Stone Sour guitarist Josh Rand has had a tumultuous 2018, dropping off the band’s tour in January to focus on his health. After three months of working hard on his sobriety, Rand announced his return to Stone Sour and is now fully appreciating the Hydrograd cycle for the first time.

We caught up with Rand before Stone Sour’s performance at Rock on the Range. In great spirits, Rand spoke candidly about his issues. “In January, I just hit a wall with things, felt just terrible and decided that it was in my best interest and the band’s best interest to step aside and get stuff sorted.”

Rand continues, “There was no intervention or anything. To be quite honest, everybody had went through check-in at the airport and they were already through when I made the decision that I wasn’t going to fly to Canada and I was flying back to Des Moines. Our security staff actually informed them that I would not be joining them. Everybody backed the decision … I had just spun into a funk, depression thing. I just wasn’t happy and so that’s why I made the decision. I just felt like every day was a burden. I was just like, ‘This is crazy. I know I don’t have to feel like this.’”

“Even making the [Hydrograd] record was really difficult for me,” Rand explains. “There [were] many times where I couldn’t even get out of bed. There were several times that I didn’t come into the studio because I was just that down. Even though we’re wrapping up the cycle, I’m reaping the rewards from it now. I have this new appreciation for everything.”

As for coping with anxiety without the use of substances, Rand went into detail about his new rituals. “The main thing for me, right now, is honestly, working out,” the guitarist says. “I spend hours doing it now. Sometimes I’ll go to the gym twice. I’ll go in the middle of the day and then after we’re done playing. The other thing I’m still working on… I was a person that would really never speak their mind and just bottle everything up. That didn’t help me in many ways over the years, I’m sure. The band, we have a very open communication with the five of us and truly a brotherhood.”

Watch our full interview with Josh Rand in the clip above. For Stone Sour’s full list of 2018 tour dates, click here.

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