The xx‘s Oliver Sim has opened up about his struggles with alcohol in a new interview ahead of the band’s upcoming shows, which will reportedly be among the first gigs he’s played while sober.
Speaking with Pitchfork, Sim says that while he’s feeling positive about the band’s upcoming shows (which kick off again in February), he remembers that state he was in back in 2014, after the band finished touring behind their second album, Coexist.
“I was going out a lot with the excuse that I was celebrating—‘celebrating’—the past few years,” says Sim. “Just fighting the idea of becoming an adult. Some friends had started to mellow a bit, and I didn’t want to. And with alcohol, like a lot of things, it’s all or nothing for me. So right now it’s just nothing.”
Sim, who had his last drink over a year ago, says he “was the last person to think that I wasn’t drinking… successfully”.
“Everyone had voiced their opinions,” he says. “But the problem was that I was, I suppose, distancing myself, so I thought, ‘How would they know?’
“[Bandmates] Romy [Madley Croft] and Jamie [Smith] confronting me independently was… the last straw… The fact that I wasn’t being creative hit harder — and kidding myself that I felt more creative with a drink in me.”
Sim says that while Smith was recording and touring his solo album In Colour and Croft was away in Los Angeles, he stayed at home in London, where he struggled with self-doubt and the realisation that he was “reaching an age where being the drunkest person in the room isn’t charming anymore”.
The xx are set to release their third album, I See You, on 13th January. One song which didn’t make the new album, titled ‘Naive’, reportedly features some very honest lyrics from Sim, who sings, “Everyone’s trying to save me / Can’t they see I’m having fun? Something’s wrong / But I choose to be naive.”
In response, Smith reportedly sampled a line from Drake’s ‘Doing It Wrong’ for the track, using the lyrics, “That’s the wrong thing to do.”
In other xx news, the band recently revealed that a new Australian tour is in the works.
Stream I See You track ‘On Hold’, below.
Watch: The xx – ‘On Hold’