‘Hard-partying bands are the outliers now’: how rock’n’roll broke up with booze and drugs

Randy Blythe, frontman of the US metal band Lamb of God, remembers the first time he performed live sober. It was 18 October 2010, and the band were opening for Metallica in Brisbane, Australia. “I was thrown into the lion’s den,” he says. “On stage in front of 14,000 people, weeping uncontrollably – thank God I had long hair so it covered my face. I got sober on tour, surrounded by free drugs and alcohol. I felt if I could do it out there, I’d be able to maintain it anywhere.”

Substance abuse and addiction can affect anyone. But with its tendency towards hedonism, the music industry can be dangerous for those who struggle with alcohol and drugs. We have watched many stars succumb to addiction, not to mention those who work behind the scenes. My own alcohol problem started before I became a music journalist, but I took full advantage of the late nights and heavy-drinking culture that came with the territory before I finally stopped. Now, as Covid-19 has forced a pause, change is afoot to help those who need it.

‘I was nervous at first that I wouldn’t be able to write’ … Randy Blythe of Lamb of God in Birmingham, 2010, the year he stopped drinking.
‘I was nervous at first that I wouldn’t be able to write’ … Randy Blythe of Lamb of God in Birmingham, 2010, the year he stopped drinking.
Photograph: Steve Thorne/Redferns

Music Support, a UK charity that specialises in mental health and addiction in the music industry, runs a regular training course on mental health first aid. Part of the course touches on substance abuse. During the pandemic, the Tour Production Group (TPG), an association of live music touring professionals, asked Music Support if they could develop a course devoted to this issue.

The result was a four-hour addiction and recovery training workshop, designed to help people working in music to understand addiction and feel confident about helping others. Since the workshops began in 2021, Music Support has trained more than 100 people, and heightened interest has led to the number of sessions doubling, from monthly to fortnightly.

“This is something the industry is…

Read full story at the guardian.com

ALSO READ   Iran: The cruelty of the security forces, the girl was brutally beaten to death if she did not sing the national anthem

Leave a Comment

x