March 1, 2013 11:43

Green Day's Billy Joe Armstrong admits to using prayer to help him stay sober

Singer says his onstage meltdown last year was "the last straw"

Photo: Next Previous

Photo Gallery: Green Day

Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong has spoken out about his stint in rehab following his now infamous on-stage meltdown in late 2012.

In an interview in this month's Rolling Stone magazine, Armstrong says he is using "prayer through meditation" to help him stay sober after revealing that his bag used to rattle with the sound of all the prescription drugs and alcohol in it. "I started combining them to a point where I didn’t know what I was taking during the day and what I was taking at night. It was just this routine," Armstrong said. "My backpack sounded like a giant baby rattle."

Armstrong was admitted to rehab in late 2012 following an incident at a radio show in Las Vegas where the band's set time was cut short, infuriating Armstrong to a point where he swore at the audience and destroyed his instrument on stage. It soon transpired that the recovering alcoholic had relapsed and was to return to rehab immediately.

"I played onstage loaded a lot," Armstrong said. "I’d have anywhere from two to six beers and a couple of shots before I went onstage, then go and play the gig and drink for the rest of the evening on the bus."

He continued: "Fall asleep, wake up the next day, feel like shit, do soundcheck… it was over and over again. In that way, I was a functioning alcoholic.? I’ve been trying to get sober since 1997, right around 'Nimrod'. But I didn’t want to be in any programmes. Sometimes, being a drunk, you think you can take on the whole world by yourself."

However, the frontman now says he is motivated to stay sober by the reminders of last year's onstage incident. "This was the last straw. I had no choices anymore," he explained. "People will remind me a little bit. Or I’ll see a photograph. And it makes me so sick. No. I can’t go there. That’s my last drink. Which is good – it’s documented. Anytime I feel like drinking, I can think about it."

Armstrong has left rehab now and it was recently confirmed that Green Day will perform for the first time at this year's SXSW festival in Austin, Texas. The trio will be making their SXSW debut on March 15 at ACL Live at the Moody Theatre on the same day of the world premiere of their film Broadway Idiot and also a screening of the documentary ¡Cuatro! takes place at the Paramount Theatre, also in Austin.

Green Day will play London's Emirates Stadium, the huge 60,000 capacity stadium commonly used by Arsenal Football Club, on June 1. Green Day will also be playing this year's Optimus Alive festival in Portugal, which takes place July 12-14.

Read More On This Artist

Green Day Merchandise
More News
Julian Casablancas + The Voidz confirm 'Tyranny' album details
HMV chairman says it is 'a matter of time' before they are Britain's biggest...
DFA Records deny reports New Order are working with James Murphy
Flashback Festival among three Essex events cancelled due to 'unforeseen circumstances'
Kasabian cover Iggy Azalea's 'Fancy' and announce plans to perform debut album in...
Prince reveals two new songs ahead of dual album release – listen
Neil Young rumoured to be releasing orchestral album 'Storytone'
Radiohead update official app with new music
Superfood announce details of debut album 'Don't Say That' – hear new song
Disclosure working with Mary J Blige on her new album 'The London Sessions'
Marina and the Diamonds preview snippet of new track 'Froot' – listen
Ryan Adams streams new album online
Rapper Riff Raff attacks 'chubby' Sam Smith after being cut from VMAs Instagram photo
Ash's Tim Wheeler announces debut solo album 'Lost Domain' – hear first song now
Yoko Ono announces this year's recipients of the Lennon Ono Grant For Peace
Royal Blood say debut album success shows there is 'hope for guitars and riffs' – watch
Bloc Party's Kele Okereke dismisses idea of 'Silent Alarm' anniversary tour
Mercury Music Prize 2014 nominees to be revealed next week
Today's new album releases: The Kooks, Pulled Apart By Horses and more
Arcade Fire cover Wolf Parade during final, homecoming Reflektor tour show – watch
Superfood and Honeyblood to play NME New Breed Tour
Foals and The Antlers to feature in Transgressive Records' free September downloads

More News

Comments

Please login to add your comment.

Featured Videos
Latest Tickets - Booking Now
 
Know Your NME
 

 
NME Store & Framed Prints
Most Read News
Popular This Week
Inside NME.COM
On NME.COM Today