Thursday’s Geoff Rickly Speaks Of His Past Heroin Addiction


Thursday/No Devotion frontman Geoff Rickly gave a revealing interview in which he openly discussed his past heroin addiction, which he kicked prior to Thursday‘s reunion last year. When asked  if now performing sober was different than his past days under the influence, he offered:

“I had a lot of friends that couldn’t tell the difference. The people that truly know me, like my girlfriend, they’re like, ‘You make so much eye contact with the fans, you’re there, you’re present, you’re not just kind of in the music.’

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At the best moments of the band, I always felt like we could be the best band in the world, or the worst band in the world. That was something that I loved about us. Our booking agent hated it, because we could play Coachella and be terrible. The biggest show of the year and I’d just be spitting up blood and not be great.

But that said something about us, you know. We weren’t a machine; we had this connection, this chemistry. And nights when I could gather all the energy of the crowd, all the love and passion of the crowd and reflect it back at them? Those were just amazing nights.

Toward the end of the band, I was just so sick of seeing people who weren’t that into the new songs or opening for bands that I know probably wouldn’t like us, but somebody convinced us to do the tour.

There was no energy to reflect back, so I would just go really internal and just try to say I just loved the music for myself or whatever. That’s changed back. I’m ready to be more vulnerable, I’m ready to let people share their feelings with me.

I do think that was a big reason that I gravitated toward a drug like heroin. It was protecting; the pain would diminish. When a lot of people are very passionate with you and share their pain with you and tell you what’s going on, it can be really tough.

I’ve always been very empathic to the point where I’ve had many therapists tell me, “You’ve gotta put some space between you and other people. You gotta not be so forthcoming and learn to say no.” I would just do whatever anybody asked of me at any time just because I literally did not know how to say no. So it’s a big difference.

I also looked for a meeting every day of tour. That was sometimes very hard—to get to meetings, sound checks, meetings. The first night was terrible. I was so scared to not have anything in me, even just the shot of whiskey to loosen up my voice.

But once I got past that, it was so nice. I felt like I had a purpose. There was such a natural high that came from it, which I had lost when I was just too high to notice any high. It was really different.”

He later mentioned that he was five years deep into his addiction during the 2015 fiasco with pharmaceutical villain Martin Shkreli, who was a silent partner funding then funding Rickly‘s Collect Records label. He said of that period of time:

“It was tough in a bunch of ways. Going through it while you’re also five years into a deep heroin addiction is not easy, either, because your emotions get really blank and then they all catch up and pour out. A times, I would think that I deserved everything that had happened to me at Collect because I was an addict.

I felt so wretched all the time. It was a really intense, scary, sad thing for me. I also felt like the 18 years of good will that I had built up all just disappeared in an instant. But I’ve been really lucky that a lot of people stood by me and stuck up for me and testified to the public on my behalf, so to speak. I feel really grateful about that.”

He also went on to say that the bidding war for the band in the early 2000’s [the band would eventually sign with Island Records] was mostly to the benefit of Victory Records founder Tony Brummel, offering:

“It’s funny because there was this giant bidding war with all the major labels for us and we didn’t really get to see any of it because we were under contract to Victory. The bidding war was just for Tony [Brummel]’s benefit, really. We did a little better on a major label than we did on an indie, but it was no Nirvana, which is what everybody wanted.

I produced the My Chemical Romance record, and they didn’t really have a bidding war. They just kind of silently went to a major, and it instantly paid off more than their advance. Whereas I think—and I’m sort of proud of this—that we cost every major we were ever on a lot of money—two million dollar type stuff. That’s good, because I put out other band’s records and used my time to help indie bands. I feel like there was always a little bit of Robin Hood in our motives.”

You can find a whole more from Rickly over at

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