In a new interview with "Rock Of Nations With Dave Kinchen And Shane McEachern", BUCKCHERRY's Josh Todd spoke about David Draiman's recent onstage speech about the "demons" of addiction and depression in which the DISTURBED frontman revealed that, a few months ago, he "almost joined" his late friends Chester Bennington, Chris Cornell and Scott Weiland while battling these demons. Asked if he can relate to Draiman's mental health challenges, Todd said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Absolutely. I'm an alcoholic. I've been clean and sober from drugs and alcohol for 28 years. And although you take away the drugs and alcohol, it's just a symptom of the problem. The problem is your mind. Between your ears, I'm different than a normal guy walking the street. So because of that — I call it 'the committee', and the committee between my ears can be an asset or a liability, for sure. So you have to do a lot of things to manage that and to understand those particular voices in your head that really wanna get you isolated from people and get you to drink and use.
"There's a lot of things that I do," he continued. "I'm very active in Alcoholics Anonymous. I meditate. I show up. I have a lot of meetings to this day. I'm still a work in progress. I just work really hard on staying focused on the fact that this thing that I got is always lying in wait, and you have to really take it seriously or you can find yourself giving in to those dark thoughts. And I know what [David is] talking about.
"I'm also a child of suicide," Josh added. "My father took his own life when I was 10, and it really, really affected me. So that is kind of a non-negotiable for me; there's no way I'm gonna do that. I have children, and I just know what that did to me as a kid. It gave a lot of abandonment issues, made me very angry inside. I had a big hole inside, and I was filling it with anything I could get. And so because of that, it's just not something that I will ever entertain, although I do have suicidal thoughts occasionally. So I know what [David is] talking about. It's something to take very seriously, and hopefully he's getting some help for that."
Asked if it's hard to stay sober on the road and surround himself with enough like-minded people to keep him on the right path, Josh said: "It's not really hard. If you really work on your foundation in recovery, then you can be around people that are… I don't preach this. I don't tell people not to drink or use; I'm not that guy. But I do have a lot of sober guys around me. Stevie [Dacanay, guitar] is longtime sober. Francis [Ruiz, drums] is sober; he doesn't drink anymore; he hasn't drank the whole time I've known him. Billy [Rowe, guitar] will — I think he occasionally has a drink, but he's a normie guy.
"I don't wanna talk about other people, 'cause that's their business," Josh continued. "But we'll have crew guys and band guys that use occasionally. If it's a problem, then we talk about it; we address it. I don't turn people away because they have a problem. But if it starts affecting their work, then we've got something to talk about."
Todd previously discussed his sobriety in a 2021 interview with Niclas Müller-Hansen of RockSverige. At the time he said: "The staying sober part, like not drinking or using drugs, isn't the hard part. The hard part is really managing your mind, because it's the mind that's busted. The alcoholic mind and the addict mind is the problem. The drinking and the using is just the symptom of the problem. The only solution is the spiritual one, and I don't wanna sound cooky, but that is the truth. It's about [being] spiritual in life and all those things, and how do you do that? Well, for me, doing annual inventories where I take it out of my head and write it down and tell somebody else about what's going on with me. I do meditation every day, I work with others, I go to meetings and stuff like that.
"Drugs and alcohol is all over the place," he continued. "If you're a rich businessman, there's a lot of that. There's drugs and alcohol everywhere; it's not just musicians.
"I have crew guys that smoke a lot of weed, and I'd roll a joint for you. It doesn't bother me. I don't like to be around it for extended periods of time. I don't wanna be around someone who is super fucked up because If I'm not fucked up, it's no fun for me. I like to get people really fucked up and then leave [laughs] and let them be fucked up.
"I don't preach about my sobriety," Josh added. "If getting fucked up works for you, God bless you. It didn't work for me after a while. I got really fucked up from 13 to 23. You wouldn't have recognized me. I was a horrible drug addict and alcoholic and it just didn't work for me anymore. I did it real good."
Asked if he managed to quit drinking on his own or if someone else got him into rehab to help him stop using alcohol, Josh said: "There were a few things that happened in my life all at one time that got me sober. My first daughter was born, and she just turned 27. I was a broke musician at that time. I was terrified and did not know how to be a father. I didn't have a father since I was 10 years old. I didn't know anything about it. I was trying to achieve my dreams and it wasn't happening and I had a massive alcohol and drug problem. I just intuitively just kinda thought to myself, 'Man, I'm at the crossroads, and something's gotta change. I don't know what to do.' I just said that out loud and was thinking about it every day.
"I got arrested for drunk driving in Orange County and got assigned all these AA meetings for my DUI program," he revealed. "I started going to the meetings, and at some point, some guy stood up and he didn't look like me. He was just a nine-to-fiver-type guy, shirt and tie, and I didn't know that people lived sober. He basically told my story. He talked about how he drank and did drugs and it was, like, 'Oh my God, this is me.' That gave me the courage to just raise my hand and say 'Newcomer.' And that's when everything changed. I knew this was the last stop on the block. I was heading to jail, institutions, or death. I had already had alcohol poisoning at 23, and at one point my hands were paralyzed for a good hour and I didn't know it was alcohol poisoning. I had been doing crystal meth and drinking for three days straight, got alcohol poisoning and it scared the shit out of me. I had a lot of those moments of clarity while I was drinking and using but I couldn't stop. That's how I got sober and I just never looked back. I knew that as long as I put sobriety on the top of my list, everything else will work out in my life. And look at me — it all worked out."
BUCKCHERRY will release their tenth studio album, "Vol. 10", on June 2. The 11-song LP features 10 new BUCKCHERRY originals and, as a bonus track, a cover of the Bryan Adams classic "Summer Of 69". The album was produced by Marti Frederiksen and recorded at Sienna Studios in Nashville. The album will be released in North America by Round Hill Records, in Japan by Sony Japan, and by Earache Records for the rest of the world.