Some wake-up calls are a little more drastic than others. For Mastodon”s Bill Kelliher, his was when he was hospitalized overseas for having pancreatitis as a result of his drinking. In their earlier years, Mastodon were pretty much known as a hard-partying band, and Kelliher could drink with the best of them. However, with a wife, children and a band who’s star was on the rise, the disease was enough to make him finally quit drinking. In an interview on the Atlanta Business Chronicle and WCNN’s The Fan podcast “Mind Your Business: Sports, Music & Money,” Kelliher spoke about his decision:
I guess I just realized I was I was overindulging and it was starting to harm other people you know and I needed to stop being selfish because I almost died when I had pancreatitis in London. It was 2008-2009 when I got sick and almost died from pancreatitis and that was a direct cause of drinking too much for many, many years and putting my pancreas out of commission. That’s when it really all started for me because I come from a pretty alcoholic family as most people do. I just kind of decided I need to curb this. I’m killing my wife and she’s sticking with me through all this [expletive] I’ve been doing. You hurt the people around you the most. I don’t want my kids to see their dad like this drunk person. Luckily, my kids have never seen me drunk so I don’t have to worry about that.
You just have to think of things that you’re that you’re grateful for. I’m grateful for everything, for every moment that I have had the chance to be alive and to do what I do for a living. It’s amazing. I have such a wonderful family and my wife and my kids are amazing. You can’t think about yourself. You have to think about the people around you and the people that care about you and love you and don’t want to sit there watch you destroy your life over alcohol and some drugs.
It’s great that Kelliher has managed to silence his demons. With two releases this year, one of which was the #1 selling album of the week, it’s certainly paid off well for him and the band. The rest of the podcast/transcript is informative as well.