By Steve Weinstein
By Bryan Bierman
By Lindsey Rhoades
By Chaz Kangas
By Ben Westhoff and Sarah Purkrabek
By Jena Ardell
By Jesse Sendejas Jr.
By Katherine Turman
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."
Mike Doughty will play City Winery on March 3 and April 21.