After months out of the spotlight and on the cusp of his band’s imminent return to the stage, Green Day singer Billie Joe Armstrong has finally broken his silence about the substance abuse issues that sent him to rehab last year.
In a cover story in the new issue of Rolling Stone, Armstrong said that years of alcohol and prescription drug abuse landed him in a facility following his onstage meltdown at a Las Vegas radio festival.
“I couldn’t predict where I was going to end up at the end of the night,” said Armstrong, 41. “I’d wake up in a strange house on a couch. I wouldn’t remember how. It was a complete blackout.”
The years of abuse came to a head on September 21 when Armstrong launched into an expletive-filled tirade at the iHeartRadio festival after being told the band needed to wrap up their set. A short time later the band announced that the singer was seeking help with unspecified substance issues.
The festival freakout is what convinced Armstrong that he needed to seek some help. “I remember tiny things,” he said about the viral meltdown. “The next morning, I woke up. I asked [my wife] Adrienne, ‘How bad was it?’ She said, ‘It’s bad.’ I called my manager. He said, ‘You’re getting on a plane, going back to Oakland and going into rehab immediately.’”
The full Rolling Stone interview will be available when the issue hits stands on Friday.
In October, Green Day canceled the rest of their 2012 dates in support of that year’s album trilogy, ¡Uno!, ¡Dos!, ¡Tre!. By late December they announced that they were ready to hit the road again, with Armstrong releasing a statement thanking fans for their support while he dealt with his substance problems.
“Dear friends … I just want to thank you for all the love you’ve show for the past few months,” Armstrong wrote. “Believe me, it hasn’t gone unnoticed and I’m eternally grateful to have such an amazing set of friends and family. I’m getting better every day. So now, without further ado, the show must go on. We can’t wait to get on the road and live out loud!”
The band have announced a trio of new club dates — March 10 at the Fox Theater in Pomona, California, March 11 at the Marquee in Tempe, Arizona and March 13 at Tricky Falls in El Paso, Texas — ahead of the re-launch of their arena tour that kicks off on March 28 at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois, and runs until April 18 in Los Angeles.
They’re also confirmed to appear at next month’s South By Southwest Film Conference in Austin, Texas, where they’ll screen their “¡Cuatro!” documentary and premiere a new doc, “Broadway Idiot.” They’ve also booked a performance in Austin, on March 15 at the Moody Theater.