SoberPunks Interview: Scott Middleton from CANCER BATS

Man, I fucking love Cancer Bats; a mental hardcore punk band, full of spunk and spitting, that are proud to call Toronto their home – albeit probably a fleeting home given the amount of time these stalwarts spend on tour.

Their tunes are fast, their riffs are crushing, and their gigs are amongst some of the craziest I’ve ever witnessed (and I’ve seen Meatloaf and Billy Joel live – so I know what I’m talking about!).

But you know what’s cooler than a big, loud, fun punk band? A big, loud, fun punk band that doesn’t need BOOZE to get pepped up and start windmilling (hair, not penises, you perv), and Cancer Bats have not one but TWO members that DON’T NEED NO FUCKEN BEER TO HAVE A GUD TIME: Frontman Liam Cormier, and guitarist Scott Middleton.

I was lucky enough to catch up with badass shredder Scott, and ask him a few questions about his decision to live a life sans the devils jizz…

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In Pictures: The Amazing Effects Of Quitting Booze

Sup!

When I first started this blog, back in 2016 (at 1yr sober), my intention was always to take it beyond the boundaries of just my own experiences. One bloke’s perspective is fine for a while, but it can start to become stale for 2 main reasons:

  1. The path that you walk, through problem drinking and then into sobriety, will more than likely resonate with some people, but you’re unlikely to be in a position that you can relate to all booze-issue experiences – for example: the whole ‘wine o’clock school-run mums’ thing is pretty alien to me, as is the idea of needing to drink every morning before facing the world. However! I can write all day long about weekend binges and doing silly things like getting your pink bits out in inappropriate public venues – so blogging ones own views can be a bit one-dimensional and blinkered.
  2. Man, I’ve already written nearly 100 blogs on this subject (including a few articles for magazines etc…) – so that’s probably like 200,000 words about ME and MY THOUGHTS. At some point, I’m going to run out of things to say (oh precious day)…

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If You’re Happy And You Know It Fuck The House

A couple of weeks ago we put our flat on the market. The place is lovely but it’s tiny, and after three years squeezed in alongside a plethora of furry animals we’ve decided it’s time to upsize to a normal person sized house – a decision accelerated in no small part by the fact that our upstairs neighbour is a proper noisy chav twat. His girlfriend is perpetually angry, and sounds like a foghorn whenever she gets peeved (which is always). It’s just not a nice situation, and the golden-boy at the Housing Association, who promised us he could use our complaints and recordings as evidence to begin eviction proceedings, has turned out to be more of a gold-spray-painted boy. A cheap knockoff. All mouth and no trousers. Fucking useless.

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How To Quit Booze Without Becoming A Miserable Bastard

When I was a drinker I was liable, occasionally, to be a bit of an animal. I’d think nothing of smashing down a load of beer and shots and then clawing and swearing at the people around me like a loved-up drunken Tasmanian Devil. It was never an anger thing, you understand. I became a hugger and a playfighter. Booze always impassioned me. It made me want to grasp life with gusto, and squeeze it until I could feel the soft bits oozing out between my fingers. It made me want to laugh loudly, eat bloody raw steaks, and get the people I cared about in headlocks. Everything done with fire in the belly, and a fist waving at the sky. A fury and zeal that it’s near on impossible to maintain in sober life, apart from in short controlled bursts (which is a bit of a contradiction really).

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Life In The Middle Lane

In my drinking days life was a series of massive highs and massive lows. The highs were my turbo-mental weekends – the parties, nights out, ace music, dancing like a twat, camaraderie, laughing till the early hours – all held together by the booze. The lows were the working week, made much worse, excruciatingly so, by the hangovers, paranoia, and lack of sleep. Continue reading