When you picture the lifestyle of most rock musicians, images of wild concerts, exuberant groupies, and partying until reaching a loss of consciousness likely come to mind. Widely portrayed in almost every music-themed movie or musician documentary are tales of misguided over-consumption and lifelong battles with addiction. Stories of brilliant lives ravaged by substance abuse and binge drinking in an effort to cope with their demons or foster their creativity are detailed on nearly every musician's Wikipedia page once you get down to the "personal life" section. This is just reality. So when you hear about a musician who has chosen to live a sober life, it can kind of take you by surprise.
Alcohol and music go hand in hand. Enjoying a few beers during rehearsal to get the creative juices flowing, taking a shot of whiskey to calm the nerves before a studio session or big gig... hell, I've even convinced myself that a brandy (neat) on the third set during a long show is medicinal. it just goes with the territory. "Musician" is one of the only jobs out there where drinking is not only acceptable, but encouraged and glamorized. Things are a bit different in Hot Pink Hangover though, because we have a sober band mate who has struggled with alcoholism, and whom we want to support so that we continue to be the united rock force that we're working hard every day to be. We're in this together.
At one point in his life, Davey Hazard could really tie one on. We've heard some pretty colorful descriptions of his drunken antics as a student at The U of M and during his early band days. But three years ago, he made the very difficult and personal decision to put down the bottle. We recently had a film crew hit us up about doing a series of documentaries with the band and Davey talks more about his own journey during his segment. Check it out here. When I try to imagine my own life without the security blanket of booze, it's almost impossible to visualize. I depend on a glass of wine to lower my anxiety when forced to talk to people, to calm my nerves after a bad day, and to make me feel creative. I don't overdo it all the time, but I certainly don't have the willpower to quit. I tied-one-on hard New Years Eve and seriously considered quitting for good, both because of the way hangovers feel now that I'm no longer in my 20's, and because of the way I conducted myself... or embarrassed myself, rather. But I only made it 7 days before the temptation of a happy hour with a friend intervened. It's hard. Some of you know firsthand, and man, do I admire you for your strength and perseverance.
I think we have a really good balance in Hot Pink Hangover. We write a lot of songs about these types of internal struggles, because we've actually been there, but we don't drink at our rehearsals- and we always put on sober performances for our audiences. Some of us will have a post-show beer, but you won't find us destroying hotel rooms after receiving cryptic messages from the bottom of a vodka bottle. Many of our fans are sober too and we're united by the support and encouragement we extend to one another. It's actually pretty admirable when you think about it. The concept of, "You just do you" and everyone will be cool with that- as long as you're not hurting anyone or insulting their values. We're lucky to have all of you in our lives. We're grateful that when we tell you we're just here to give you a rock show, and that we'll be doing it sober, none of you have ever given us any shit. Thanks, Hotties. This is one of the many reasons that we feel we have the best fans in the world. Cheers to strength in sobriety!