Former W.A.S.P. guitarist Chris Holmes, who is perhaps best known for the infamous scene in the "The Decline Of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years" movie in which he can be seen guzzling vodka in his pool, says that he became sober nearly 20 years ago after being ordered by the court to attend a DUI school following several alcohol-related arrests.
"I partied as hard [as], or harder than, anybody I know," Holmes told Finland's Seiska TV in a recent interview (see video below).
"I grew up in California. If you didn't do drugs and alcohol, you were an outcast. That's the way it is; drugs and alcohol and rock music always went together."
Asked if he still drinks or does any drugs, he said: "No. I got tired of it. [I stopped drinking] on February 5, 1996. I went to a [rehabilitation facility to receive treatment] for drinking. I got six DUIs [for] driving drunk."
He continued: "Man, you know how many times I've driven drunk? [laughs] I think I've driven drunk more than I did sober.
"So, anyways, I got six DUIs. And they make you go through… Instead of just throwing you in jail, they put you through programs, [to] learn what alcohol does to you and whatever.
"I never even thought about quitting drinking in my life [before I got arrested]. Why should I? What reason do I have to quit drinking for? So this counselor just… After the sixth time [I got a DUI], this counselor, he talked me… He kind of gave me a challenge. If I was to quit for a year, he said, I'd never drink again. And I wanted to prove the guy wrong. So when I quit for a year, I just saw things a lot different.
"I saw my friends do such incredibly stupid things drunk. [laughs] Incredibly stupid. And I haven't drank since. I don't know… Maybe it's just that you get older… [laughs] Just incredibly stupid things drunk; nobody did anything constructive.
"Maybe as you just get older, you just get tired of being stupid.
"Everybody does drugs, you know?! I'm no different than anybody else. What kind of drugs? There isn't a drug on this planet I haven't tried. My saving grace is that every time I've tried heroin, it makes me ill and it makes me sicker the next day, and I don't ever wanna… it makes me sick. It doesn't do to me what it does to people that are heroin addicts, you know what I mean?! My body must be sick to opiates."
Speaking to Metallväktarna in a separate interview, Holmes stated about his appearance in the "The Decline Of Western Civilization Part II" movie: "I get a lot [of questions] about that. [People wanna know], 'Was it alcohol? Were you drunk?' Or whatever. Yeah, I was drunk. I'm not known to be a liar. In fact, I was real drunk; I couldn't even talk. So a lot of people ask me, 'How do you feel about that being on TV?' or whatever. The only thing I don't like is where some kid will come up to me and go, 'Man, that's the coolest! I wanna live like that.' And, to me, personally, that's, like, me going down the tubes. And why would somebody wanna live like that?"
Holmes joined W.A.S.P. in 1982 and remained with the group until 1990. In 1996, Holmes rejoined W.A.S.P. and stayed with the band until 2001. Holmes has not played with W.A.S.P. since.
Holmes last year released a solo album called "Nothing To Lose". Chris composed, performed, and produced the music and vocals, and teamed up with former MOTÖRHEAD drummer Phil "Philthy Animal" Taylor to perform on and engineer the effort. A follow-up CD, "Shitting Bricks", has already been recorded but has not yet been mixed.
Asked if he would ever rejoin W.A.S.P. if had the opportunity, Holmes told Seiska TV: "Never say never. Never say never. You know?! I'm half of W.A.S.P.; I was half of the situation. Even though I am not the voice [of the band], or whatever, I was the driving force of that thing."