On top of this, he also become addicted to the painkillers he took to make dealing with an attack more bearable. “It’s a really hard game I have to play all the time, being a drug addict and also having to take pain meds. It’s really fucking tough,” he admits. Yet he perseveres, and proudly reveals that, at the time of the interview, he has been sober for 37 days.
Distancing himself from the lure of alcohol and drugs in LA helps to keep him clean. “I moved to the country and I live on [a 15-acre estate] in the mountains, so I’m really far away from Hollywood and the parties and stuff like that,” he explains. “I spend my days as a dad, with my wife and kids, and I keep myself removed from [that lifestyle]. When I’m travelling, I bring along a friend that’s sober as well.” He pauses and again raises what appears to be a central tenet in his life: “I always have accountability.”
Addiction in the music industry remains rife in 2022. How many musicians can you think of who have had issues with drugs and alcohol? Inevitably, at least some of the names that might come to mind will have died because of their addictions. But while there’s still a heck of a lot of progress to be made, Mat believes the tide is slowly changing. At the very least, hedonism is celebrated far less, within the music itself and in the culture of the business.
“The new-age rockstar is not what it was in the '80s,” he asserts. “It used to be sex, drugs and rock‘n’roll, and now I think it’s mental health, appreciation and patience. I think the new rockstar is a person who really cares for their mental health and cares for their family.”