Dance music superstar Avicii regrets risking his health by touring throughout his 20s after watching his life unfold in a new documentary.
Avicii recently retired from touring and after watching a new film about his life on the road, he wishes he had seen sense earlier.
“It was hard,” the DJ, real name Tim Bergling, tells Billboard. “I looked at myself like, ‘Fuck, you should’ve really stood up for yourself more there. Come on, Tim!’ Why didn’t I stop the ship earlier?
“The one thing that kept me from stopping was that I felt weird – like, ‘Why the fuck can’t I enjoy this like all the other DJs?’ But I’m starting to realize that a lot of the DJs who look excited at every show have the same thoughts.”
Avicii battled inflammation of the pancreas linked to excessive drinking and a burst appendix, and had to have his gallbladder removed in recent years.
“I needed to figure out my life,” he says of his decision to give up touring. “I have too little left for the life of a real person behind the artist.”
And he admits he started to fall in love with partying for all the wrong reasons.
The lifestyle came to a head last year after pal Mike Posner released I Took a Pill in Ibiza, in which he recounts doing drugs to impress Avicii.
“Mike’s a good friend, so I took it as an honour,” the DJ adds. “And I agree, parties can be amazing, but it’s very easy to become too attached to partying in places like Ibiza. You become lonely and get anxieties. It becomes toxic.”
Avicii has taken a year off to focus on his health and now he’s cautiously planning a big return, admitting he hasn’t been to see a single show in the past 12 months.
“I’m still traumatised,” he tells Billboard. “But I’m sure I will again. I’ve started being able to listen to music again, getting a little bit of that joy back.”
And he’d really like to team up with Madonna again after working on her Rebel Heart album.
“I’d love to work with her again, but that was right when I was busiest, and I think she might have been disappointed in me for not being able to put in as much time as she wanted,” he explains. “A lot of things start suffering when you don’t have the energy or time to do things properly. You think you can get away with it, but the quality suffers.”