Former STONE SOUR guitarist JOSH RAND undergoes spinal surgery, opens up about mental health issues
Former STONE SOUR guitarist Josh Rand says that he recently underwent spinal surgery after dealing with chronic back pain for “what seems like forever”.
The 49-year-old musician, who left STONE SOUR‘s tour in 2018 to seek out treatment for “an alcohol and Xanax dependency,” also revealed that he has been meeting with a licensed professional to address his mental health issues.
On Thursday, November 9, Rand shared the following update via his social media: “It’s been a while since my last post and I just wanted to update you all with what I’ve been up to and to say I’m alive and doing well.
“There’s really two parts to my journey in 2023, mental health and physical health. Back in 2018 when I was getting sober from alcohol and pills, my mental health started to take a downward spiral. Come to find out my newfound sobriety would release all the negative shit in my head that I had been suppressing for many years by chemicals. Looking back now, by the end of 2019 I had lost the ability to control my emotions. The highs were high, and the lows were low except there were no highs. I had hit rock bottom; I had become someone else and not in a good way.
“In the beginning of 2020 after several events known as ‘explosive behavior’ it became very apparent to me I needed help. With the support of my wife, I began therapy. I can honestly say it’s completely changed my life and it’s one of the best things I’ve done and continue to do.
“Now on the physical side. I’ve just been dealing with chronic back pain for what seems like forever. This past March, the pain got to the point I could barely get out of bed. The sciatic pain was that bad. At the end of August, I had spinal surgery fusing L4, L5 to S1. I’m still in the ‘get as much rest’ phase right now. I’m hoping to start PT soon and get back to playing.
“I want to stress this is not a sympathy or ‘poor me’ post, but my 1st on the importance of mental health.
“Be safe, be well. #endthestigma #mentalhealthmatters #therapydog”.
After Rand emerged from treatment in April 2018, he admitted he had been struggling with Xanax and alcohol dependencies. He previously told Lazer 103.3 that he was first prescribed Xanax eight years earlier for anxiety related to flying. He added in a 2018 interview: “And then over the course of the last couple years, I started drinking and when we started touring, I was basically day-drinking. But not drinking to get messed up, but just to maintain, I guess. Or to be able to cope, to have this buzz.”
The guitarist said he just started feeling “horrible and miserable” and that things came to a head for him in January 2018 on the ShipRocked cruise.
Rand recalled: “We were flying from Florida back up to Canada, and, basically, we were in the airport and I just had made the decision that I had to come home. Luckily, I had the support of the other guys and my family to make that decision. I had hit a wall and knew that I needed to regroup and deal with my stuff. So that’s what I did.”
Rand went on to say that he wanted to get help because STONE SOUR was only “a fraction” of his life, and that he had “the rest of my life to think about also, and my family, which is the number one thing.”
Josh said that he wanted to address his issues publicly because he wanted to break the negative stigma surrounding addiction and to let other addicts know that there is no shame in getting help when it is needed.
STONE SOUR has been off the road and out of sight since completing the touring cycle for its last studio album, 2017’s “Hydrograd”. Taylor has been working with SLIPKNOT since then, as well as making his debut solo album, “CMFT”. A STONE SOUR live album, “Hello, You Bastards: Live In Reno”, came out in December 2019.
In August 2020, Taylor said that he was open to doing more recording and touring with STONE SOUR in the future. But he admitted that there had “been some contention here and there” between the members of the band in the past and added that it was “time” for him to “step away” and pursue his solo project for a while.
In June 2020, Corey told “Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk” about STONE SOUR: “If someday we wanna get back together and do some stuff, it’ll be bigger than it was. But for right now, we’re all kind of focused on kind of doing our own thing. But you never say never in this business.”
In June 2021, Rand told MACHINE HEAD frontman Robb Flynn‘s “No Fuckin’ Regrets With Robb Flynn” podcast about when fans can expect to see the follow-up to “Hydrograd”: “There’s no timetable for a return, ’cause, honestly, between Corey doing his solo thing, now me working on THE L.I.F.E. PROJECT stuff, Roy (Mayorga, drums) working on MINISTRY… So, there’s just no timetable.
“I made a comment in 2020, and it kind of backfired, because of how I said STONE SOUR was on an indefinite hiatus, which, if you know the definition, actually just means it’s a long period of time with no timetable of return. I don’t know if everybody thought I said ‘infinite’ instead of ‘indefinite.’ (Laughs) All of a sudden, the band was, like, over. It was, like, ‘Oh my God! It’s over.’ All I was saying was there’s no timetable. It’s no different than what we’ve done in the past. It’s just gonna be a longer break.”
According to Rand, he and his STONE SOUR bandmates “needed to branch out”, “try different shit” and “work with different people” before regrouping to work on new STONE SOUR music. “And then whenever that time is that we get back together, it’ll actually be what is best for STONE SOUR,” he explained. “There’s no doubt about it in my mind. Just having these different experiences for all of us instead of just running that same cycle. I think more so with Corey and myself — like I said, he got to do a solo record where he’s doing a different style of music than anybody would have thought of or that wouldn’t have fit in STONE SOUR or SLIPKNOT. For myself, working with somebody that’s not Corey and Roy. So there’s a growth that will be there that we’ll ultimately get which will benefit the band. I know some people might not be stoked that it’s gonna be who knows when, but it needed to happen, and that’s what’s best for everybody involved.”
Asked how he and the rest of STONE SOUR made the decision to take a longer-than-usual break this time around, Josh said: “I think at the end of the tour cycle, we had a good idea of what was going to happen, where Corey wanted to do the solo record. For myself, it’s something I kicked around — just having some of the songs that I would musically write that I would never submit into STONE SOUR ’cause I don’t feel like it fits at all. So I was kind of on that path to begin with. I just kind of got an extra nudge with him doing his solo record of, ‘Hey, this is probably the time to do this.’ And then we got hit with the pandemic, which then really locked me into the house. And I was, like, ‘What else am I gonna do?’ So I just started writing and working on playing piano. I did a bunch of stuff on piano, which some of it will come out, and some of it, it’s, like, ‘No.’ I’ll it for myself. And that’s basically what we did. So we had a good idea, I think, that we were gonna take a longer break at the end of ’19. I think towards the end, all of us were just burnt.”