Blink-182's Matt Skiba: How I Avoid Awkward Situations as a Non-Drinker at Parties

"If drinking turns you into an asshole, don't drink."

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Blink-182's Matt Skiba: How I Avoid Awkward Situations as a Non-Drinker at Parties
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Blink-182 guitarist Matt Skiba talked about toning his booze down, telling Music Radar:

"I drink on a very rare occasion.

"If I go out to a party or a music venue, I will have sparking water with a lime in it and people could think that's gin and tonic.

"To me that doesn't make people feel awkward to be drinking around you when you're sober and it breaks down that, 'I’m sober and you're not.'

"You just have to do what's right for you. If drinking turns you into an asshole, don't drink, because it's probably not good for you."

Matt also noted:

"Don't drink so much. It's natural that young guys and young women do that whether you're a journalist or in a band or whatever.

"If you’re in your 20s and people are partying, it's fun but it can also go sideways on you and lead to bigger, badder things. Booze is everywhere; you can get it anywhere.

"Luckily, I have learned from my mistakes. I've had some bad shows, so I don't drink before a show any more - I just don’t do it.

"Last night, I was out at a friend’s festival; I was out late, but usually if we have a show I get to sleep early. If I could go back, I would tell the younger me to chill out."

22 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Touchingcloth
    I stopped drinking 6 years ago...mainly because of medical reasons caused by drinking too much...but it's funny how the culture is when you're sober that when I go out and order a soft drink on a night out, people actually look at me weird. They say, "Coke? nah, seriously, what do you want to drink". I almost have to explain myself everytime to complete strangers why I'm not drinking alcohol, which is incredibly frustrating. 
    The_Crank3
    Yeah lots of boozers have a hard time picturing someone having fun when their sober it seems. I had lots of people like that too around me when i either stopped drinking or was the DD.
    stondagain
    Everyone's different.  I'm 48 & I gave up drinking 6 years ago..wish I did it earlier.  Always said I'd quit at 40, and then 40 came & went like a sign on the side of the highway when you're doing 75! I've written a book full of great drinking stories (or hazy memories, haha) but towards the end the stories were all sad & awful.  No regrets, and being sober is it's own kind of buzz! But if you can handle it, party till the end!  Lord knows a ton of people can; I'm just not one of them & I'm perfectly fine with that.
    DeaThrash
    Being a fan of his music or not, you can't argue with his point. He makes a pretty valid statement with personal experience behind his claim. He has my absolute respect for that. It hits close to home for me because I made a conscious choice to live a lifestyle without drinking alcohol. It’s just a personal choice I made for me, and I don’t judge other people for drinking. To each their own. However, what really hit me personally was the fact that people judge me a whole lot because I don’t drink, and that gets super awkward if not hostile sometimes. I hate it and probably is why I’ve become more a of a shut-in than social butterfly. All-in-all, props to you, Mr. Skiba!
    threedlive
    I quit drinking 07/25/89. I was 40 years old. And a mess. Probably wouldn't have made it to 41. Was almost 3 years b4 my liver quit hurting and didn't feel like a concrete block inside me. I play pool and after almost 3 years sober I started going back into bars. Like Mike , I usually drink soda water with like or 🍋 or both. For a really special drink, have them add a cherry. I've also noticed reactions from the "never trust a person who doesn't____[fill in the blank ie. Drink/swear/smoke] crowd ". I'm 68 now. I know what I did last night and who I did it with. Thanks Mike Skiba. You may never know it, but it's a big deal when someone in your position speaks out. Being a public figure has its perks, but recognition of the responsibilities that come with territory is too often the exception rather than the rule. You saying hey it's OK to not drink, OK to be yourself may have saved some young aspiring musician's life. Thank you for that!
    chrisvasco23
    i drink like maybe once every 3 months, but its usually the rare party or event. but i dont drink to get drunk. i just dont see the glamour of being drunk. 
    rcarrino29
    I'm 28 and recently gave up drinking. It started to become a crutch I used to cope with depression and other emotions and I changed from being a fun drunk to a violent asshole. Matt was already someone I looked up to as a musician, this is just another reason why he has my respect.
    GoToSleep
    At some point drinking stops being fun in my experience. My body just can't handle it the way it used to, I have no idea how people into their 40's continue to drink heavy. Seems to me like it'd be a lot more trouble than it's worth.
    murray_lindsay
    I'm 39 and when I drink I end up blacking out and being hungover and unproductive for a few days. I used to recover in a day but now it is several. I think quitting the booze is the best option for me.
    wwstewart
