5SOS’ Ashton Irwin Admits He’s “Afraid” of Becoming an Alcoholic
5 Seconds of Summer drummer Ashton Irwin has been constantly touring with his band for the past 5+ years, and that kind of crazy schedule can take a toll on even the strongest person. The 5SOS boys took a 2-year hiatus before coming back to release their third studio album, Youngbloog, which went to No. 1 back in June, and the 24-year-old used that time to come to terms with some of his darkest thoughts, including his fear of becoming an alcoholic.
“I’ve always been terribly afraid of becoming an alcoholic,” he tells Alternative Press. “On the road, you have this constant state of being the life of the party; that’s what being in a touring band is.”
He explains that he had to deal with his feelings about alcohol at the very beginning of the break and still struggles with it to this day.
Ash continues, “[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.”
The Australian musician admits that his childhood really contributed to his fears because his mom “struggled with alcoholism” since he was a kid and his dad walked out on the family when he was very young.
“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.”
Fortunately for Ashton, he learned how to hone in on his emotions rather than run from them and turn them into the incredible lyrics you hear in the songs from Youngblood.
“I actually dove inward for the first time,” he recalls of what he learned during 5SOS’ break. “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.”
Any type of substance-abuse issue is an ongoing battle and it’s incredible that the “Youngblood” singer is opening up, once again, about his personal struggles.