Photo: Getty Images
Ed Sheeran says part of the reason he had to disappear before his latest album was because of a struggle with substance abuse.
In a recorded episode of The Jonathan Ross Show, set to air Saturday in the U.K., Sheeran discussed how his busy music industry lifestyle opened him up to a battle with unnamed substances.
“I think you need to, when you get into the industry, adjust to it — and I didn’t adjust because I was constantly working on tour," Sheeran recalled. "And all the pitfalls that people read about, I just found myself slipping into all of them. Mostly, like, substance abuse."
He continued: "I never touched anything. I started slipping into it, and that’s why I took a year off and buggered off." It's unclear the substance he is directly referencing, but he has previously said he began limiting his alcohol intake before releasing his last album.
To combat his struggle, he focused on work. "I can’t work under the influence," he said. "I can’t write songs under the influence, I can’t perform under the influence. So the more I worked, the less [I struggled]. I’ve worked my whole life to get to where I am and you can’t lose that over something that you do in your spare time."
In addition to music, Sheeran said his relationship with his girlfriend Cherry Seaborn helped him stay grounded.
"We live together now, and I think that was a real help grounding me," he explained during the interview. "I was a 25-year-old in the music industry on tour, so I just needed someone to balance me out.”
Sheeran recently broke his elbow, wrist and rib in a biking accident, forcing the one-man live performer to cancel his Asian tour. He said during the Ross appearance doctors have said he'll have to wait at least four weeks before reevaluating his recovery progress.