At the time of setting up Epitaph, because they were a partnership, what they did was pick an outside party as a co-signer on every check. Jay chose Brett's dad because he was the one person Jay trusted the most (because he was a successful business man, and Jay had spent many nights talking to him about what BR were trying to accomplish, etc.). But then Brett would go up to his dad and say, "Here sign this check, I've got to get money to this guy" and his dad would do it, and then Brett would go out and get drugs with it.
All the money from How Could Hell Be Any Worse? went because of his drug habit. The other band members were very understanding, though. Jay: "It's just the music, you don't want to fight about it, you don't want to get legal about it, you just kind of go, 'Whatever'."
In the Along The Way video in 1989 Brett said: "Well, I don't do it anymore. I think crack is probably the worst poison that has ever been introduced to human beings. I mean, I think personally it's worse than heroin because I experimented with heroin quite a bit, and alcohol, and um, although I guess it depends on the individual.
I will say that I'm not, I don't want to sound that like I'm anti-drug, because I'm not anti-drug. I happen to be a drug addict. And when I take a drug, I can't stop. And um, or if I have a drink, I continue drinking until I black out. So, I had to stop. But, I think that part of that has to do with my, perhaps my environment, but I think a great deal of it has to do with genetic physical causes.
I think the central nervous system of a drug addict and an alcoholic is different from the central nervous system of a non-drug addict/alcoholic. And, in fact, medical studies have been done, they've done research on the spinal cord of drug addicts and alcoholics and they find genetic differences between them so there is some kind of inherited trait. So what I think is that if you can handle it and you can use it, drugs can be good. They can be good to relax the atmosphere at a party, LSD can be very good to expand your mind, you know?
I love LSD, I just don't, I just... And I don't think that LSD is an addictive drug personally, but, I had tried to stop taking crack in the past and I tried to stop drinking in the past and say, "OK, I won't drink, I'll just smoke pot" or "I won't take crack, I'll just drink" and whatever the one thing that I decided I would do, I did so much of it to compensate for not doing anything else because that's how I was. I had to stop everything, you know?
But, I think that there are people who can handle it, and I think that for the people who can handle it, it's OK. I don't think there's anything wrong with it. I just think that, um, when it comes to the point where the pain of using the things are too great than the pain of not using them, then you have to stop."
He overcame his drug problem of the 1980's not by moderating his drug use, but by completely abstaining.
Brett in March 2002: "I’ve struggled with chemical dependency my whole life. I got clean for the first time on April 14, 1987, and I was clean for almost eight years. It was during that eight-year period that I had the most productive time of my life. I grew my band, I wrote a hundred songs, I signed successful bands, I grew Epitaph. Everything I’m kind of known for all happened during that period. Somewhere around ’94, I had this sudden and unexpected good fortune. My entire label was just exploding. I became the wunderkind of the music industry. What happened is that I didn’t really handle it very well. It really was the last thing I was expecting, and I relapsed."
Brett also used to take Thorazine (chlorpromazine): "It takes you down off an acid trip. (...) If you're not too high to swallow Thorazine. (...) Thorazine they used for schizophrenics, and LSD is basically artificially-induced schizophrenia. So any of you kids out there experimenting, if you're having a bad acid trip get your friend to inject you with a little Thorazine and you'll feel all better. That's about the only thing that'll do it, though."
After Brett's departure from Bad Religion in 1994 his personal output as a prolific musician was a two track CD with a project called The Daredevils in 1996. Though he had planned to write and record a whole album, the downward spiral of drug addiction kept him from finishing the writing of the songs. The following years Brett went to rehab several times, but also got arrested for drug possession.
Brett said he had been clean for over nine years but in 1997, after an overdose and being caught with 14 balloons of heroin, his drug problem eventually landed him in LA County Jail; he avoided a six-month sentence by agreeing to spend a year in a residential treatment center in Arizona called Impact, where he got clean. "For me, that looked like a very good deal, next to six months in LA County Jail with all the crips and bloods. I’m telling you, it was a scary place, man." Brett’s convinced that this experience has saved his life and forced him to get serious about getting clean. The experience inspired The Process Of Belief’s first single, "Broken".
In 2004 he was asked whether his perspective on drugs has changed from what he had said in the Along The Way video. Brett replied: "I don't remember what I said about drugs in the Along The Way interview so I can't tell you if I still feel the same way. Perhaps my memory would serve me better if I hadn't taken so many drugs. Ha! As many people know, I've struggled with drug problems in my life and I would advise anybody with curiosities similar to mine to be very careful. I've managed to overcome adversity and I don't regret the past, nevertheless there are many who've followed a similar path who have been far less fortunate".
Jay had also been a heroin addict and had been in rehab with Brett. He's completely clean now.
When BR were in Santa Monica people were smoking loads. Greg realized this and said he also used to smoke weed when he was younger and that's why he got into music.
Greg in March 1996: "I never partook in any drugs. Maybe because when I was younger I was afraid of them. I don't smoke pot or even drink, but I have nothing against it."
|02/20||added references - By wrong planet|
|04/08||added reference for inspiration of Broken - By wrong planet|