Ever since Gym Class Heroes graduated from being just another face on the Warped Tour crowd to VMA-winning stars , singer Travis McCoy has been keeping a secret. Now, with friends and stars including Pimp C and Heath Ledger dying in drug-related incidents, McCoy is opening up about his struggle with addiction and a recent rapid detox program he underwent in an attempt to get clean.
“Baby, I’m a blur. … So I’ve had a little time on my hands lately,” wrote McCoy on his official blog on Friday. “Recovering from a relatively new procedure that cleans your opiate receptors and basically gives you a new beginning. I feel like a layer of sh– has been peeled off of my brain. I’m sure a lot of you who really pay attention to our music know that I’ve been addicted to pharmaceuticals since I was 15 years old. This is my second stint in a detox program. [The] first was right before we signed to [Fueled by Ramen], and it really didn’t help much.
“Meeting after meeting, I still had a thirst, a death wish. F— it, it is what it is. You’re probably asking yourself, ’[Why] is he spilling his guts on the inter-web??’ Well, the truth of the matter is, I felt an enormous amount of guilt for glorifying drug use in our music, I never talked about getting f—ed up in song to sound cool or to gain points. It was my life, day in day out, it’s how I coped with everything.”
McCoy, who never discussed what drugs he was abusing in the post, went on to say that the death of his cousin Isaiah last year pushed him into a dangerous spiral, which he said drove him to dive into drugs “face-first,” consuming at a rate he feared was slowly killing him.
“Then people started dropping like flies all around me — friends, Heath, Pimp C, etc., etc.,” he wrote. “Still, I was selfish and thought I was invincible, as we all do. I realized something: I gave myself an expiration date, a self-fulfilled destiny I was certain to make true. For some retarded reason I never thought I’d make it past 27. Well, it’s nearing, and I’m still here, and I have no plans to leave anytime soon.”
The band’s manager, Bob McLynn, confirmed that the post was from McCoy and added that “Trav is doing great. It’s been such a busy few years for Gym Class, and he needed a little time to take care of personal business. He’s psyched to get back in the studio to finish work on the new studio album, which will be out this summer.”
McCoy said only a few close friends knew he was struggling before he decided to tell the whole world. “And to anyone else struggling with this sh–, it is conquerable, you can beat it,” he wrote. “All kinds of things were pulling at me before I boarded the plane for the hospital. Will I still be cool drug-free? Will I lose my edge? Will my writing suffer? Will my friends think I’m lame? Will I still be a fun guy or a vegetable? Guess what?!?! I feel like Wolverine out this mother—-er, uh, whatever that means. I’m a little weak and achy, but every hour that passes I feel more and more like me. The me I haven’t seen in 10 years.”
Like many stars who’ve sought refuge from the bright lights of sudden fame, McCoy lamented that there’s no instruction manual for making it and dealing with life on the road, the constant attention, the expectations, the good and bad press and the pressure to perform. “It’s enough to make an ox buckle at the knees mid-charge,” he said. “I’ve always rolled with the punches. I’m throwing them now. If it means anything, any of this, just don’t be selfish, live for yourself but know your life is directly connected and important to anyone who loves or cares for you. I can count with two hands how many friends I’ve lost to drugs. I don’t want to start using toes.”
The post ends with McCoy expressing his relief at sharing his dark secret and how hard it was to open up, as well as promising fans that he won’t be the “preachy” type who will start giving anti-drug rants at GCH shows.
McCoy has openly discussed the dangers of drugs in the past, in such GCH songs as “Faces in the Hall” from 2005’s The Papercut Chronicles. The track tells the story of Maria, who begins using heroin after her father, a struggling musician, overdoses. “Viva la White Girl” from the band’s 2006 breakthrough, As Cruel as School Children, however, is a less cautionary tale of abuse, with a refrain of “We’ll get high and hide” hinting at the dark side of addiction. The song also appears to glorify cocaine use and hint at McCoy’s balancing act in hiding his problems from his fans, with lyrics like, “Take your razor, break down my line/ Put your nose to the speaker/ Now breathe in, breathe in/ Clean up your nose and face the crowd.”
The group’s next album, The Quilt, is due out later this year.