STONE SOUR guitarist Josh Rand was interviewed by Kaaos TV prior to the band's June 6 performance at Rockfest in Hyvinkää, Finland. The full conversation can be seen below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On veteran acts like SLAYER and upcoming tourmate Ozzy Osbourne embarking on farewell tours:
Josh: "They're putting a cap on amazing careers. At some point, the reality is that getting old sucks, and you can't do it, and I think with a lot of these bands, you want to be able to put on the show that you've always put on, or close to it. You don't want to fade away — you would rather go out on top. Everybody wants to go out on top, regardless of what you do. Touring's not as easy as everybody thinks that it is, and to me, the fact that [Osbourne] has been able to do it for as long as he has and at the level that he has is pretty amazing. We're just stoked to have that opportunity. We were very shocked when they came [to] us with the offer of going out with him. It's like, 'Hell, really?' We're still all kind of like in a dream-type state, but it's going to be amazing. He's the godfather of heavy metal, the prince of darkness. Zakk [Wylde]'s back in the band. What more could you want? It's going to be awesome."
On his newfound sobriety:
Josh: "I feel great, honestly. I just hit a wall in January when we did ShipRocked, and I just felt terrible. Physically and mentally, I was just over everything, and I just felt like crap. I made the decision to go home and address that situation. Fast-forward to now, and I feel great. Mentally, I feel like I have a newfound appreciation for everything. It's easy to get stuck and spin in this downward spiral, and then everything is horrible. Once you get into that mindset, then everything in your life becomes that way, and it becomes a burden. I just woke up one day on ShipRocked and I was, like, 'I don't want to do this anymore if this is going to be how I'm going to feel,' and I made the decision to go home and get some help. [I got] great support from my family and the band, and I'm glad to be back. It gave me a newfound appreciation doing it, so for me, it's like being on the first STONE SOUR cycle all over again. I'm taking all of this in, instead of when we'd tour before, I'd lock myself basically in the hotel room. Now, I want to get out and see all this stuff that I've never seen. It's really like a complete rebirth for me, and I'm just taking it all in. I'm truly more excited to be on this run now than I probably have [been] in a very long time."
On whether it was hard to admit that he needed help:
Josh: "Yeah. Nobody wants to admit that they need help or discuss flaws that they have, but I knew that I didn't want to feel the way that I did, and I wanted to fix it. It surprised a lot of people, including myself, because I didn't realize I was on some of that stuff as long as I was, but once I did it, the first couple weeks obviously were miserable. For one, I'm trying to kick the stuff that my body's used to, so I have that natural want and need of that. On top of it, watching the band go on without me. Luckily, I have a great family support [system] at home, and once I got going in it, I was really committed into feeling better. It was a great decision — the best decision I've made, honestly. A band is like a team, so having me come back and be in the mind state that I'm at now, it's great for everybody. [When] you've got somebody that's miserable, like they say, one bad apple spoils the batch. Possibly, that could have been me. A huge burden came off of me once I got going. I feel awesome."
On the group's 2017 album "Hydrograd", and when the group plans to start working on its follow-up:
Josh: "We actually started working on this record about a year and a half before we would go into the studio. We kind of already had rehearsed it, and I think that will be the process moving forward from now on. We've already talked about when we would start working on songs for the next record — probably next summer. Really, once SLIPKNOT gets done in the studio and that record comes out, then Corey [Taylor] will probably shift gears back and we'll start slowly working on what the next STONE SOUR record will be."
"Hydrograd" — released last June via Roadrunner — was recorded at Sphere Studios in North Hollywood, California with producer Jay Ruston, who has previously worked with ANTHRAX and STEEL PANTHER.
STONE SOUR will support Osbourne on the initial North American leg of the legendary vocalist's "No More Tours 2" tour, which kicks off August 30 in Allentown, Pennsylvania.