Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong says his longtime alcohol and prescription-drug addiction was so harrowing he would often black out and not remember what happened.
"I couldn't predict where I was going to end up at the end of the night," Armstrong, 41, told Rolling Stone. "I'd wake up in a strange house on a couch. I wouldn't remember how. It was a complete blackout.
Billie Joe says he was like a functioning alcoholic who would walk around in a daze for weeks in a drunken stupor.
"I played onstage loaded a lot," he says. "I'd have anywhere from two to six beers and a couple of shots before I went onstage, then go and play the gig and drink for the rest of the evening on the bus. Fall asleep, wake up the next day, feel like s***, do sound-check. It was over and over again. In that way, I was a functioning alcoholic."
Armstrong has struggled with alcoholism and substance abuse since the 1990s and at the time resisted seeking treatment.
"I've been trying to get sober since 1997, right around Nimrod," he recalls. "But I didn't want to be in any programs. Sometimes, being a drunk, you think you can take on the whole world by yourself."
Billie Joe finally decided enough was enough after suffering a breakdown at the IHeartRadio music festival in Las Vegas in September 2012, when he angrily smashed his guitar onstage while shouting, "I'm not f**king Justin Bieber, you motherf**kers!"
Armstrong barely remembered the incident the next day, and decided to check into rehab to confront his substance abuse. Green Day was forced to cancel its fall tour last year while Armstrong sought treatment.
"The next morning, I woke up," Billie Joe recounts. "I asked [my wife] Adrienne, 'How bad was it?' She said, 'It's bad.' I called my manager. He said, 'You're getting on a plane, going back to Oakland and going into rehab immediately.' "
Armstrong says being reminded of the incident deters him from relapsing. "People will remind me a little bit, or I'll see a photograph," he says. "And it makes me so sick. I can't go there. That's my last drink. Which is good; it's documented. Anytime I feel like drinking, I can think about it."
Green Day will kick off another tour in Chicago on March 28. The band, which was formed in 1987, has sold more than 65 million records worldwide and won five Grammy Awards.