Django Koenig by Gina Tron
Django Koenig has been practicing sobriety since January 2015. Before that, he was enjoying the party life while working as a musician.
“Playing music for me and drinking and smoking cigarettes and doing cocaine was a really good combination,” the Plainfield-born musician said, adding that he also dabbled in psychedelics. Although he didn’t say he was addicted to any particular substance, he said that he did have a problem with being intoxicated.
“I did have an addiction to the sensations that would come [with the substances,” he said, adding that it wasn’t an option for him to go out and not consume alcohol or drugs. “I wasn’t waking up with a bottle next to me. I have drunk in the morning for sure but I didn’t have a bottle under the car. But I would say I had a problem.”
His substance abuse issues began affecting his relationships and that’s when Django decided to quit everything -- from alcohol to cocaine to cigarettes -- cold turkey.
“I stopped everything all at once.”
It wasn’t easy. Django, now 30, had been a heavy drinker since the age of 16 and a regular cigarette smoker for over five years. He moved back to his mother’s home when he decided to cut all vices and that proved to be helpful.
“There’s a big difference in a house where someone drinks and a house where someone doesn’t.”
It was also winter 2015, when we endured weeks on end of subzero weather in Vermont. It was perfect for hiding out and working on a project.
“I had songs I wanted to record. So, I started working on this album.”
Now, not only is Django sober but he’s able to perform songs from that album, created during that bitterly cold winter, in bars across Vermont without feeling any temptation.
“I really enjoy sobriety, not drinking, not doing drugs,” he said, adding that his quality of life had improved seven-fold. “And I still have fun. I'm still my fun-loving weird self.”
His music aims to promote overall well-being, but never preachiness.
“I’m not trying to convince anyone else to change their ways,” he said.