In the 80’s and 90’s metal scene, musicians used heroin to push the limits of excess and chase away their demons. The drug took its toll on some of metal’s greatest artists. Many ended up spiraling into the hellish chaos of addiction, some not making it out alive. It was during this period of time that heroin truly became the devil in metal. In this episode, host Jon Wiederhorn interviews members of Alice in Chains, Black Sabbath, Mötley Crüe, Jane’s Addiction, Megadeth, Pentagram, and Motörhead who share their horror stories and near-death experiences. This is Episode 1 of a 2-Episode arc.


Alice in Chains lead singer Layne Staley laments on the fact his drug use had come to define him in the public eye. Author and former Black Sabbath publicist Mick Wall shares how drug use incapacitated Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward for three months. Listen as Mötley Crüe bassist Nikki Sixx tells how writing in his diary helped him cope during the height of his drug addiction. Jane’s Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro talks about his near death experience due to a heroin overdose Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine recalls how the band relied on drugs as an escape from their dire financial situation. Hear former Megadeth Bassist David Ellefson describe his downward spiral into a life of addiction. Pentagram lead singer Bobby Liebling recalls when he suffered a near-fatal overdose during a gig in Washington, DC.

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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