Five Finger Death Punch bassist Chris Kael hasn’t been shy about the drug and alcohol abuse that led to his rehabilitation. But in a recent interview with Machine Head‘s Robb Flynn, Kael offered an illuminating overview of the various low points that led to him getting clean.
The story unfolded last week on an episode of Flynn’s No Fuckin’ Regrets podcast. On the show, Kael described the circumstances that led to his life’s “weakest” moment just before he entered rehab.
Watch the full interview down toward the bottom of this post.
“The real decline for me started maybe two months before I cleaned up,” Kael said, as reported by Blabbermouth. “I was going through a divorce at the time. … I wrote [my then-wife] a note — she may still have it, I’m sure she probably does. It was basically like, ‘Hey, I’m going to get help’ and become the guy that she married in the first place and not this person I had become. So I very much wanted to get back and get out of rehab and go back to being married and whatnot.”
The bassist continued, “But I basically ended up in just like a real depressed period, and I decided, ‘Fuck, man. I can’t do this anymore.’ I called my buddy Greg, and he took me to rehab that day. And it was the weakest I’ve ever felt in my life, walking into that rehab. But then once I got out of rehab, I was like, that’s the fucking strongest I’ve ever been, is admitting that I can’t deal with this and I need to figure something else out.”
The Five Finger Death Punch member previously revealed he used “about an eight-ball of cocaine a week” before he and FFDP singer Ivan Moody each got sober a few years ago. In fact, the bassist has admitted to him and Moody “leaning on each other” during their respective journeys.
After all, sobriety sure beats the resigned and exhausted feeling Kael would often experience playing onstage with the band when he was at the heights of his drug and alcohol abuse.
“When you’re on stage at Wembley,” the musician said, “sold-out show, and you’re on stage going, ‘Ah, Can we just get the fuck off here?’ — something’s fucking wrong with your endorphin levels. My body was just so beat up. I never played fucked up on stage, but I definitely played tired from the night before many times. And that was one of those nights. My body was beat up from the night before. We probably had a day off in London. Me and my bass tech used to day-drink all day long.”
Interestingly, before Kael fessed up to his problem and entered rehab, it was Moody’s very public battle with substance abuse that initially shielded the bassist from outside repercussions.
“[He] was very much the focus of the issues [with drugs and alcohol] that he was going through at that point,” Kael recalled. “No surprise and no secrets there — we’ve all seen the stuff that happened back then. But he was the focal point for everybody. So I was kind of able to hide in the background while he was dealing with his stuff. So I got to slide under the radar most of the time.”
Ultimately, however, Kael also cleaned up his act. And he’s all the better for it.
These days, “life is a whole lot happier” for Kael. “I’m more productive,” he added. “I’ve got more things going on. I’m able to appreciate stuff.”
FFDP’s Chris Kael Appears on Robb Flynn’s NFR Podcast – Feb. 19, 2021
If you or someone you know is struggling with drug and/or alcohol dependence, help is available through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s FindTreatment.gov website. To speak to someone on the phone, dial 1-800-622-HELP (1-800-622-4357).
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