The xx Frontman Oliver Sims Shares Story Of Addiction & Recovery

Oliver Sim

In a new interview ahead of his band’s latest release, I See You, The xx frontman Oliver Sim shared his journey of addiction and recovery.

Sim told Pitchfork that he suffers from alcoholism, which stemmed in part from a fear of responsibility and “fighting becoming an adult.” But after getting sober and remaining that way for over a year, the shows his band will play this year in support of the new album are the first ones he’s ever done without alcohol.

“I was going out a lot with the excuse that I was celebrating—‘celebrating’—the past few years,” he said. “And with alcohol, like a lot of things, it’s all or nothing for me. So right now it’s just nothing.”

The catalyst came when Sim’s musical creativity was being affected by his drinking. His bandmates, Romy Madley Croft and Jamie xx, finally began fearing for his health and staged an intervention.

“Never mind that I wasn’t leading a very healthy lifestyle,” he said. “The fact that I wasn’t being creative hit harder—and kidding myself that I felt more creative with a drink in me.”

Sim admitted that his newfound sobriety has posed challenges, particularly in interacting with strangers and being around large groups. But despite the challenges, he said he’s thoroughly enjoying his new alcohol-free life.

“The times when I actually do have, like, a successful conversation, I feel really good about it and it stays with me as opposed to … kind of not remembering,” he said. “While I’m struggling more now, I am actually happier.”