A life on the road can be thrilling, inspiring, and energizing, but it also can wear down musicians who spend more times sleeping on the tour bus or in hotel rooms — and that exhaustion, and stress, can lead to some dark moments.
Ed Sheeran didn't shy away from his struggles with substance abuse in a recent interview, and he connected his issues to his meteoric rise in the music industry and his subsequent, perpetually nomadic lifestyle.
“I think you need to, when you get into the industry, adjust to it — and I didn’t adjust because I was constantly working on tour," he said on The Jonathan Ross Show (the episode airs on October 21). "All the pitfalls that people read about, I just found myself slipping into all of them. Mostly, like, substance abuse. I never touched anything. I started slipping into it, and that’s why I took a year off and buggered off."
He continued to describe how "it just started gradually happening," and that eventually those close to him intervened. "Some people took me to one side and were like, 'Calm yourself down,'" he said. "It’s all fun to begin with, it all starts off as a party and then you’re doing it on your own and it’s not, so that was a wake-up call and taking a year off."
Perspective is important, and it sounds like his sabbatical gave him some much needed time for self-reflection. Sheeran is currently on the mend from a gnarly bike accident, so here's hoping he feels better soon.