KIX Guitarist RONNIE YOUNKINS Opens Up About His Drug Addiction: 'My Disease Has Gotten Worse'

KIX Guitarist RONNIE YOUNKINS Opens Up About His Drug Addiction: 'My Disease Has Gotten Worse'

KIX guitarist Ronnie Younkins has opened up about his drug addiction, saying that his “disease had gotten worse” after he relapsed several years ago following two decades of sobriety.

Younkins missed a KIX concert in Pennsylvania in March when the rest of the group was unable to reach him. He was eventually found “not in great condition and very upset,” according to TMZ. A month later, his bandmates revealed that he was “headed to a rehab facility” and promised that his spot in KIX would be “waiting for him” once he was ready to resume playing with the group.

While Younkins was in rehab, he took time out to join his KIX bandmates for a performance in early June at the Sweden Rock Festival, where he gave a wide-ranging interview to Metal Rules that also touched upon his continued battle against substance abuse.

Speaking about his current status, Ronnie said: “I’m living at a rehab now. I miss my daughter, and my son, and my home, but I’ve been there for almost two months now, and I’m going to move into a recovery home soon and stay there for a while.”

Regarding the circumstances that led him to check himself back in to rehab, Ronnie said: “My disease has gotten worse. I had 21 years of sobriety at one point. Got sober and cleaned up in 1989, but I’d get on… A long story short, what led me back out was complacency in my program. I wasn’t doing enough of my work for the AA program like I did in the early years. Then,I went on Hepatitis C treatment, or they should call it punishment, the old one that has many side effects, in 2010. One of them being insomnia, and the doctor put me on Ambien, and it fucked me up. It’s a sleep drug, and I got hooked on it, and then I wasn’t working the program, like with my mom’s death — I worked through that at ten years sober. I worked through that with my sponsor. [My] dad died, like, in 2012. Some other shit had happened, and I worked through [it], and some serious things happened.

“We all have issues,” he continued. “We all have shit happen in our lives and, you know, I worked through them in the program, but my when my father died, and I was complacent in the program, and I was already high on this fucking Ambien. I said, ‘Fuck it.’ And, I went out, and I started doing heroin and cocaine again within a month after my dad’s death, and it’s been nothing but downhill since. I’ve been through two rehabs, [in] 2014 [and] 2015.”

Drug and alcohol rehab statistics show that the percentage of people who will relapse after rehab and even a period of some recovery ranges from 50% to 90%.

Most people do not manage to quit their addiction with their first attempt. They may try and fail a number of times before they manage to secure lasting sobriety.

“My disease… The disease of alcoholism and drug addiction keeps progressing even while you’re sober and clean,” Ronnie said. “So, now it’s even… It got even worse than it was back when I was 31. I went to a great rehabilitation when I was 32, and I only spent 30 days there, and I got it. Well, I didn’t get it, you never get this, but I understood what I had to do. Let me clarify that. I took all suggestions, and I applied them in my life on a daily basis for 21 years, but once I started putting other things in front of that program and when I was on this Hep C treatment, I had all these side effects, crazy side effects. My teeth rotted out, I got freaking rashes all over my face, cramps, and it fucking made me feel like I had the flu for 11 months, my fucking hair fell out, all kinds of crazy shit, but I couldn’t sleep. That was the worst part. So, they put me on this Ambien. I don’t think they knew how dangerous that drug is, and it lit me up. I mean, I knew I was high. I was going to meetings. I used to [sit] in the back going, ‘Fuck, I relapsed.’ So, then I… This is the disease talking to me going, ‘Hey man, you can’t go back and say you relapsed on Ambien. Let’s do this right and go get some heroin, some cocaine, and some marijuana and fucking go off to the races.’ And, then when my wife found out and I went to rehab… She had a little bit of money we had left, and then I hadn’t been drinking, and I’m not minimizing or maximizing, that’s just a fact that once she gave me $30, $20 a week, I was off to the liquor store and I became fall-down drunk within six months. That’s how I noticed the disease had gotten worse — blackouts, shakes, DTs [delirium tremens], all kinds of craziness.”

For addicts that fall back into drug use, there is no guarantee that they will ever be able to stop again; their relapse may turn out to be a death sentence.

Over time, the life of the addict tends to deteriorate. This means that when people relapse, they may be going back to a life that is even worse than before.

“I can see the progress on of the drug use, how bad it got,” Ronnie said. “I honestly can tell you that it got bad. It was nightmarish. So, I’m grateful to be sober and clean, and I’ve got… I’m not even counting the days, but I’ve been in the rehab, but it will be about like two months in a couple of weeks or something. So, I’ve just been there since the middle of April, and now in a couple of weeks, I’m going to go to a recovery house.”

