Papa Roach’s Jacoby Shaddix on ten years sober: “I’d rather put a gun in my mouth than a drink in my mouth”

Jacoby Shaddix
(Image credit: Press)

Papa Roach frontman Jacoby Shaddix has been sober since 2012. In a recent interview with Emo Nite Radio, Shaddix opened up about his history of alcoholism during the height of the band’s fame in the early noughties.  

"It wasn't till I went on tour for [Papa Roach’s 2000 album] Infest that I believe the alcoholism, the alcoholic lifestyle, it really took over," he said. "That's when it just [went] full-tilt boogie… We wanted to rage, man. We all just wanted to rage, and we had people that co-signed it. I thought I was in the 80s for a couple of years. I was, like, 'Let's go, dude.’

"I had a lot of great times then and a lot of not-so-great times,” Shaddix continued. “It was like the highest highs, the lowest matched. And I think that the volatility within that was what really fucked me up. I was not a good guy. I had a good reputation, and I was nice to people; that was true. I wasn't good to myself. I wasn't good to my wife. [I wasn't good to] the people that were closest to me. The strangers, I'm, like, 'What's up, bro? Good to see you.' And then I put my head through doors and destroyed hotels. I done destroyed a bunch of hotels on that cycle, man. Some of 'em were fine and then some of 'em was, like, just sad.”

When asked about whether or not it was easier or harder now to stay sober, Shaddix said: "[It's] way easier. It's not an option for me anymore. Not to sound macabre or dark, but I'd rather put a gun in my mouth than put a drink in my mouth. Cause I know the drink is a slow way to a miserable, lonely, isolated death. It's not for me. 

"I've got way too much great stuff in my life to live for," he continued. "There's so much in this world that is inspiring, that is lovely, that just fills me. And, yeah, it's music; it's [staying] creative; it's friendships; it's my spirituality; it's my family; it's my children; it's my band; it's my connection with my band. And even at times I wanna just, 'Aaaargh, my band drive me crazy. Aaaargh.' When something's wrong with me, I've gotta figure that out."

In an interview with Metal Hammer earlier this year, Shaddix remembered the rock bottom moment he had that made him realise he needed help. 

“The first time I got sober, I was in a blackout and was threatening to burn down the house. You know when you’re so drunk and the next morning you wake up and you’re like, ‘What happened?’ That’s when I was like, ‘Shit, maybe I need to quit this thing.’ Quit alcohol. I had a few moments like that throughout the years, you know, of hitting rock bottom. It’s not something I’m proud of, but I’m proud that I’ve been able to put the drink down and stay off it this long.”

Papa Roach's eleventh album Ego Trip came out in April this year via New Noize. 

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