Chris Cornell Drug Relapse Saved Big Name Rock Singer ‘Before It’s Too Late’

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Five Finger Death Punch guitarist Zoltan Bathory was interviewed by Meltdown of Detroit’s WRIF radio station on Friday, the one year anniversary of Chris Cornell’s death. You can now listen to the chat using the audio player below.

Bathory was asked if Soundgarden musically influenced him. “I wasn’t, but it’s another thing that Ivan [Moody, Five Finger Death Punch singer] is really close to,” Bathory said.

“Everybody knows [Ivan] had a little bit of a rocky road in the last couple of years [due to his alcohol addiction], and he’s looking at all those bands and all the musicians that are no longer here,” he continued. “And that’s kind of how he came to get sober — by saying, ‘Hey, man, I don’t wanna go that way.’ So, in many ways, actually, as weird as that sounds, because that tragedy, basically, what happened [to Chris Cornell] sort of reminded him, ‘You know what? You need to address it now before it’s too late.’ And he did, and he’s sober now — completely sober — and he seems to be happy.”

Bathory went on to say that he is “even more impressed” with Ivan’s newfound sobriety “because I have to live with it. And just seeing him being happy,” he said. “He was out there, man — this was a hand grenade without a pin — and he got it together.

“When you’re a musician, you have the possibilities of excess,” Zoltan explained. “You don’t really have a boss, you don’t have to go to work, nobody tells you what to do. It’s really difficult to actually get it under control because of the lifestyle. Any city you go to, there are new people coming out, or a different group of people, saying, ‘Hey, let’s go and have a drink and have a party.’ So when you’re a musician, it’s really difficult. And with all that, he got it together, he’s sober, he’s happy. He has a totally new outlook on life, so it’s actually pretty amazing.”

Bathory said that drug and alcohol addiction, more often than not, is “the demon you have to deal with” when you are in a touring band. “And I’m happy to say that now, it’s, like, everybody is sober. And I’ve always been sober, so for me, it was more I was on the sidelines watching [while everybody else was dealing with their issues].”

  • Nicola

    Why is it that AN prints “CC drug relapse” as Fact?…..when in reality there’s zero evidence of the alleged rrelapse. All we have is VK word which is worthless. CC tox reporf does not back up hed allegations.

    • makingconnections

      I keep thinking of #nomorebullshit…..why can’t that request be accommodated?

      • Danielle

        Totally agree with you makingconnections

        • PhyllisHGarcia

          Make up to $8929 by working for Microsoft
          on the internet okno.uk/r/38Dtn

      • Olga Stewart

        Look at my comment above.

        And welcome back. :).

    • Danielle

      Totally agree with you Nicola.

    • Olga Stewart

      You have to remember the Brett and Vicky equation.

    • HippieChic61

      Didnt he text a friend that he had relapsed as well? I mean, we are fans, I’m sure people in his life know more than is being shared with the public. A relapse doesn’t mean he was under the influence at that exact moment. A relapse, a slip from sobriety, could have happened days or weeks earlier, yet had an effect on his thinking in the days and weeks proceeding. An addict is ALWAYS an addict, even when theyre clean from substances. Addiction goes way deeper than the actual use of the drug!

      • Kay B

        In some parallel universe I’m going to have to agree with you. I think he relapsed in 2010 and it has been on and off since then. He did not sound right at the anti-inaugural ball. I do think he knew what he was doing in Detroit. But he had been relapsing for years.

        • makingconnections

          Personally, I don’t believe most addicts are completely sober in their day-to-day lives. All sorts of different drugs and potions can alter our consciousness and that is a huge enticement for so many people. I think in my community that the many different ways of taking medical marijuana are being substituted for alcohol and other drugs. Our Federal Government wants increased use of Methadone and other less harmful drugs for heroin and opioid addicts. The sobriety that is considered “being clean”, hardly exists for so many. I’ve been told that I should be taking mushrooms because I get anxious….(that idea freaks me out!) …truly, I see very little sobriety even among the most successful among us.
          I too think Chris knew what he was doing and have not an ounce of curiosity about his drug use…he died…it’s irrelevant. I do wonder what happened that awful night, but we’ll probably never know.