Younkins added that he was “grateful” to his bandmates for standing by him through all his problems. “I thought about it when I was playing [at Sweden Rock] today, like, ‘Fuck! I mean, I’m here playing with this band, and I’m not dead, and I’m not high, and I’m not drunk, and these guys let me come over here to play.’

“I love those guys in the band,” he said. “They’ve been my brothers, all of them, and [KIX guitarist [Brian‘s [Forsythe] been a big help, because he’s in the program as well, and yeah… So, I just want to get my shit together once and for all on a daily basis.”

Last October, KIX released the “Can’t Stop The Show: The Return Of Kix” two-disc DVD/CD set via Loud & Proud Records. The 71-minute film was an in-depth look into KIX‘s decision to record their first new album, 2014’s “Rock Your Face Off”, in almost twenty years.

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KIX Guitarist RONNIE YOUNKINS Opens Up About His Drug Addiction: 'My Disease Has Gotten Worse'
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COREY TAYLOR Performs Acoustically At Studios Of Boston's WAAF (Video)

COREY TAYLOR Performs Acoustically At Studios Of Boston's WAAF (Video)

On July 20, Corey Taylor stopped by the WAAF studio in Boston, Massachusetts to perform acoustic versions of STONE SOUR‘s “Song #3” and Tom Petty‘s “You Got Lucky”. Check out video footage below.

STONE SOUR has announced details of its highly anticipated fall headline tour which begins September 24 at Omaha, Nebraska’s Sokol Auditorium and then travels through mid-October. Support comes from special guests STEEL PANTHER, BEARTOOTH, MAN WITH A MISSION and CHERRY BOMBS on select dates. The tour will also include stops at a number of upcoming festivals, including Englewood, Colorado’s High Elevation Rock (September 23), Janesville, Wisconsin’s JJO Sonic Boom (September 30), Louisville, Kentucky’s Louder Than Life (October 1), Houston, Texas’s Houston Open Air (October 15), and Sacramento, California’s Aftershock (October 21).

STONE SOUR‘s new album, “Hydrograd”, rocketed on to the charts, debuting at No. 1 on three Billboard lists: Top Current Albums, Top Rock Albums and Top Hard Rock Albums. “Hydrograd” also debuted at No. 8 on the Billboard 200, marking the band’s fifth consecutive Top 10 debut on that chart. Furthermore, “Hydrograd” debuted at No. 5 in the U.K. (the band’s highest debut ever in that country), No. 2 in Australia (highest debut ever), and was Top 5 in Germany, Japan and Switzerland.

“Hydrograd”‘s lead single, “Song #3”, spent a fourth straight week at No. 1 at Active Rock Radio, marking the Grammy-nominated band’s fourth No. 1 single and eighth Top 5 single at the format. “Song #3”‘s Ryan Valdez-directed video has received over three million views on the band’s official YouTube channel while garnering more than four million streams on Spotify, including placement on Rock This and Rock Hard playlists.

STONE SOUR is currently on an epic summer trek alongside fellow Roadrunner recording group KORN. Dubbed “The Serenity Of Summer Tour”, the trek is set to continue through early August.

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COREY TAYLOR Performs Acoustically At Studios Of Boston's WAAF (Video)
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LINKIN PARK Music Streams, Sales Soar After Death Of CHESTER BENNINGTON

LINKIN PARK Music Streams, Sales Soar After Death Of CHESTER BENNINGTON

According to Billboard.com, LINKIN PARK‘s music was streamed more than seven times more in the U.S. on the day of singer Chester Bennington‘s death as compared to the day before he committed suicide.

In total, there were 12.6 million on-demand audio streams of the band’s catalog of songs on July 20, versus 1.5 million a day earlier.

Among the most streamed tracks on July 20 were “In The End” (923,000 streams, up from 107,000 a day earlier, “Numb” (740,000 streams), “Heavy” (684,000 streams), “One Step Closer” (480,000 streams) and “Crawling” (439,000 streams).

Billboard.com also reported that LINKIN PARK‘s music sales grew 5,332 percent following Bennington‘s passing. In total, the act’s albums and songs sold 111,000 copies on July 20, versus 2,000 the day before.

In the two days since Chester‘s death, fans shared their favorite music lyrics, photos of Bennington and some even posted pictures of their LINKIN PARK memorabilia and photos with the late singer.

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LINKIN PARK Music Streams, Sales Soar After Death Of CHESTER BENNINGTON
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SONY MUSIC And EXPERIENCE HENDRIX Announce Renewal Of Licensing Agreement For JIMI HENDRIX Catalog

SONY MUSIC And EXPERIENCE HENDRIX Announce Renewal Of Licensing Agreement For JIMI HENDRIX Catalog

Sony Music Entertainment and Experience Hendrix L.L.C. have agreed to renew their historic licensing partnership — first announced in 2009 — which covers the ongoing curation and distribution of the Jimi Hendrix catalog and archives, making the artist’s music and film materials available to fans around the world across all media formats and platforms.

