Saving Abel’s Jared Weeks Opens Up About Journey Toward Sobriety – ‘I Didn’t Have the Tools to Live Life Cranked All the Way to 11′
"I was handed the keys to the kingdom at a very young age."
"I simply just didn't have the tools to live life cranked all the way to 11, as they say," he admitted to host Chuck Armstrong. "Drugs became a problem for me. I was dealing with undiagnosed things going on with my mental [state]."
As he explained, he eventually hit a point where he had to tell guitarist Jason Null — who he co-founded Saving Abel with in 2004 — that he needed to "get his stuff right."
"I've got a wife. I've got kids. I do have a life. And yeah, Saving Abel was my baby and I got to travel all over the world, but it got to the point where I had to learn how to love myself again."
Part of loving himself again was moving his family to Nashville where he was connected to Skidd Mills, who had produced all of Saving Abel's albums. Not wanting to remove himself completely from the music industry, Weeks tried his hand at writing with some of the biggest country music songwriters in Nashville, like Jonathan Singleton.
"It kind of just became a repetition," Weeks confessed. "Wake up. Write a verse. Write a chorus. Go eat lunch. It was a good life for a while, but I kind of felt the passion and my love of music slipping away from me."
Though he had started dealing with his drug use during that time, falling into that cycle of repetition led Weeks to turn to alcohol.
"I sat on the black couch for a few years — I call depression 'the black couch.' I finally got to the point when isolation hit [during the pandemic]."
Jared Weeks Confronted His Guilt and Shame
As if the isolation and divisiveness of the pandemic weren't enough to cause a new sense of darkness for Weeks, he had the added stress of moving into a new house and tearing down his family's kitchen.
"Do you remember that saying, 'Be the change you want to see in the world,'" Weeks asked Chuck. "Well, I actually took that seriously and literally the only way to do that is to change from the inside out. I was definitely in need of a change in my life. So I started looking at the things that we're ashamed of, that we're guilty of."
Weeks called that "doing the shadow work," and by confronting his shame and guilt, he began to heal.
"I went to therapy, I mean, I still go to therapy, but basically, I went and got the tools that I needed to deal with life and I slowly worked my way back."
Eventually, Weeks felt healthy enough to call Null.
"I'm like, 'Hey, man, I'm ready to take back my life.' And Jason was like, 'I've been waiting on you to say that for years.'"
Weeks' Return to Saving Abel
"I was sitting there listening to it and I loved it so much," Weeks recalled. "I told Jason I had so many of these songs like this even before Saving Abel. The universe works one way or another and the next thing you know, we're in the studio writing and recording those songs and it brought back the tripod of Skidd and Jason and me writing songs again."
That early material that they wrote and recorded together eventually became the EP, Shade of Grace - Twenty Year Songs. From that point, it seemed like Saving Abel — the original Saving Abel — were back together.
"Honestly, we fell right back into place," he said. "We didn't miss a beat. I'm grateful for that, how the universe lines things up perfectly."
As Weeks reflected on the journey from creating Saving Abel, leaving Saving Abel and coming back to the band, he told Chuck that he is thankful for all of it. The future of Saving Abel is bright as they celebrate the release of two new songs in 2023, prepare for a headlining tour and look ahead to a new album.
"It was worth it. It's really exciting and exhilarating to be sober and to sit back and watch all this stuff fall in place and start building — and rebuilding — the foundation of the band and our futures."
What Else Did Saving Abel's Jared Weeks Discuss on Loudwire Nights?
- What the new songs "Baptize Me" and "Fire" mean to him
- Why there are some Saving Abel songs he doesn't feel comfortable singing these days
- What it's like having drummer Dave Moraata in the band
Listen to the Full Interview in the Podcast Player Below
Jared Weeks joined Loudwire Nights on Thursday, Oct. 5; the show replays online here, and you can tune in live every weeknight at 7PM ET or on the Loudwire app; you can also see if the show is available on your local radio station and listen to interviews on-demand. Stream "Fire" at this location and then check out Saving Abel's full tour schedule.
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