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Crowbar’s Kirk Windstein: Getting Sober Turned Me Into a ‘Food Rager’

Max Tombly

New Orleans’ sludge sellers Crowbar are about to release ‘Sever the Wicked Hand,’ their first album since ‘Lifesblood for the Downtrodden,’ which came out way back in 2005. The band is about to be back in action, and vocalist/guitarist/burly man Kirk Windstein has achieved a massive milestone: He got sober. He’s been clean for the past four months and is happier and healthier than he’s been in quite some time.

“It was time,” Windstein told Noisecreep about his decision and his daily struggle to stay off the bottle. “I go day by day and I feel like I am a teenager again. I really do. It got out of hand. Now that I am sober, so many people congratulate me on being sober for four months, and I [appreciate it] — but people fall off the wagon every minute of the day.”

He decided to forgo libations and embark on a complete and total lifestyle change for a multitude of reasons. “I wanted to be a better father, a better man to my fiancée, a better musician, songwriter and person,” Windstein said. “I am much better at business and being productive when I am sober.”

But giving up drinking has had one setback that the singer/guitarist is working on correcting. “I have been bitten by the gym bug, so I am back on track with that,” Windstein said. “After giving up alcohol, everyone turns to food. I weighed myself and I had gained 20 pounds in three months, because I’d be at Taco Bell at 2 AM, because what else is there to do when you are not drinking other than spend $15 bucks on chalupas? I am over that. I am over the ‘food raging,’ as I call it.”

Windstein said that playing shows while sober is a wholly different experience for him, as well. He has a few sober shows under his belt and he’s still getting accustomed to the sensation. “I had not played a show without a beer or 10 in quite some time. It’s one thing at a time. Our tour will have 23 shows in a row,” he lamented. “Give me 30 shows sober and I will be totally comfortable, but I am not quite there yet. It’s scary to perform sober, but I am enjoying it. I look at crowd different when I am not buzzing. Not to mention, I play and sing better, too.”

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