The bottle has called to many metal musicians since the genre’s early days. Some artists found it as a way to push the boundaries of excess, and in some cases, numb out physical and psychological pain. The late Eddie Van Halen drank to write and perform. Other artists got caught up in the partying lifestyle. Either way, whether a happy drunk or crappy drunk, going sober for many was an uphill battle. In this episode, hear scary, and sometimes dramatic, tales of blackout drinking and stories of rehabilitation from host Jon Wiederhorn and members of Van Halen, Pantera, Black Label Society, Lamb of God, Megadeth and more.  


Longtime Pantera photographer Joe Giron recounts how the band enjoyed outdrinking their friends and fans.  Van Halen guitarist and songwriter Eddie Van Halen explains how his father recommended drinking to deal with performance anxiety while onstage. Singer Ozzy Osbourne remembers how vulnerable he felt during the beginnings of his sobriety. The late Pantera drummer Vinnie Paul describes the band’s nightly meet and greet drinking routine while on the road. Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine thinks back to the drunken antics that led to him being kicked out of Metallica. Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian recalls some of Dave Mustaine’s drunken outrageous moments. Slipknot and Stone Sour vocalist Corey Taylor describes how he used alcohol to drown away his unhappiness and how it took a long time for him to gain the confidence to go sober. Lamb of God’s lead vocalist Randy Blythe explains that even though alcohol helped him write, drinking became an all-consuming obsession that led to bodily damage. Black Label Society’s Zakk Wylde recounts his near-death experience with blood clots caused by drinking. Limp Bizkit bassist Sam Rivers talks about how his drinking got so bad that he eventually needed a liver transplant. Exodus songwriter and former Slayer guitarist Gary Holt says drinking alone during the pandemic pushed him to go sober. Filmmaker Rat Skates, who also co-founded Overkill, theorizes musicians' creative, obsessive nature may lead them to alcoholism. Listen to how Cradle of Filth frontman Dani Filth like most of his peers was captivated by the allure of partying and in the mid-90s he spent years emulating other metal bands he admired. The late Pantera guitarist Dimebag Darrell explains the source of his rowdy nature.

Backstaged: The Devil in Metal is a production of Diversion Podcasts in association with iHeartRadio. Written and hosted by Jon Wiederhorn. Produced and directed by Mark Francis and Scott Waxman. Consulting Producer: Andrew Kalb. Production Assistant: Anita Okoye. Social Media Manager: Stephen Tompkins. Instrumental guitar music by Scott Waxman. Editing by Chris Schreiner. Technical Producer: Clem Fandango. Director of Marketing and Business Development: Jacob Bronstein. Executive Producers: Scott Waxman and Mark Francis. Special thanks to Oren Rosenbaum at UTA.

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