Billie Joe Armstrong is finally opening up about his 17-year substance abuse struggle in the newest issue of Rolling Stone magazine.
The Green Day frontman completed rehab in October 2012 following a public meltdown while performing at the iHeart Radio Music Festival in September.
“The next morning, I woke up. I asked [my wife] Adrienne, ‘How bad was it?’ She said, ‘It’s bad.’ I called my manager. He said, ‘You’re getting on a plane, going back to Oakland and going into rehab immediately,’” Billie said about the meltdown.
In the interview, Billie admits that his struggle with drugs had been going on for years and started before his Green Day days when he lived in Berkley with Tre Cool, “We would be at a party at someone’s house where bands were playing. Someone would have speed, and we’d do it. Then I would start writing songs when I got home. It wasn’t a necessity. The song was already there. The courage was what I needed. The fear was always there, even when we were doing American Idiot.”
Armstrong then goes on to explain how drugs and alcohol were part of the image, “I played onstage loaded a lot. 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. Fall asleep, wake up the next day, feel like s**t, do sound-check…it was over and over again. In that way, I was a functioning alcoholic.”
You can pick up a copy of the new issue of Rolling Stone when it hits newsstands on March 1st!