Korn guitarist James "Munky" Shaffer has been sober for over 12 years now, but getting there has been a long journey. In a new interview with Dr. Daniel Amen on his YouTube show Scan My Brain, the nu-metal musician spoke candidly about his years-long battle with addiction and depression, including the dark moments in his life when he suffered from suicidal thoughts.
Throughout the conversation, Munky opened up about how "sexual trauma" he suffered during his childhood led him toward drugs and alcohol, and that after two stints in rehab — as well as a "big downward spiral around 2008" — he was eventually able to commit a life of sobriety when his wife gave him an ultimatum.
The whole interview was an incredible act of courage on Munky's part, especially during the point when Dr. Amen asked him to speak about the times in his life when he's felt suicidal.
"Probably like the first time was after my dad passed away. I felt a tremendous amount of pain," Munky said, clarifying that his dad died after the musician's second stint in rehab. "I went to a rehab in 2001. When I came out I didn't have much support. I didn't really have a support plan and system in place. So I stayed sober for nine months.
"Then, I started partying hard for the next seven or eight years. That was shortly after I lost my mom. She was the foundation of our family, holding it all together. Then the next time [I felt suicidal] was when I knew I was trying to rationalize my drinking. I'm only going to have wine with dinner, that kind of thing. Or, a couple beers after my show. And that always escalated."
Watch that clip of the interview below via Instagram, and see a 15-minute segment above via YouTube.