YOU could forgive Five Finger Death Punch guitarist Zoltan Bathory for wanting to put 2017 behind him.

This year the heavy metal giants have seen their singer battle publicly with alcohol problems and been embroiled in a dispute with their record label over the release of their next album.

Footage from a show in the Netherlands earlier this year showed frontman Ivan Moody arriving late, wandering offstage and claiming it was his final gig with the band. It was after that show that the rest of the band intervened over his drinking, resulting in him heading to rehab.

“Being in a band, a lot of people have problems with alcohol or substance abuse because it’s so easy,” says Zoltan, ahead of a massive gig at the SSE Hydro on Monday night.

“A band arrives and everyone goes ‘hey, let’s party’. We’re the entertainers, so we’ll bring the party, and if you’re not strong minded then you’ll have a drink, go to another city the next day and do the same, and then 100 days later you have a problem.

“Ivan never had any substance abuse issues, it was just that he liked vodka. Drinking was always his thing, and it was a gradual thing, so it wasn’t something where I suddenly noticed it overnight. He was a functioning alcoholic, so you’d only notice he was drunk because he would say something bizarre.

“But the stage is sacred. You might have personal issues going on, but you can never bring that onstage, because you are there to do a show, and when that happened we knew we had a problem.”

The singer has now completed his rehab, and will be front and centre on Monday at the Hydro. Zoltan isn’t just relieved for the sake of the band, but for the sake of Ivan’s own health.

“It’s great to make sure he won’t be on that list of rock stars we lose young,” he says.

“Fingers crossed, but this time I think we got him and it’s working. He’s going to museums or around the city now, whereas before he would go straight to the bar. It’s like he has woken up from a coma.”

The band have steadily worked their way up from small shows to arenas, releasing seven albums inside a decade and delivering pounding but catchy metal. However the last year has seen them struggle in a dispute with their record label, a problem that eventually been settled.

Now they will release a new album next year, following on from a recently released greatest hits record.

During this adversity, Zoltan has focused on the positives. A keen martial artist (his wife Heather is from the legendary Gracie family), he credits the mindset he developed there as helping him with everything else in his life.

“Martial arts taught me that every fight is winnable,” he explains.

“Every position that is weak, you have to figure out how to turn that into a win. Things that are ominous, you have to ask yourself about switching that position. If you live your life like that, you can manage to do things that people say are impossible.”

That includes taking Five Finger Death Punch to huge arenas. It’s not bad going for a group who were once told they’d never get radio play because of their name.

“We were always the people’s band, because we had a massive fanbase before we even got signed,” adds Zoltan.

“There is a big difference between a record company pushing you, and being carried there on the shoulders of your fans. But standing on these big stages I remember being a kid dreaming of this, loving Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, and thinking this is what I want to do. Now I’m standing there it’s like ‘yeahhh!’”

Five Finger Death Punch, SSE Hydro, Monday, £37.50, 6.30pm