FINDING SOBRIETY IN DOOM METAL
Doom metal is one of the subgenres of heavy metal, and it’s generally a slow, sludgy version of the music. (Think of a Black Sabbath album played on a much slower speed and you’ll get the idea.) Yet for one member of the doom band Spirit Adrift, he found salvation in sobriety as well as the dark music he loves.
As the band’s singer Nate Garrett recalls, “There were two things in my early life that made me feel OK. The first one was hearing Black Sabbath for the first time. The second one was getting drunk the first time. And I remember both of those things vividly to this day. Fast-forward, one of those things very nearly fucking killed me, and one of them didn’t. So I just kind of stuck with the one that didn’t, you know?”
Garrett’s love of metal and drinking both began when he was 12. He told Revolver he had been drinking every day for ten years before he finally hit rock bottom in 2015. Once he got out of detox and got sober, he founded Spirit Adrift.
Garrett felt isolated as a kid. His mother died when he was four months old, and was essentially raised by his grandparents. “My dad was always in my life, but there was a lot of other tragedies in my family when I was young. I kinda felt off my whole life. I just didn’t really feel right. I think there’s a lot of people that feel that way. I know that’s a big trait of, quote, unquote, ‘alcoholics’ that you come to find out later, when you get in recovery. I didn’t really have any frame of reference…”
When he got deeper into drinking, Garrett says, “In hindsight, I think I was trying to kill myself. It all came to a head around my 27th birthday when I flew to Arkansas to stay with a close friend. I was really a mess, and my close friend, who was a chef, kept trying to feed me and all I wanted to do was drink. Eventually, we got drunk together and he got the courage to lay it down to me: ‘You gotta stop drinking.’”
Garrett also realized he didn’t want to be in the 27 club of musicians who died on their 27th birthday like Kurt Cobain, and he detoxed two days later. “After detox, I started to get my mind and body to work again and pretty much immediately wrote the first two Spirit Adrift songs. The name of the band reflects my personal feeling on where I was, and I wanted to stay true to that.”