DIIV’s Zachary Cole Smith talks sobriety and split from Sky Ferreira

The frontman has been six months sober

DIIV figurehead Zachary Cole Smith has given a new interview about his sobriety, opening up on his recovery from drug addiction.

The frontman entered rehab in February, writing on Instagram at the time “now is the time for me to stop kidding myself, and everybody else… i’ve taken this road way past the point of sanity and fucked with way too many people.”

Now, speaking to Billboard, Cole has opened up on his extensive recovery from heroin and cocaine addiction. “So basically, my program of recovery is super hard line,” he explains. “No drugs, no alcohol ever, for the rest of my life… It’s a framework in which you do the steps and the work, and do shit yourself. You just put yourself in there and once you’ve been in there for a while, the core concept of it is you stay sober by keeping other people sober.”


“I was so fucked up that I was canceling tours and crying on stage and just a fucking mess,” Cole says. “I was like, putting my feet to the street in every city, getting robbed on the street. Putting everybody into fucked up situations, trying to get drugs in weird countries.”

He also reveals that he believed at one point during the making of DIIV’s most recent album, 2016’s ‘Is The Is Are’, that the record would be his last. “I literally thought that I was gonna die. I thought, ‘I’m already dead.’” he says. “Part of me, and a lot of my friends were like, ‘Well you’re already fucking dead.’ There was just nothing.”

Cole’s much-publicised past relationship with singer Sky Ferreira is also touched upon. The pair were stopped by police back in 2013, and subsequently arrested on drugs charges including the possession of “42 decks of heroin”. Ferreira was unaware of Cole’s drug use at the time.

“She’s a real artist, and lives her art,” he says. “I was using drugs, lying about using drugs, constantly,” he admits. “Because that was my life. That’s how you survive. It’s like breathing. It’s not like I could wake up one morning and be like, ‘Okay, today I’m gonna not do drugs.’ I had to spend basically a month in a hospital drooling before I could even think about re-entering the real world. And then still have a six-month period of transition, and then I’m just where I am now. It’s a long journey of self-discovery and exploration. And you can’t just one day do that.”


He continues: “With Sky I was constantly trying to get myself better, and I would want things to be better. But I would use and lie about it, and use and lie about it and get caught and hurt her feelings. Because if you see someone you love shooting heroin in the bathroom, finding them blue on the bathroom floor, it’s gonna affect your ability to trust that person. And it’s gonna hurt you, because you think, ‘Why can’t I help you? Am I not enough?’ It creates this deep-rooted trust and insecurity issue that ultimately you can’t repair. And that was my fault.

“Sky’s young, but she’s been through so much and I feel horrible that I’m just like another person that hurt her. Because everybody saw me at the time as being the person who — they’d say, ‘You’re gonna treat this girl the way that she deserves to be treated.’ I tried my best. I wanted to be a great guy and I wanted to be nice and I wanted to be everything. But ultimately I was a liar, because I had this fucking drug problem.”

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