Several members of alt-metal band Reach NYC have been impacted by addiction, whether someone close to them has grappled with it or they’ve faced it themselves. Vocalist Rene Mata, got sober during the early pandemic—and, in search of a support system, he connected with a group of fellow sober musicians. Backstage at Louder Than Life, he tells SPIN that their regular Zoom calls helped him through that time.
“There’s definitely people out there that can help,” Mata tells SPIN, surveying the industry as a whole. “And I think the music industry should definitely lean on these people more, especially when they see somebody in trouble.”
Guitarist AJ Chiarella says that his mom was “very freshly sober when [he] was born,” and he grew up going to AA meetings with her. As he explains, he understood the realities of addiction early on.
“I got to see, really young, what that meant for people and what that did to people,” Chiarella says. “I know it helped me growing up seeing that, and seeing how troubled some people really had it.”
The group’s drummer, Dante Renzi, says he was an alcoholic until age 27. He explains that the “discipline” he’s learned from martial arts has helped fuel him: “If you don’t have discipline, you’ve got nothing.”
The band concludes by offering some advice that they would give to people grappling with addiction.
“Take it one day at a time; talk to your sponsor,” Mata says. Singer-guitarist Nick Cavagnaro adds, “Don’t be afraid to open up and talk to anybody that you need. … There’s always someone there.”