Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong talks addiction in 'Rolling Stone'
Frontman for punk-pop band Green Day, Billie Joe Armstrong has lived the rockstar lifestyle for the past few decades.
But admitting that he's been trying to get sober for more than a 10 years, Armstrong opened up to Rolling Stone about his battle with addiction - and it's the first time he's given a full interview about the subject.
Years of self-medication
Armstrong, 41, says that self-medication was what led to his "meltdown" last year at the iHeartRadio festival in Las Vegas, where he smashed his guitar on stage and screamed at the crowd. At one point, he was mixing so many anti-anxiety and insomnia drugs that he didn't know what he was taking. He also says that heavy pre-drinking before shows became standard.
"It started with two beers. Then it went to many more after that. Liquid courage – it made me loosen up," Armstrong said.
Seeing alcoholism while growing up also influenced Armstrong's adult addict behavior.
"I thought everybody was in on the joke. But I was the joke," he said.
On the road to recovery
Now, Armstrong is embracing a recovery program, despite his past failed attempts.
"I've been trying to get sober since 1997," he said, "but I didn't want to be in any programs."
He sobered up at home to be around family and his recovery plan is based on "meditation through prayer." Armstrong was going through painful withdrawals during the release of the album "Uno," but he is now ready to go back on the road with the band, albeit with a little apprehension.
"Sometimes I'm not sure I'm ready," said Armstrong. "There is still the obsession for alcohol. There's also sleepless nights."