    Definitely not a Blink 182 fan (I like my punk to be more, well, punk...), but this dude just seriously earned some respect points. I don't not drink, but I don't really drink either. Maybe once a year. But this logic is solid. That's a big part of why I don't drink often...I tend to lose control (or what little I have) over my emotions, and I don't like being a mess when I'm supposed to be having fun. It never ends well. Good advice.
    threedlive
    Found my error regarding your name as I was trying to find out more about Blink-182. Found out you all will be in Tulsa on Sept 19th. Only about90 miles from me. How there are tickets left for sale on Aug 3rd, when I get paid.. Like I said I'm68, but my tastes in music are spread all over. Will be there if can get tickets. Have played a lot of pool in Tulsa. Leon Russell and also The Tractors are from Tulsa. Hope to see y'all there. Dallas Decker
    Eifler121
    I don't drink, and all of my friends do. I just do my thing and it doesn't get awkward.
    SlowJoe
    Love beer, but as I get older, I drink less and less of it, but higher quality. Rarely drink lager or pilsner anymore, all about the Belgian ales, stouts and porters now. Drink slow, enjoy the taste, don't get drunk.
    threedlive
    In my comment I wrote mike skiba. I'm sorry. Matt Skiba. Guess that tells you I want familiar with who you are or with Blink -182. I'm a fan of almost any kind of music. My daughter when she was13 turned me onto David Bowie (this even though he and I were only a few months apart in age-I had never listened to him-go figure) my son turned me onto Concrete Blonde when he was17 ∧ I turned them both onto Leonard Cohen. And my mother and my ex-mother- in-law(a very Christian lady. Had her listen to Susanne ∧ Joan of Arc) I try to get anyone I know who likes music to listen to Leonard Cohen. But Matt although I'm not familiar with Blink-182 ∧ your music, it doesn't change the validity of the point I was making regarding your sense of public responsibility. So many people in public life only want the spotlight when it's paying out. Seldom do they come forward to try and add something to the lives of others. Pro athletes overall are the biggest disappointment in this area(my opinion, my belief) All the kazillions of$ they make and the majority give back nothing, out some do even worse ie take the lives of others and then try to just 🚶 away. I'm sorry. Maybe Michael Vick paid his dues according to the law, but I'd never want his sick ass around me or mine. And Ted Nugent--I sent him my name and phone# and invited him to look me up if he was ever in Wichita again, maybe we could go hunting. Couple days ago, found out he was here in small venue on July5 th. Checked my call log. Guess he was pressed for time. Jerk doesn't begin to cover it... But there are also pro athletes who do honor and accept the fact that along with the fame and fortune, comes responsibilities, ∧ do spend a lot of time, effort and money living up to who they should and could be, given the position
    Julczas
    I went through heavy drinking phase when I was 17-18 years old. Before I never really got drunk, but because of a very rough life experience I went from "not really a drinker" to "constantly drunk" in a matter of... i dont know, a month? Often I came drunk to school, drank beer "just for kicks" during school breaks (2-3 quick beers and back to class). I was lucky enough to figure it out for myself, I had a lot of caring people around me, but most of them didn't notice something was wrong and those who did were disregarded. I'm 25 now, and still drink occasionally, but I try to stay away from vodka - it's very hard for me not to lose control while drinking "shots"... And when I go to a party and don't drink at all it's the same for me as for everyone else "why aren't you drinking" "you can't trust a person who doesn't drink" "why are you a pussy". Luckily, I'm not an unsecure teen anymore and I don't give a fuck about these people. Good luck to anyone who takes control of his life, whether it's partying all the time or having a family or whatever floats your boat... Just dont drink 2 bottles of vodka in one sitting, or don't make 12 brats (with one woman? )
    danielchasebe
    Mmm... "sparking" water. Nothing refreshes like molten bits of slag flying in your eye. Except maybe a Flaming Moe.
    FlightofIcarus
    I admit, I did my fair share of partying during my early 20's (30 now). It certainly had it's fun moments. The thing I learned though, was once you've been to one party, you've been to them all.  In the process, I actually developed a taste for good beer/wine, that ironically, steered me away from partying, and towards much more responsible, lighter drinking (I really don't miss the partying life, or the hangovers at all). I realize that this isn't how it works for everyone though, and alcohol can lead some to very dangerous, self-destructive habits for many. So I have super high respect for those who can recognize if it's a problem for them, and choose not to drink at all.  Even in my position, it can be frustrating if you're with people who do drink heavily. Too often I've had to explain that I'm having a good time sober, and don't need any more.
    JimBonJovi
    Another man I respect for not doing any drugs or drinking alcohol is Gene Simmons. I know he gets a bad rep around the rock world for his capitalistic mode of thought process, however; he's stayed true to himself and for that he solidifies a spot on my list as an idol whom never needed to partake in alcoholic fests or drug orgies. Just sex orgies and lots & lots of other various modes of sex. Which doesn't harm anyone.