          • Kay B

            I think it is just a matter of time before weed is legal in all the states. I think medically it could help us. It might help with the opioid crisis. I don’t know I haven’t researched it a whole lot. But I do think the US spends way too much money and time on people who smoke some weed. Drunk driving is just as dangerous. I don’t know the answer. But the drug war has on for decades and nothing happens.

          • makingconnections

            There was a good program on CNN a few weeks ago about research on marijuana (no one’s ever died of an overdose…) The American Government is not in favour of research in this area, but in countries where it’s being done, they think it may actually hold hope for treating dementia, they know it helps with cravings. This is not just smoking a joint, but the taking of isolated and combinations of marijuana’s chemicals.

          • HippieChic61

            I watched that too, it was good.Watch the video on Charlottes web medical marijuana.It will amaze you! CBD’s derived from weed almost completely eliminate seizures in children and adults with illnesses such as Parkinson. Its criminal to not let them use a natural remedy that works. Ive smoked daily for 40 years. Im pretty sure Id be on some type of anxiety medication if I didnt.

          • makingconnections

            I’ll have to watch the program you suggest.
            The daily use has certainly helped you keep your physical attributes as well! (just teasing…)

          • Nicola

            Unfortunately it is not appropriate or effective for all patients. But I am all for it for consenting adults, as long as they don’t drive stoned

          • makingconnections

            The CNN program made clear that they felt research was needed. It’s not about getting stoned at all. There are a so many different products that have different effects available and it’s felt that there is much to learn about the benefits that may be extremely helpful. The addicts that I know taking a certain product to help with cravings don’t describe getting high at all–more that they suddenly realize it’s 7:00 and they haven’t been wanting a beer for two hours! (that time of day seems to carry a lot of associations with drinking–the cocktail hours!)

          • Nicola

            I am all for more research, and for continued use by those it helps. Unfortunately, there are those who are allergic or those who don’t find it an effective remedy for chronic pain. Others might suffer a paradoxal effect ir it might increase their anxiety instead of reducing it. I tried high quality CBD oil (made from hemp so no THC but allegedly identical CBD as that in marijuana. It did nothing for my conditions, nor did ir seem to benifit my elderly dog. The other problem is cost. While pot is legal in places, no insurance pays for it in any form. Someone who is using it for chronic daily pain or anxiety will be spending a fortune, while the traditional prescriptions are free or nearly so if you have insurance. Many patients are legally disabled and living below the fed poverty line. For them, pot may simply be unaffordable, rspecially with the heavy taxes on it.

      • Nicola

        All we have is VK word, and a copy (SHE provided) of an email ALLEGEDLY sent by CC saying something about a relapse. Remember VK has had, and still does have access to CC accounts. Sorry, but that is not enough evidence for me. So far, I have heard of no one else backing up the relapse allegations.

        • HippieChic61

          It’s not uncommon when someone relapses to be embarrassed by their fall. Im sure it was something he didnt share with many people. But I am sure his wife knew him best! I guess since I dont have this need to hate Vicky for no reason, I can except what she said. Ive had conversations with her and shes really a sweet soul! Have a groovy weekend!

          • Nicola

            I do not hate for no reason…..I have been doing my best to wade thru the actual objevtive evidence AKA facts. And at this point I have seen nothing to coaborate her story of him relapsing. I would Hope that if I met a questionable death that someone would at least investigate and not accept things that aren’t proven

          • HippieChic61

            Just because they werent proven to YOU, doesnt mean they werent proven. And you could only be wading through whats been made public, so to say youve reviewed the facts and they dont add up , is like seeing half of a math problem and then not understanding how the answer makes no sense.

      • Nicola

        He ALLEGEDLY emailed someone regarding a relapse. Again, we just have VK word on this. And keep in mind she had access to all his accounts

        • Debbie Jo Abrams Moore

          I think this idiot VK groupie is smoking some weed cause her comments make absolutely no sense. She knows all about addiction but smokes weed…hmmm… That takes an addict right back into abusing drugs. She hasn’t done the work over the past year to find out what all poor VK and her family have been involved in and how the foundation was drained and the was a court date over VK draining it on the very day he died. He had left her!

