Sex, Drugs, and Rock n’ Roll. That is the lifestyle that was made famous by rockstars of the past. Never is there a tour without some kind of temptation in the way to make the tour life just a little bit better. With the excessive amounts of travelling, dealing with the same few individuals every night, dealing with the same boring routine of getting up, playing a show, then getting back in the tour bus just to go to the next city to simply do it all over again can get a bit monotonous.
As a result, the consistent drug of choice for most musicians on the road is of course alcohol. It seems to be the magic potion that takes the edge off after (or before) a big show. For some, it works well, and does well to help matters on tour. For others, it may hinder their ability to perform, and worst, damage their longstanding health.
Children of Bodom guitarist and singer Alexi Laiho recently talked about his life on the road as he cut out the booze, making for a rather enjoyable experience that has augmented his playing ability and focus on stage. While Laiho hasn’t cut out alcohol out of his life completely, he has decided to stick to a plan to cut it out while on tour.
“I still drink, but not when I’m on the road,” said Laiho. “I can have a beer or two every now and then, but I can’t deal with the hangovers anymore and, like, hop on stage. When you’re getting older, the hangovers get so fucking bad, at least personally.”
“I guess it’s different for everybody, but I just want to lie on the couch and do fucking nothing. It really started to suck, and then you had to, like, throw back a couple of shots — not to get drunk, but just to keep an even keel and feel normal. That’s just not good.”
“I just decided that I’d rather feel awesome on stage and cut back on the partying. When I put it that way, it’s either one or the other. Of course, I choose the music. We had a lot of fun, that’s for sure. It’s just that when it gets to the point where you hit the stage and you’re basically just trying not to die [laughs], it’s like, ‘Wait a minute — what am I doing here? I’m not really enjoying playing live anymore,’ which before that was, like, my favorite thing to do. All of a sudden, it’s, like, the last thing I want to do because I’m so hung over. That’s when you sort of realize that your priorities are just a little fucked up. It’s not a big deal — not for me, anyway.”
“I just cut back on the booze, and you feel better and you’ve got more energy onstage and you’re actually enjoying yourself. When I get off the road, that’s when I open a beer and finally get drunk. It’s funny, because for a lot of people, it’s the other way around – they take it easy when they’re back home, and when they hit the road, that’s when they go crazy. For me, it’s the other way.”
JT “Doc” Berry \m/