In a brand new interview with Andy Hall of the Iowa rock radio station Lazer 103.3, STONE SOUR guitarist Josh Rand spoke about his sobriety, nearly two years after he announced that he was leaving the band's tour to seek out treatment for "an alcohol and Xanax dependency." Asked if it's easier or harder for him to stay clean now that STONE SOUR is off the road for an extended period of time, Rand said (hear audio below): "I think it's easier as every day goes by for me. It's harder being out on the road. It's constantly — I have access around it, or to it, throughout the day every day. So it's definitely a lot harder on the road. Every day that goes by, I don't even think about it anymore, to be quite honest. I went through a big time period in my life where I didn't drink, so I'm kind of back there. Like I said, I'm doing well with it. I don't struggle necessarily with it. I guess that question would be [more appropriate for when STONE SOUR starts] going back out [on the road], whenever that may be. But I'm all good now."
Rand emerged from treatment in April 2018 and admitted he had been struggling with Xanax and alcohol dependencies. He previously told Lazer 103.3 that he was first prescribed Xanax eight years earlier for anxiety related to flying. He added in a 2018 interview: "And then over the course of the last couple years, I started drinking and when we started touring, I was basically day-drinking. But not drinking to get messed up, but just to maintain, I guess. Or to be able to cope, to have this buzz."
The guitarist said he just started feeling "horrible and miserable" and that things came to a head for him in January 2018 on the ShipRocked cruise.
Rand recalled: "We were flying from Florida back up to Canada, and, basically, we were in the airport and I just had made the decision that I had to come home. Luckily, I had the support of the other guys and my family to make that decision. I had hit a wall and knew that I needed to regroup and deal with my stuff. So that's what I did."
Rand went on to say that he wanted to get help because STONE SOUR was only "a fraction" of his life, and that he had "the rest of my life to think about also, and my family, which is the number one thing."
Josh said that he wanted to address his issues publicly because he wanted to break the negative stigma surrounding addiction and to let other addicts know that there is no shame in getting help when it is needed.
STONE SOUR has been off the road since completing the touring cycle for its 2017 studio album "Hydrograd". Singer Corey Taylor has been working with SLIPKNOT since then, recording and currently touring behind that group's sixth LP, "We Are Not Your Kind".
STONE SOUR will release its first official live album, "Hello, You Bastards: Live In Reno", on December 13 via Cooking Vinyl. The release features 16 of the band's most loved tracks, including "Absolute Zero", "Through Glass" and "Song #3" recorded live on October 5, 2018. The album will be available on CD, digitally, and as a numbered 180-gram double vinyl package, limited to just 2500 copies, which also includes a poster, backstage pass, guitar pick, autographed setlist and a download card.