As a person, are you proud of yourself?
I handle things a lot differently now. I’m proud to be able to say that I’m an addict without any shame in it. I’m proud that I’m able to admit that I have a problem with a certain thing and I have to leave it alone and accept it. I’m proud that I’m strong enough to be able to walk away form those things.
When did you realize that? During rehab? Therapy?
I got some tools in rehab when I went in 2005. I got the tools that I need, I just didn’t use them. I got the information, the analysis—I don’t know if that’s the word—of my personality. What type of person I am, why I have this addictive behavior, why I need instant gratification from certain things, why I feel a certain way because my childhood was this way or that way. I got all of those tools, which made me understand why I had to leave that stuff alone. But I didn’t use it and that’s why I went back to it.
Why did you decide not to release the songs you'd planned for Relapse 2?
On a record like the new record, when I mention the third verse of “Talking to Myself,” I try to sum up the last two records in a nutshell. Mr. Porter, who produced “On Fire,” had this analogy of Encore and Relapse that stuck with me: “Encore I was on drugs, Relapse I was flushing them out.” His view on Relapse was that I was flushing the drugs out my system and looking back at it, I probably was. My mind was coming back, my writing skills were coming back, so I was able to write again because I had writer’s block from the pills. I was backed up. I was writing so much and so quickly that I didn’t have a chance to stop and say, Are these good songs? Are they great songs? I was just going. I was like, 'I got so much material for three albums, but let’s narrow it down to two. Let’s put out Relapse 2 months later. That was the original plan. There are so many drug references on the last album; that’s just where my head was at. I came to life again and everything was like new. When they say 'in recovery' or 'in rehab', it’s like being born again when you get clean and sober. You start appreciating shit that you never thought you would appreciate, like, 'Wow, look at those trees. Look at nature.' Before, it didn’t matter. I just started appreciating things more. I got happy when I got sober, broke free from the chains—not to sound corny. I broke free from the chains of addiction and it was just like 'Ahh, I’m happy again. I’m not a prisoner.' I was just happy to be back.