Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong discusses ‘gruesome’ detox, fears of losing family and band


Green Day front man Billie Joe Armstrong let it all hang out in regards to his detox from alcohol and drugs in an interview from the latest edition of Rolling Stone.

Last September, Armstrong made the wrong kind of headlines when he blacked out during a live show at the I Heart Radio Music Festival in Las Vegas, unleashing a profanity-laced tirade including the quote, “I’m not f**king Justin Bieber, you motherf**kers.” His manager “woke” him up when that September brutal breakdown ended and insisted that the rocker enter rehab. He said of that evening, “I’m a blackout drinker. That’s basically what happened [that night].”

In the wake of that infamous performance, the married father of two had to cancel months of scheduled concerts as well as promotional events set for the band’s album Uno. He decided to forgo a rehab facility, opting to detox and get clean at home with the assistance of a nurse. Detox was hell as the veteran musician had been struggling with addiction issues since 1997:

“I was going through withdrawal. That was gruesome, laying on the bathroom floor and just feeling like…I didn’t realize how much that stuff affected me. And it’s not the stuff that is immediately in your system. It goes back to how long you’ve been using. It was working its way out.”

He added:

“I was going through so much sh*t. Even in the second week, I was like, ‘I don’t belong here. I’m not convinced.’ The sick part of it is I wanted to get all of the narcotics out of my system so I could start drinking. But that’s the insanity of the whole thing. You make excuses. You rationalize. You can take a sh*t in a mailbox — that doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do.”

Even though he recovered at home, the 41-year-old stated that he managed to keep his issues away from his sons. He did worry about the very real possibility of his wife, Adrienne – whom he married in 1994, leaving him.

“I think it’s safe to say there were some choices she had to make. Am I going to get kicked to the curb? I’m sure the thought crossed her mind – that if I didn’t get sober, I could potentially lose all of that stuff. I could have lost the band too. I didn’t realize how destructive I was. I thought everybody was in on the joke. But I was the joke.”

Green Day will hit the road again starting with a March 10 date at the Fox Theater in Pomona, California. Armstrong is tentatively optimistic about jumping back in to the touring life. “I’m hosting this giant party for people. At least 70-75 percent of the people in the audience have been getting a drink on. I’ve got to watch my step.”