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Narcotics eponymous

Ex-alt-rock kingpin Mike Doughty explores the nitty-gritty of addiction in new memoir

Photo: Deborah Lopez, License: N/A

Deborah Lopez

Doughty’s voice as a songwriter today is far different from the guy responsible for Soul Coughing’s surreal, detached-but-tuned-in lyricism. His current songs have an inviting airiness to them, and while his authorial voice favors bluntness, his songwriter side is still open to frills and metaphors. When he talks about his fan base, he does so with an amiable, aw-shucks modesty that belies the cynic on display in Drugs. “[My current career] basically boils down to my gratitude that there are people listening to the songs I’ve been writing since I got out of Soul Coughing,” he says. “Whatever the broader industry is – I just don’t know. There was a time when I would pretend I knew more about that than I did, but really, I’m just very focused on what’s going on with me.”

Despite all the chaos he’s been through (and Drugs sure has a whole lot of that), he doesn’t blame rock & roll for his bad decisions, which, to a small degree, slyly skirts the cliché once again. “If I had became a cattle rancher, I’d have ended up a drug addict,” Doughty says. “I just think it was in me.”

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