"I wanted to die"—Oli Sykes tells his story of hitting rock bottom, and lifting himself back up

In the latest issue of AP, cover stars Bring Me The Horizon speak with contributing writer Tom Bryant on an array of topics, including frontman Oli Sykes’ recent battle with addiction—and how it almost cost him his life. “My issues stemmed from the fact that I was trying so hard to fight against what people were saying about me,” Sykes openly admits. “I wasn’t what people were saying I was. But at the same time, I wasn’t a good person, either. I felt so guilty about who I was.”

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Sometime following BMTH’s release of their third full-length album, There Is A Hell, Believe Me I’ve Seen It. There Is A Heaven Let’s Keep It A Secret, Sykes fell into the vice grip of Ketamine—a drug that “disengages users from reality, causing hallucinations and distorted perception.” “It’s a scummy drug,” offers the singer. “It’s not cocaine. It’s cheap, easy and fast. It makes you disassociate. It disconnects your mind from your body. It took my ego away. It took away who I was.”

Following Sykes’ first rehab stint, he hit his lowest of lows. When he was unable to refrain from using Ketamine, everything came to climax. “I nearly killed myself. I just didn’t care whether I lived or not.” But just how close to the bottom was he? “I was very close,” he shares. “I wanted to die.”

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He then sought out his parents, telling them, “Get me help.” After his second time in rehab, he reached a point of soberness and has remained there ever since. Nonetheless, that doesn’t mean he believes everything that he was fed in rehabilitation. “They helped me in there, but I didn’t believe had the stuff they told me,” he says. “They tell you ‘it’s a disease’—that’s bollocks. It’s not a disease; it’s a self-inflicted problem. It’s offensive to people with diseases to claim addiction is a disease. They said it would be a struggle every day, that you’re an addict for the rest of your life. Bollocks. It’s all bollocks. I’ve never looked back since I got clean. I got clean for my family, my friends and my band. I didn’t get clean for God.”

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In 2014, at the first annual APMAs, Sykes admitted to his past addiction during his acceptance speech for Album Of The Year. “I wanna say something that I never thought I’d actually talk about. Before we wrote Sempiternal, I was fucked off my head. My band wanted to kill me. My parents wanted to kill me. My fucking brother wanted to kill me. Everyone wanted to kill me. But they didn’t—they stood by me. They supported me through all that shit, and we wrote Sempiternal because of it.” 

Next Friday, September 11, Bring Me The Horizon will release their highly anticipated follow-up to Sempiternal, That’s The Spirit. “It’s a celebration of depression,” Sykes recently explained. “A way of making light of it. That’s The Spirit—it’s quite a depressing phrase when you think about it—the sort of thing you only ever use when you know there’s no positive answer to the situation.”

AP 327 is on sale now. Be sure to pick up a copy and read the rest of Bring Me The Horizon’s extensive interview.

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