HAPPY, JOYOUS AND ROCKIN’ OUT –  

May 28, 2021 –  Addiction and recovery stories — both the triumphs and tragedies — are among the most common narratives in popular music, but Einhorn saw that, while there were resources like Alcoholics Anonymous and MusiCares that could help musicians get sober, more practical support was lacking.  The founder of bands like Scotland Yard Gospel Choir and Fashion Brigade — and a host for Pitchfork Radio, Sonos Radio, and the Talkhouse Podcast — Einhorn had been toying with one idea for how to fill this vacuum, and in 2018 he posited it a sober musician he knew well: New Order and Joy Division’s Peter Hook.  “I wanted to take part in Sober 21 to let people know that being a touring musician without doing drugs and alcohol isn’t only possible, but can also be much better in the end,” Pope tells Rolling Stone. “Being on tour is hell while constantly on the rollercoaster of getting high and drunk, or it can conversely be the best thing ever when you’re taking care of yourself. I realize how hard making that decision to do it without drugs and alcohol can be, and maybe Sober 21 can inspire people to make that step.”  Emily Kempf of the band Dehd, another contributor, says: “I wanted to share my story in hopes it might calm and inspire those seeking a different way to live. That to be creative and successful you don’t have to be fucked up, you don’t even have to be miserable, you can be joyous and earnest and sober. That I’ve found this is the ‘real cool,’ to be genuinely happy and free, to risk being fully myself in front of everyone — sober.”  Sober 21 was the definition of a passion project: It took Einhorn three years to make in between his various radio and podcast duties, recording a new album with Fashion Brigade, and raising his kid. To find contributors, he first tapped into his own sober community of musicians met during his travels. The next batch was a bit harder to pin down as he brought the idea to artists outside his sphere, whose publicists were a bit baffled by a project with no proper release plan at the time. But that bafflement was soon supplanted by excitement as they learned more about the project. Almost everyone Einhorn asked to participate said yes, and just like Hook, they often offered the refrain, “I wish I’d had that when I got sober.”

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