American DJ and producer Andy Butler, known for his dance music project Hercules & Love Affair, recently penned an article discussing his struggles with drug addiction and his road to recovery.
Published by Pitchfork, the article is a retrospective account of Butler’s relationship with drugs and music. Being exposed to underground club culture at a young age, various drugs became a part of his life early on, including crystal meth. That said, getting into trouble forced him into rehab where he got clean at the age of 21.
While he was clean Butler began writing songs that would turn into Hercules & Love Affair’s debut album, released on DFA in 2008. He was sober for 7 years at that point, but the musical project was taking off and he had to tour a live show. This busy schedule lead to a moment when he needed to get sleep and was looking for a quick fix, so someone on the tour gave him a Xanax.
Over time his addiction to drugs resurfaced, which he reveals as a dark period in his life: “In that period, things just started getting way worse than ever. At one moment, violence started happening a lot. I found myself in fist fights all the time. I found myself mixing alcohol with various pills. I was having regular overdoses, finding myself in ER rooms. I had the moment where people were pounding on my chest to get my heart moving again. I was a shell of a person. I felt like this very small, simple, innocent activity that gave my life meaning—which was to write songs and make music—was gone. All of the business attached to that overtook it".
Today Butler’s life is much different. He’s now aged 40, is sober with a proper support group around him and has his fourth album as Hercules & Love Affair, titled ‘Omnion’, set for release September 1.
The latest single from the album is influenced by the rough patches in his life and the relationships that were skewed along the way: “It’s about wanting so much for your life but knowing you can’t have it when you’re living like that. It’s about those little choices. It’s about honoring your limits—[having] the ability to say, ‘You know what, I don’t need to take this gig this weekend.’ I wasn’t versed in all of that stuff. If anything, there is a sadness to the song. It is a bit imbued with shame".
Listen to ‘Fools Wear Crowns' below and read Butler’s full story here.