Mike Doughty's Book of Drugs Has Music in It

He thinks some of it is really dumb

After several years of releasing albums with Dave Matthews's ATO label, Doughty set up his own record company, Snack Bar, to release last year's stripped-down, relentlessly catchy Yes and Also Yes. Doughty writes honestly about how he never accrued many cool points or critical heat for his solo career, and one particularly heartbreaking scene in Drugs comes when She & Him troubadour M. Ward tells Doughty he wasn't aware of his post–Soul Coughing output.

"It really bums me out that the KEXPs of the world have abandoned me," Doughty says. "Suddenly, I became ungroovy. I mean, it suuuuuucks to be so engaged in what I'm doing and to make an album and be like, 'That's the best thing I've ever done,' and then to have it not . . . whatever, you know. But I'm hoping that something happens where people go back and listen to those albums, because I feel like it was really good work, it's work I'm extremely proud of, in a way that I'm not proud of the Soul Coughing stuff, and that is extremely frustrating."

Forgiveness and making amends are two of the main touchstones for recovery ("You'll be doing it for the rest of your life"), but Doughty has never felt the need to make peace with his former bandmates. The pain of that experience is still too much for him. But he takes responsibility for his mistakes as well. "I would have done drugs anyway," Doughty says. "But then again, I would have found another abusive relationship anyway. If you're that person and that fucked up, you would have found a fucked-up situation no matter what happens."

Looking back: Mike Doughty
Looking back: Mike Doughty

Location Info


City Winery

155 Varick St.
New York, NY 10013

Category: Bars and Clubs

Region: Tribeca

Mike Doughty will play City Winery on March 3 and April 21.

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My Voice Nation Help

Like Mikes lyrics and all but why so hard on the old band...it's the band that made his lyrics work....as evidenced by the meh stuff he put out post SC. The truth imho. Good to see he hasnt OD'd on H though so maybe he'll make something good again. Make amends with the band even if you don't make music with them...life's too short.


I love Mike Doughty's voice. I wish him well, and I will certainly buy his music.

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