Featuring insightful and eye-opening interviews with artists, managers, songwriters, executive producers, and more, “Quit the Chaos. Keep the Gig,” is a new series that takes a look at how substance use affects everyone in the music & entertainment industry.
Co-owner of the The Alternate Root, an online platform for Roots musicians, with over thirty years of experience in the music industry, Danny McCloskey has worked in artist management, publicity, publishing, and music supervision for film and TV.
In conversation with Ron Roecker, Danny discusses how the struggles that come with substance use often lie in the boredom and free time that comes in its absence.
What's been your experience with people struggling with substance use in the music business?
Danny: For me, the answer wasn’t about the struggle with drugs or alcohol. Generally, when someone is seeking help with addictions, the problems are obvious. The struggles were outside of addiction. In the beginning, the hurdle was what to do within the boredom that drugs filled. Touring is great for about one hour a day. What can fill the other 23 hours? Another obstacle is how to keep sobriety in place once the physical addictions are gone, and not believing that on again/off again sobriety is a way to manage drug and alcohol use.
How has that affected your own business as an artist/manager/producer?
Danny: I wouldn’t have a successful business if I wasn’t sober. The ability of drugs to enhance creativity is limited. Any creative projects take a back seat to the need to search for drugs.
Are there resources for you to use or reference?
Danny: Recovery meetings are great reminders that your thinking and the ways of addiction are shared by others.
What's the most important need/solution for you as a manager when dealing with someone who is struggling with substance use?
Danny: To remove yourself from the person and focus on the addiction, and how their actions are affecting everyone. Addiction is a family disease. There are no victims, only willing participants. When dealing with addicts, you are either on their side and a tool for their addiction or an obstacle between them and their high. Those are the only two choices.
Why do you do what you do?
Danny: I was raised by rock ’n’ roll and have remained loyal. I love working with artists, and am happy to be a voice to help them in the business, or as an assistant to their careers.
Why is it important that musicians are able to cope and continue to work for society in general?
Danny: On the musicians side, to fulfill their own desires to give their work over to the world. On the side of society, it begins conversations and dialogue. Art challenges and soothes, reminding us that we are not alone in our thoughts.
Ron Roecker is an award-winning writer, as well as music/entertainment and brand marketing expert. His career includes Vice President of Communications & Artist Relations for the GRAMMY Awards, as well as a music/entertainment spokesperson for brands and media outlets including Nestle, Live Earth, Mattel, CNN, MTV, Entertainment Tonight, BBC, Today Show, Rolling Stone and more. Ron is a keynote speaker who talks about business lessons from Hollywood to Public Speaking and Crisis Management. For more information, visit www.bedifferently.com.
Evo Health and Wellness is an outpatient addiction treatment program that respects where you are and where you want to go. Clients set goals that work for them, whether they include complete abstinence or moderation. Evo sees success as lasting change in the client’s life, including physical health, movement towards personal goals, and their sense of connection and purpose. Evo’s program integrates psychotherapy, psychiatry, life coaching and somatic therapy. Learn more about why Evo works for Entertainment professionals.