Sleep and High On Fire guitarist Matt Pike has spoken out about the impacts of childhood drug use on his music career, and how it has become a recurring theme in many of his compositions.
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In a new interview with Metal Hammer, the Pike reflected on his troubled youth, which led him on a path to juvenile hall, and later to military school. “By 14 I was doing drugs and stealing booze from my parents, throwing parties and getting into girls’ pants; all the things a shitty kid does. We’d take LSD and drink Jim Beam all over downtown Denver.”
“I ended up going to juvenile hall for a while, then got sent to military school. My dad was just like, ‘you didn’t do enough time, dude.’ Once I moved in with my dad he was able to enforce rules that my mom never really could. I shaped up and tried a little harder, and did better in school for the last year.”
With drugs a frequent theme in many of his songs and albums, the struggles that Pike has faced have undoubtedly impacted him.
“I self-destruct if I’m not doing something – I think too hard and try to do too much at once, it’s an ADHD thing. I was on Ritalin for it as a kid, so it’s something I’ve dealt with for a long time but my wife was the one who really helped push me into doing other things during the pandemic so I wasn’t going crazy. I’ll complain to her that she’s nagging too much, but later I’m like, ‘I’m so glad you did that.’”
Matt Pike has recently released a new album, titled Pike vs. the Automaton which you can stream via MNRK Heavy, and you can watch the new video for the lead single Alien Slut Mum below: