Matt Pike reflects on the impact of his childhood drug use

The Sleep guitarist reflected on his troubled youth, which led him on a path to juvenile hall, and later to military school.

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.

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.”

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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:

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