It’s been over 40 years since the phrase “sex, drugs and rock & roll” was first coined in the rock/metal world. And as new bands grace the rock scene, fore-fronting health has become the new cool.
Since the 1980s, infamous stories and rumours obscured the general public's’ perception of the rock-star life. From Ozzy Osborne biting off a bats head on stage, to Marilyn Manson apparently removing a rib so that he could give himself head. The rock world was full of odd and often crude perceptions of life. But as a new generation of influential rock stars gain popularity, they leave behind the play hard work hard way of life rock had created.
Perhaps it was Pink Floyd's famous The Wall album and DVD which conceptualised the band’s personal and financial struggles, or Manson’s obscure single S(aint) which illustrated the negative effects of drug use, along with self-harm or perhaps the growing 27 club. Whatever the reason, singers and bands now advocate healthy living.
The Next Generation
Chris Motionless (aka Chris Cerulli) from the metal-core/ goth metal band Motionless in White maintains a plant-based lifestyle, along with 30 Seconds to Mars singer and actor Jared Leto. While lead singer Andy Black (aka Andy Biersack) from Black Veil Brides limits his alcohol consumption. And there’s more on the way. Now more than ever rock stars/bands are bringing their fitness coaches on tour with them to ensure they are always at the top of their game.
But why is this happening? What happened to the live fast die young way of life? Some people might look at the new generation and say that they aren’t as hardcore as their predecessors, or that they lack substance. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. With new genres being born every year, rock and metal have become more intense than ever, with influences from industrial metal and post modern rock genres.
There clearly isn’t a lack of passion or fierceness in the music being created, instead, something else has happened. To put it simply, we have seen it all before and know the consequences. We have seen the high energy stages where rock stars are coked-up, smashing up stages with 10 women by their side. And we have also seen stars suffer because of this rock lifestyle.
Looking Back in Anger
Before the sex, rug and rock & roll wave took over the music industry, we didn’t know what would happen to stars who drank too much or filled their bodies with drugs to the point of unconsciousness. Sure, we had some idea, but never before had it been so openly displayed. Now 40 years on, audiences look back to the previous rock generations and see the negative effects of this lifestyle and instead choose a healthier path.
Even those rock stars that adhered to this lifestyle in the past have changed their ways. Alice Cooper received treatment for his drug abuse and sought out religious help, Sting grows his own food, works out and has a macrobiotic diet, and Mike Jagger trains 5–6 days a week to keep up his energy levels while performing.
Current and up & coming rock stars now focus on showing the world their best performing abilities, through the creation of amazing music with iconic stage performances. These rock stars want to entertain for years to come and the only way they can do that is through healthy habits that keep them at the top of their league. Maybe this change is something that will continue for years to come, and as an audience maybe we can be inspired by their habits too.