Billie Joe Armstrong: I love performing sober
Billie Joe Armstrong “loves” performing sober.
The Green Day frontman spent four months in rehab after an onstage meltdown in 2012 and though he was anxious about returning to the stage, he now finds performing live more fulfilling than ever.
He said: “I love it. I was having all these crazy neurotic thoughts like, ‘I hope I remember how to play guitar and how to sing’, but then as soon as you get up there, it’s just intoxicating to feed off the energy and adrenaline that’s going on in the crowd, and to be able to remember it all afterwards.”
The 'American Idiot’ hitmaker admitted he turned to drink and drugs to mask his social anxiety.
He said: “I definitely suffer from my own forms of neuroses and depression and phobias.
"I always feel like the most awkward person when I’m in a crowded room. I have social anxieties and stuff like that, and I used drugs and booze to take care of that.”
The 44-year-old singer felt he had to go into rehab and face his problems “head on”, though he doesn’t want to draw on the specifics of what he was addicted to.
He told Q magazine: “I don’t wanna get too deep into my drug of choice … I had to deal with the situation head-on, because the thing about getting sober is, like, if you don’t do it the right way, you end up becoming a hermit and I definitely didn’t wanna lead that kind of life.
"So I had to sort of expose myself and be raw, which was great. It was something I needed to do. If you look at what I do on stage every night, it’s like those songs are every form of depression and anxiety, and I’m putting it all into a crowded room. So for me, it was always 'drink a six-pack of beer before I go on stage’. But I can’t do that any more so it was definitely all about facing that in one good go.”