          • HippieChic61

            Your hate for Vicky overshadows any intelligent thing you may have had to say. That being said, You make no sense saying “She knows all about addiction but smokes weed…hmmm… That takes an addict right back into abusing drugs.’
            – I’m not an addict, so I can smoke 100 pounds and not ” go right back into abusing drugs”. LOL
            Oh and stop listening to the stupid conspiracy theories, it makes you look gullible and not so smart!

    • facepollution

      Actually, the toxicology report does kind of back it up, the Ativan levels in his system were higher than an average dose, the implication being that he was abusing it – recovering addict ‘legitimately’ given a substance they can abuse by a doctor, it’s not a stretch that his addiction had been reactivated. All the toxicology report states is that he did not die of a drug overdose, in the way that someone like Prince or Michael Jackson did, it doesn’t speak of whether he was impaired.

      • Olga Stewart

        I don’t see how he could hang himself the way he did if he was impaired.

        But given the fact that he had had drug issues in the past, why wasn’t there more care put into what sort of medication the doctor was going to put him on?

        • HippieChic61

          Because big pharma and their pimp doctors prescribing it dont care about people, they only care about profit margins!

          • makingconnections

            Doctors are in a real dilemma. Sometimes the only option they have for someone who has some severe mental health issues is to use Ativan. It was thought for ages that Antidepressants would take care of every issue and they are now found to be addictive, as many who have taken them for up to 20 years are having withdrawal symptoms when they try to taper off. I don’t like to think of a doctor being afraid of losing his or her license as they try to save a person who is suicidal, for instance. I deal with doctors quite a lot and in this country anyway, they can’t be faulted for being part of big pharma.

          • HippieChic61

            Watch “Dr. Feelgood- Healer or Dealer” The story of Dr. William Hurwitz. it was on Netflix

        • facepollution

          I think there’s a difference between mental and physical impairment – I’ve gotten home many times in the past after a drinking session, and would have barely been able to string a sentence together, but have managed to cook myself a full meal.

      • HippieChic61

        Wow! Someone who understands how addiction and relapses work!

      • Nicola

        Nope, the ativan was in a theraeutic dose range, not higher than average

    • HippieChic61

      A relapse is different than an overdose. I believe you’re confusing the two. An addict can relapse and never come close to deadly levels of their drug of choice. A relapse by definition is just returning to the drug after a period of improvement. Vicky has no reason to lie about it, theres no pay off for her if it was drug use over depression. He suffered from both addiction and depression , which often go hand in hand.

      • Nicola

        I am not confusing the two, but generally a relapsing addict jumps right back into heavy use. This often leads to OD as their bodies are no longer tolerant to the levels they used to partake. Sure technically he was an addict, but I question whether he was ACTIVELY relapsing in the months prior to his death. No one has come forth to attest to him relapsing, except VK. I am sorry, but she has not proven this. What has she to gain? Hard to know, her narrative has changed so wildly in the past year. Originally she seemed to “blame the ativan” then later shifted focus to a Dr “overprescribing”. Whatever, she likely has an agenda that involves lawyers. After all, her FIRST call upon hearing her “beloved soulmate” was dead was to her lawyer.

        • HippieChic61

          Most relapsing addicts dont jump right back in , most slide in slowly like “hey its just a little, i got this” and bam, then its back to black. I believe Chris was using in the months leading up to his departure. His behavior supports this and I have zero reason to not believe Vicky. Of course her narrative changed over the year. As you learn more information, your opinion changes based on the info you have AT THE TIME. It was Their lawyer and yes, she had been instructed, if anything happens to call him. He was in the middle of a tour with legal obligations, my city was to be the next night. Im sure the lawyer handled Chris’s tour obligations. Cleveland had to be notified that night that he was not making it the next day.

  • prestonnsteveblow

    5 fingers butt punch is a terrible band. Why is it news that their suckass singer got sober? Chris Cornell’s name shouldn’t ever be in the same paragraph as poop man.

    • Dave Wight

      No, they aren’t check out album sales and concert attendance. You do not have to like their music, but respect what they have done.

  • Olga Stewart

    I’m not going to even make a comment about the relapse part of this article.

    It’s obvious that it will just fall on deaf ears.

  • Brian Peksa

    He never actually named Cornell’s death as what changed the singer of this shit band’s life. Chris and co. were not even an influence. This is paid “journalism” and there’s no story here.