The Jimi Hendrix catalog and archives encompass the recordings made by the guitarist/singer/composer during the meteoric four-year period (c. 1966-1970) across which the artist evolved from a little known itinerant sideman to such R&B legends as Little Richard and THE ISLEY BROTHERS into an international icon and archetypal pop-rock superstar, a visionary genius and force of nature whose effect on music, fashion and culture is still palpable fifty years after “Are You Experienced” changed how the world hears music.

In addition to the groundbreaking albums and singles released during his lifetime, the Jimi Hendrix catalog has since been expanded to include definitive presentations of legendary live performances at such historic events as the Monterey Pop Festival and Woodstock, recordings made for the BBC, and the many extraordinary studio recordings he made at Electric Lady Studios, his state-of-the-art Greenwich Village recording facility. Led by Experience Hendrix L.L.C. president/CEO and catalog director/producer John McDermott, audio-visual titles such as the Grammy Award-winning “Band Of Gypsys” and the acclaimed 2014 Emmy Award-winning PBS “American Masters” documentary “Jimi Hendrix: Hear My Train A-Comin'” have helped broaden the global appreciation and understanding of Hendrix‘s success and continuing appeal.

Since the beginning of the partnership, Legacy Recordings, SME‘s catalog division, and Experience Hendrix have released a range of essential Hendrix titles including definitive editions of the JIMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE canon, “Valleys Of Neptune” (2010, 12 previously unreleased studio recordings, debuted at #4 on Billboard 200, #1 Top Hard Rock Albums, #1 Top Rock Albums, #1 Top Tastemaker Albums and earned Top Ten ranking in fifteen countries around the world), “West Coast Seattle Boy: The Jimi Hendrix Anthology”, “Winterland” (live performances from the legendary San Francisco venue), “People, Hell And Angels” (2013, debuted at #2 on Billboard 200, contains 12 previously unreleased studio and featured “Somewhere”Jimi Hendrix‘s first #1 Billboard single — and revelatory live recordings including “Freedom: Atlanta Pop Festival” (recorded July 4, 1970 in front of Jimi‘s largest-ever U.S. audience, a DVD/Blu-ray edition of the performance was released as “Jimi Hendrix Experience: Electric Church” and aired on Showtime and other broadcast outlets throughout the world) as well as the debut performance of Hendrix‘s fabled BAND OF GYPSYS trio via “Machine Gun: The Fillmore East First Show 12/31/69”.

Dagger Records, Experience Hendrix‘s “official bootleg” division, now in its nineteenth year, will continue to offer recordings of great historical significance for deep Jimi Hendrix fans. The company continues to celebrate Hendrix‘s multi-generational appeal by way of their celebrated Experience Hendrix Tour. These tours that have showcased contemporary artists performing the music of Jimi Hendrix in concert to underscore the never ending vitality and inspiration of Hendrix‘s music. Participating artists on these tours have included Carlos Santana, Paul Rodgers, Buddy Guy, Susan Tedeschi, Jonny Lang, Eric Johnson, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Beth Hart, members of PEARL JAM, AEROSMITH, THE DOORS, LOS LOBOS and many others.

The renewal of the SME/Legacy Recordings/Experience Hendrix partnership will provide additional support for the Jimi Hendrix Park Foundation, which will allow the Foundation to continue its commitment to cultural diversity and the legacy of Jimi Hendrix and his music. The Jimi Hendrix Park in Seattle celebrated its grand opening on Saturday, June 17, 2017.

Jimi‘s life and legacy are precious to us and, quite naturally, we could only entrust it into the hands of those who share our love and enthusiasm for his amazing work. Sony, through Legacy Recordings, has proven their dedication to preserving Jimi’s life work with integrity. Being with Sony is like being at home with family. We are comfortable with our partnership and excited about the future of Jimi‘s catalog,” said Janie Hendrix, CEO/president, Experience Hendrix L.L.C.

“As a musical, social and cultural icon, Jimi Hendrix is among the most profoundly influential and important artists in the history of recorded music,” said Adam Block, president, Legacy Recordings. “Sony Music and Legacy Recordings are proud and honored to continue working with Experience Hendrix to bring the sounds of Jimi Hendrix to future generations of musicians and fans. Over the course of his all-too-brief career, Jimi Hendrix altered the DNA of popular music and the effects of his presence can still be felt in the recordings he left behind. We are lucky to be able to hear and experience the power of Jimi Hendrix and his music.”
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SONY MUSIC And EXPERIENCE HENDRIX Announce Renewal Of Licensing Agreement For JIMI HENDRIX Catalog
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