In an exclusive interview in the upcoming issue of Rolling Stone, Billie Joe Armstrong opens up about his years of alcohol and prescription drug abuse and his road back from his onstage meltdown at the iHeartRadio festival in Las Vegas last September.
"I couldn't predict where I was going to end up at the end of the night," he tells Rolling Stone senior writer David Fricke. "I'd wake up in a strange house on a couch. I wouldn't remember how. It was a complete blackout." He finally confronted his problem after the Vegas radio festival, where the frontman smashed his guitar onstage and shouted, "I'm not f--king Justin Bieber, you motherf--kers." Armstrong's recovery sidetracked promotion of Green Day's album trilogy ¡Uno!, ¡Dos! and ¡Tré!, and the group was forced to postpone tour dates.
"I remember tiny things," Armstrong says of the Vegas incident. "The next morning, I woke up. I asked [my wife] Adrienne, "How bad was it?" She said, "It's bad." I called my manager. He said, "You're getting on a plane, going back to Oakland and going into rehab immediately."
With Armstrong back, Green Day will hit the road again next month for a trio of club dates, an appearance at SXSW and their official tour resuming on March 28th. "Sometimes I'm not sure I'm ready," Armstrong admits. "There is still the obsession for alcohol. There's also sleepless nights. But I have to work on it every day. Because I know what goes on there. I'm hosting this giant party for people. At least 70-75 percent of the people in the audience have been getting their drink on. I've got to watch my step."
"I want to put on good shows," he declares. "I want to be reliable. And we plan on being reliable."
Read the full story in the new issue of Rolling Stone, on stands this Friday.Billie Joe Armstrong Opens Up About Substance Abuse