Mike Doughty, front man for the 90s band, Soul Coughing, speaks out in his new book, “The Book of Drugs.” Soul Coughing rose to fame in the beginning of the alternative rock era, with singles like “Super Bon Bon” and “Circles.” According to The Metro West Daily News, Doughty was only 22 when the band formed, and eight years later they broke up. At the time of the band’s demise, Doughty was addicted to heroin and alcohol, and constant strive with the band took its toll.
Doughty’s new memoir, “The Book of Drugs,” tells his story with the band, and his love affair with the substance. He outlines his hatred for his bandmates, making them out to be bullies without ever naming them. Doughty had a hard time walking away from the band, but eventually did eight years later.
“…I said to myself: There is no way off this despairing march. My promise to myself to keep the heroin use somewhat in control, because I wanted to protect my artistic faculties, had become laughable. Why? I was going to get high first thing in the morning, and the next, and the next. I’ll stumble along, show up when they tell me to, sing when its time to sing. I’d eke out a mediocre existence,” Doughty said. He went on to write that death was not frightening to him, and it was possibly of relief for him from fame and making music he did not want to make.
Doughty sees the music as very depressing. He said, “I am not at peace with the darkness and emotional abuse that dominated the experience of the band, but I wouldn’t say I am not at peace with the work.” Michael Tedder, of the Village Voice, said after reading the memoir, that Doughty is clearly not at peace with his legacy. Doughty disagrees, and he claims the memoir is a collection of stories he and others have found funny, interesting, or powerful over the years. The stories in the memoir are written stream-of-consciousness, without chapters.
In “The Book of Drugs,” Doughty recounts a long list of hook-ups, and an even longer list of drug and alcohol use. He offers names where he can remember them, but he refers to his bandmates as The Drummer, The Sampler, and The Bass Player. One may argue that the bandmates simply did not give consent, but Doughty claims they have not spoken in years.
Doughty also has a popular blog, where he sometimes documents his day, minute by minute, often with the inclusion of photos. He calls himself a writer more than a musician in conversation, and writing a book was a natural progression. Doughty has kicked heroin, and hopes to continue to live a clean and artistic life.
Read the full story here. Photo courtesy of Mike Doughty.