“I’ve always been terribly afraid of becoming an alcoholic:” 5SOS’s Ashton Irwin on facing demons
Ashton Irwin discusses fear of alcoholism and how he coped with it in AP.August 7, 2018
5 Seconds Of Summer released their highly anticipated third full-length Youngblood following a three-year gap between records. The four-piece had been in full-album swing with 2015’s Sounds Good Feels Good, and they had the luxury of taking their time for the follow-up.
The time to decompress allowed for spiritual and mental awakening for all four members, but for drummer Ashton Irwin, the break was a tough moment of coming to terms with his demons.
“I’ve always been terribly afraid of becoming an alcoholic,” he says. “On the road, you have this constant state of being the life of the party; that’s what being in a touring band is.”
Irwin’s time at home allowed him to deal with his concerns head on.
“[Coming off the road,] I was dealing with my feelings in the beginning with just alcohol. I had to overcome that pretty quick if I wanted the next period to be successful, and that was a process really that I’m still dealing with. It’s a constant thing.”
Irwin’s fears stem back to his childhood, which in turn was a driving force in remaining positive.
“My upbringing is…interesting,” he says. “I didn’t have a father, and my mom has struggled with alcoholism my whole life. I’ve grown up kind of bringing other people up…I’ve had to be relentlessly positive, and I have a very depressed mind.”
Irwin used the off-time to engulf himself in writing, which in turn became a sort of therapy.
“I actually dove inward for the first time,” he says. “I was living alone, and the only way I was able to focus on the album was diving into my actual songwriting and processing who I actually was through song. I was feeling down and the most depressed I’ve ever felt, but apparently that’s when you create your best work.”
5 Seconds Of Summer open up about all of this and more in the latest issue (AP 360). The band will be hitting the road later this month with the Aces as support in the U.S., and dates can be viewed below.
08/27 – Toronto, ON @ RBC Echo Beach
08/29 – Uncasville, CT @ Mohegan Sun Arena
08/30 – Boston, MA @ Blue Hills Bank Pavilion
09/01 – Allentown, PA @ The Great Allentown Fair
09/02 – Virginia Beach, VA @ Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheatre at Virginia Beach
09/05 – Vienna, VA @ Wolf Trap
09/07 – Allegan, MI @ Allegan County Fair
09/08 – Chicago, IL @ Aragon Ballroom
09/09 – Minneapolis, MN @ The Armory
09/11 – Rochester Hills, MI @ Meadow Brook Amphitheatre
09/13 – York, PA @ York Fair
09/14 – Holmdel, NJ @ PNC Bank Arts Center
09/16 – Charlotte, NC @ Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre
09/18 – Orlando, FL @ House of Blues
09/19 – Atlanta, GA @ Coca-Cola Roxy
09/24 – Nashville, TN @ Nashville Municipal Auditorium
09/26 – Rogers, AR @ Walmart AMP
09/27 – Irving, TX @ The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory
09/28 – Sugar Land, TX @ Smart Financial Centre
09/30 – Denver, CO @ Fillmore Auditorium
10/02 – San Diego, CA @ Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theatre
10/03 – San Jose, CA @ Event Center at San Jose State
10/05 – Seattle, WA @ The Paramount Theatre
10/11 – Phoenix, AZ @ Comerica Theatre
10/12 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Greek Theatre
10/23 – Glasgow @ O2 Academy*
10/26 – Manchester @ O2 Apollo*
10/29 – London @ O2 Academy Brixton*
11/01 – Birmingham @ O2 Academy*
11/02 – Sheffield @ O2 Academy*
* Without the Aces