The tortured artist trope is so ingrained in pop culture, that many creatives think they need the buzz of various substances to function. Many don’t even know how to socialize or perform without it.
But what happens when they realise their drinking (and use of other drugs) is affecting them for the worst?
VICE recently interviewed a bunch of musicians, comedians, and artists who have decided to give it all up and go cold turkey. Asking each person why they decided to quit, the piece gives a compelling look at how their lives have changed after going sober.
Comedian Mark Maron (from Netflix’s ‘Glow’) has been sober for 18 years. He wrote that the difference between his performances now is, “I’m not hiding.”
Songwriter Chris Farren explained, “I would always have a drink before going on stage to dull that nervous edge. Now my performances are almost entirely controlled and directed by my nervous edge and it rocks. One of the main reasons I quit drinking was seeing how much it could dull a musician's career. I have toured with a lot of people who don't seem to really care about their own band anymore, who have kind of lost the ambition or the fire for it, but use alcohol to keep the wheels turning. That always really bummed me out. I knew if I kept drinking I was in danger of surrendering to that kind of apathy.”
Read the full piece here.