Papa Roach’s Jacoby Shaddix on ‘Personal Revolution’ to Change From Inside Through Sobriety
There has seemingly been a move toward artists being more public about their issues in recent years, and during a chat with Philadelphia's WMMR-FM, Papa Roach singer Jacoby Shaddix spoke openly about his sobriety and some of the issues that initially triggered his alcoholism.
During the chat, Shaddix revealed that he's now seven-and-a-half years sober, but that came after years of trying to battle his addictions and relapsing repeatedly.
"I grew up and didn't know how to deal with my emotions and my feelings of the dark experience that happened to me as a child and the brokenness that I carried from that," stated the singer. "Trauma, it's real. Trauma affects people in a lot of different ways, and you've gotta find a way to deal with it. I'm still unpackaging all this stuff from my youth and coming to peace with it. But then you see a lot of U.S. military veterans are coming back and they've experienced just horrific traumas. And so that's why you see a lot of our guys are struggling as they come back, because of the horrors of war and that stuff, and my heart just goes out to them."
Realizing a bit of where his issues started, he dug a little deeper. "I did a bunch of research on homelessness in America, and a large portion of our [homeless] population are U.S. military veterans," the singer added, "We've got a bit of a problem on our hands in that regard. And my father was a Vietnam veteran and he had that experience and I saw how that played out in his life. Man, the horrors of war… the trauma doesn't end on the battlefield; people carry that trauma home. Soldiers got families, and you see how it affects the family and the kids."
He continued, "Am I crazy for wanting peace? Am I crazy for that? Just to go deep on this subject real quick, in order to heal the madness of war, we've gotta start inside with ourselves; it starts with a personal revolution, and so that's what I'm doing, man — I'm on a personal revolution. I'm trying to change myself from the inside out and put myself on the chopping block every day and take a look in the mirror and realize that I know I don't have everything figured out and that some of the things that I believe and that I think aren't always right."
Shaddix says these days, he's more prone to self-analyze and he credits his sobriety with giving him the ability to look at his life with a clear head and try to evolve for the better.
While Shaddix is sober now, it's not a fight he was always winning. "I had a mean struggle with it, man. I tried to get sober for the first time when I was 27 and struggled with it for years and fell off and got back on, and fell off and got back on. Then I finally found a support group of other musicians that were traveling the road and living the life that I was living, 'cause it's quite unique, in a sense. And I found a way to do it and a way to find some peace."
The vocalist admits that when he hit rock bottom, his life was falling apart. "My behaviors and my actions and the ways that I was treating myself and my loved ones, it was just not acceptable. I was just drinking to numb my feelings and try to escape it, but the problem was always there," says Shaddix. "I was like, 'Alright, it's time to face it.' I don't wanna repeat this cycle of broken family and broken children.'"
Having gone through his experiences, he empathizes, "The struggle for people is real, and I just encourage anybody that's out there struggling, if you've got these demons that you're dealing with, I guarantee there's somebody around you that wants to help you, and do not be silent about your struggle. If you're alone in this, it's gonna take you out. If you don't speak up, it's just gonna take you down farther and farther and farther. So speak. Call a hotline if you're struggling with life itself. There's a lot of avenues for people to go out there and get help." Listen to more of the chat here.
Papa Roach are spending the summer touring with Asking Alexandria and Bad Wolves in support of their Who Do You Trust album. See their current dates here.
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