'Not Enough Whiskey' for Kiefer Sutherland

By Dorri Olds 06/10/16

Sutherland's upcoming country album Down in a Hole is named for a song he wrote about losing a close friend to alcoholism.

'Not Enough Whiskey' for Kiefer Sutherland

With his upcoming country music album, Down in a Hole, Kiefer Sutherland reminds us that country music and drinking often go together.

During a June 6 interview with Rolling Stone, the 49-year-old London-born Canadian actor talked about the album, due for release this summer. The name came from a song he wrote about losing a close friend to alcoholism. 

Sutherland, who’s been a spokesman for Jose Cuervo tequila, has a long history of public intoxication. In 2007, he spent 48 days in jail for his fourth DUI, and as recently as May 2015, was caught on camera slurring and teeter-tottering out of a bar.

He spoke to Rolling Stone back in March, saying, “I’ve certainly been there, where something will happen in life, and one, two, three bottles of whiskey are not going to fix it.”

Famous actors who get sloshed and run afoul of the law are nothing new. Recall when Matthew Fox of Lost drifted out of his lane in traffic in 2012, resulting in arrest; when Chris Klein of American Pie drove with a blood alcohol level three times the legal limit in 2010; when Michelle Rodriguez of The Fast and the Furious opted for jail time over community service for a 2006 DUI; and there's the infamous Mel Gibson incident from 2006, when the actor launched into an anti-Semitic rant during his DUI arrest.

Aside from having (at-times) reckless drinking in common, many thespians switch hats to try new things. So, it isn’t that strange that the English actor—born Kiefer William Frederick Dempsey George Rufus Sutherland—donned a cowboy brim for his music video as a country-western singer. This time, he's not just playing one in a movie.

Sutherland told Spin in an interview posted Thursday, “When I started writing my songs I was writing in the first-person narrative as well, but it wasn’t a character, it was actually stuff that had happened to me in my life. And I think I was writing at that point almost for the cathartic benefit of maybe working through some things for myself, and those ended up being the songs that we used for the record … Going to play [these songs] live, the thing that I would like to be able to do is to tell, ‘This is where I was at when I wrote this song,’ and then I realized that would require me to open up in a way that I’d never really done in my career, [where I’ve] kept my own personal life as private as I possibly can.”

Check out the actor with his J&B Whiskey-soaked voice warbling out the single, "Not Enough Whiskey." It’s a catchy tune of heartbreak hell that he co-wrote with Jude Cole.

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Dorri Olds is an award-winning writer whose work has appeared in many publications including The New York Times, Marie Claire, Woman’s Day and several book anthologies. Find Dorri on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.