Florence Welch has spoken out about her battle with alcoholism and depression, adding that a stolen cagoule 'saved her life' during a nervous breakdown.
The Florence + The Machine frontman is gearing up to release her new album, How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful. But prior to the making of the record, she went through a deeply 'chaotic' and 'unhappy' period while taking a year-long break from the music industry following the breakdown of a relationship.
She continued: “I have a therapist, she’s known me for years. She helped my little sister as well. She’s so rational, it’s good for me, because I see everything in extremes. She’s like, ‘Maybe it’s about coming to a more moderate place?’”
Since then, she's stopped drinking and been dry for a year.
“It [drinking] wasn’t coming from a place of fun and joy. It was coming from a place of wanting to cover and hide. But, actually, if I did want to go back and enjoy drinking again, then that’s a choice...I was so sad. And I’ve never been that interested in having a glass of wine, I’ll have a shot of tequila, it’s always been about the end result.”
Following that, Welch admits she spent time 'living like a monk' wearing just “leggings and this cagoule, which I stole from someone at a New Year’s Eve house party".
"I wore it for a year," she said. "It saved my life. Clothes to me are a way of distracting myself and I had nothing left, I wanted to be identity-less.”
Elaborating on how she uses her artistic image as a shield, she added: ''As I got more famous, a reaction to that was the eyebrows went bleached, the hair got redder. I wanted to become this fantasy creature. It was good because it kind of protected me. But I've spent a year or two unravelling all that stuff.''
Florence on stage at Coachella. Photo: WENN
Florence + The Machine is set to release her third album How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful on 1 June. She will perform at a string of world festival dates this summer, including Radio One's Big Weekend and Glastonbury in the UK.