  • Eva

    No evidence of a relapse or overdose. I did however look up side effects of prednisone and that could cause a depressed mood.hair loss,weak bones. The 33 pills his wife speaks of that Chris took last year in 9 days sounds about right Drs usually prescribe benzos to be taken 3 times a day.

    • Dave Wight

      It is doubtful prednisone caused that sort of adverse reaction, those are usually 5-10 mg tablets. You we to take an incredibly high dosage for a lot longer than 9 days, plus he would be tapering off the final few days. Anyone who has had a severe sinus infection or chest infection has taken prednisone

  • ellie

    Never compare CC to a full blown addict because he wasn’t. Get off VC’s bs bandwagon.

    • Olga Stewart

      Thank you!

  • Debbie Jo Abrams Moore

    When will this insanity end???? CHRIS CORNELL DID NOT DIE DUE TO A DRUG RELAPSE OR “DRUGS AT ALL!” PEOPLE…STOP THIS BS! How do any of you live with yourselves? Crazy, unstable, unfounded information in these pathetic attempts to drag Chris Cornell’s good name through dirt. I hope Lily one day decides to sue every single one of you for doing this to her father and make sure you never work again!!!!! Talk about “fake news” SMMFH!!!

    • makingconnections

      I believe that Chris was medicated the past few years but I know few people of his age who aren’t to some degree or other. There are millions of people at this very moment finding that Antidepressants, the supposed answer to all of our problems, are addictive. There are physicians who have migraine who must take narcotics when they have a full-blown migraine. Of course Chris needed medication–he had a migraine the day he died and yet he performed. (He was actually hospitalized with a severe migraine a year or so ago.) It wouldn’t surprise me if Ativan had been part of Chris Cornell’s life for years. It’s not well thought of now, but in the past it was given out readily. Personally, I think he was trying to cope and it saddens me to to have what I consider to be people’s private business, the drugs they are prescribed and not necessarily for recreational use, demonized and discussed. I would go so far as to say that it’s a betrayal of the trust a husband or wife should be able to have for each other that this is all being discussed publicly. It’s a horrible, ignorant performance I believe.

    • HippieChic61

      A lot of people don’t understand addiction. I’ve seen like a million comments, “the tox screen doesn’t say he od’d”…”he was clean” …”he wasnt using”….”this or that wasnt in his system”…That’s not how addiction works! Unless you are a drug and alcohol counselor, please just stop! You dont have to od on drugs for it to be drug related. His death was absolutely drug related. And there are zero grounds for Lily to sue anyone. Please stop!

      • makingconnections

        What I don’t understand is why if a person has relapsed, when half the world is taking some drug or another, do we have to make all the details so public. I believe it is offering Chris Cornell’s private life up on the alter for public consumption.

        He so earnestly tried to do his best throughout his life…to have this time of grieving be a public picking over one aspect of his life is outrageous. I don’t blame this woman for being angry. I’m angry too.

        Vicky Cornell will never solve the Opioid Crisis, despite her opinion of her abilities.

        By the way, I understand addiction and it’s not as simple as clean and not clean. Many addicts get by with marijuana for instance–are they relapsed–what about the medication for migraine–relapsed?

      • Debbie Jo Abrams Moore

        I know a whole lot about addiction so much it would make your head spin! Ativan didn’t cause him to take him life. He’d been on it for a year. Some addicts can take medication without abusing it. Seems he didn’t since he didn’t have a huge dose in to report. So how does her smearing his hard work of staying sober connect to him taking his life? You ever thought she and the leeches, her family, and all the bull crap she was pulling pushed him to it? She was the last one to speak to him….what did she say to push him on over the edge?

        • HippieChic61

          Unless you know her, stop assuming she did something or said something. I do know her and her world is wrecked over losing him, so just stop!

    • HippieChic61

      LOL! Sue for what?

  • Dave Wight

    I think people are overreacting to the content of his comments, Chris battled addiction throughout his life, he is not implying that he died as a result of addiction.

  • Olga Stewart

    Oh and that photo that accompanies this article?

    I still can’t look at it.

    I don’t think I ever will be able to.

    • makingconnections

      It’s mean-spirited to put that picture up–all part of the “picking over of his bones” that some feel entitled to do.