STONE SOUR guitarist Josh Rand has spoken out about the treatment he received earlier this year for "an alcohol and Xanax dependency" which forced him to sit out the band's last tour.
Rand last performed with STONE SOUR on the ShipRocked cruise in mid-January before stepping away for what were at the time unspecified issues.
STONE SOUR enlisted a temporary replacement for its Canadian tour, with singer Corey Taylor later saying that Rand would rejoin his bandmates on April 27 at the Welcome To Rockville festival in Jacksonville, Florida.
Speaking with Andy Hall of the Des Moines, Iowa radio station Lazer 103.3, Josh said that he went to rehab because he had decided that he "needed some help dealing with stuff." He explained: "Really, it's been something that I've been dealing with… well, one thing for a very long time, which surprised people. Nobody had any idea, but I was… Basically, [I] had been on Xanax for, like, eight years and nobody knew at all. And then, over the course of the last couple of years, I had started drinking and then, when we started touring, I was basically 'day drinking.' But not drinking to get messed up, but just to maintain, I guess, or to be able to cope and to have this buzz. And all that stuff started spiraling for me as we were touring. I just felt horrible and miserable, and it really all came to a head for me on ShipRocked. We were flying from Florida back up to Canada, and, basically, we were in the airport and I just had the made the decision that I needed to come home. And, luckily, I had the support of the other guys and my family to make that decision. I had hit a wall, and I knew that I needed to regroup and to deal with my stuff. So that's what I did. And I came home and [sought] out help. And it will probably always be a little bit of a battle for me on certain days, but, as I said, I have a great support group within the band, family, friends, all that. And it was just important."
According to Josh, "everybody might have known" about his drinking problem, "'cause, obviously, we'd do a show and then I'd have drinks and then I'd be around everybody. Nobody knew, really, I don't think, that I was drinking in the day, 'cause I had kind of isolated myself away from everyone," he said. "But when I talked to my parents and my fiancée about the Xanax thing, everybody was taken aback. Initially, honestly, it was prescribed for me all the way back before [STONE SOUR's 2010 album] 'Audio Secrecy' because of my anxiety of flying and just the hard time of making that record. And we're talking 2009, 2010… I've not stopped since until a couple of months ago. So, yeah, it's been a long time."
Rand went on to say that he wanted to get help because STONE SOUR is only "a fraction" of his life, and that he has "the rest of my life to think about also, and my family, which is the number one thing. So it was something that I needed to do," he explained. "I'm glad that, obviously, I did it. I'm in a much better place now, and I'm excited to get back out there. And I think, like I said, it was definitely an important step for me to take. It wasn't easy. The thing is, for me, to be in the middle of us touring and do that, that was the first time that I'd stepped away from anything STONE SOUR ever. It was very difficult, but I knew that, for myself, I needed to do that. So that's what I did."
Josh said that he wanted to address his issues publicly because he wanted to break the negative stigma surrounding addiction and to let other addicts know that there is no shame in getting help when it is needed. "That's one of the reasons why we're discussing it," he said. "Because my thought process on it is if I don't say anything… And not that it's really anybody's business anyway, but I don't want all this to be speculated anyway. I just would rather, I guess, come clean with it and just have it be in the past. But also just if anybody else knows anybody that's struggling, 'cause it's not easy. And I'll be the first to admit, years ago, I didn't understand it. I honestly thought [of] the addiction thing as a weakness, and it's because I didn't understand it at the time. I guess it took me to become an addict to understand the addiction side of it. But that's the other reason why I feel okay to talk about it, 'cause I just know how much better I feel getting help over the last three months. So if me talking about it helps somebody else, whether they're an addict or somebody that's involved with somebody that has some type of addiction problem, I just wanna say that sometimes it's not easy for that individual just to stop or not to do it, sometimes it's out of their control and they need that help and support and not necessarily somebody just yelling at them to stop. It's not that easy."
STONE SOUR is continuing to tour in support of its sixth studio effort, "Hydrograd", which came out last June and features the chart-topping rock radio hit "Song #3".