, ‘How about you learn some tunes and come down and jam on stage with us, and let’s see.’
Engen continued: “This was Jeremy talking. ‘Because I need to back out of the fall tour, and I want you to be the guy.’ So I’m, like, ‘Oh, sh*t.’ You know, like, ‘Okay.’ … So I went down there, played, like, three tunes with them. And it was I feel like what you would call an assumed audition, where it was an audition, but it was mainly to make sure I wasn’t a weirdo, ’cause I spent, like, three or four days with them. And then to make sure I could play, obviously. So it was really seamless. And then I went home, started working on the tunes and then we did that fall tour then, two months later or whatever it was.”
FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH released its latest album, F8, on February 28. The follow-up to 2018’s And Justice For None caps a turbulent period for FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH in which Moody finally got sober after a near-fatal struggle with addiction, while co-founding drummer Jeremy Spencer bowed out of the band due to physical issues.