Former FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH drummer Jeremy Spencer spoke to Rock Feed about his exit from the group after undergoing back surgery in the fall of 2018 that required a significant recovery period. He has since been replaced by Charlie "The Engine" Engen, who made his recording debut with the band on the "F8" album, which came out in February.
Spencer said (see video below): "I did a surgery and then I went back out on tour a little early, so it never healed; it kind of got worse. I had degenerative disc in my back from sitting hunched over, bad-posture drumming, double bass, traveling, wearing backpacks, being older — my body was breaking down. And when you're up there playing shows and you can't do what you used to do, you start to not enjoy it as much. And I was struggling. And it should be fun. That should be the best time of your life when you're up there, and I was, like, 'Ugh, I'm not enjoying this.' And I wanted to be able to do all the things I could do [before]. That's why athletes retire — their bodies aren't holding up. You still can do it here [pointing to his head], but it's, like, 'What the crap? I can't execute it the way I wanna do it.'
"I think the fans needed some new, fresh energy in there that was somebody that was excited that could execute and do everything," Jeremy explained. "That's why I thought Charlie was the perfect guy. So I helped prepare him as much I can. I made videos; [we had] conversations. He came out and he watched me from behind the stage right towards the end, and it was a great transition. He's a great guy. He's working out for them. They're kicking ass with him. I'm happy for all of 'em. I think it's great."
According to Spencer, "it was the right time to step off" and "do other things. But first I had to get my back fixed," he said. "And I got this brutal back surgery where they went in through the front and the back, and they took my guts out and put it on the table. It was awful, man. I was depressed for, like, six months, laying around. I was miserable. And then finally, I started noticing, 'Okay, I'm healing. This is better.' Now my back feels great, but I don't still think I could do the drumming that I did. It would just break my body down worse in other areas. 'Cause what's fixed is like 'Terminator', whatever they put in there — aluminum or titanium. But everything around it would break. Standing and singing is a little different than playing double bass for 90 minutes every night."
Asked if he would ever consider returning to FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH in the future or playing drums for another band, Jeremy said: "It's not something that's on my radar or something that I think that I would wanna do. I don't think my body is gonna be in good enough shape to go back and do headlining shows or anything. Would I make an appearance with someone? Perhaps. If I could play a show with GHOST, I would probably do it. [Laughs] There's some stuff I wouldn't mind doing, drumming-wise, but it's on my radar. I'm focused on this new project that I love. So we'll see — we'll see what the future holds, drumming-wise, but that's certainly not something I'm really thinking about at this point."
Spencer is currently the frontman of a new rock band called PSYCHOSEXUAL, which released its debut album, "Torch The Faith", on July 31 via Jeremy's independent imprint 6ex Records.