In a new feature-length profile by Stereogum's Chris DeVille, DIIV frontman and occasional model Zachary Cole Smith opens up about his childhood, his band, and some of his more recent headline-grabbing life events, including last year's arrest for heroin possession with his girlfriend—pop singer Sky Ferreira— in New York's Hudson Valley.
On being in the public eye:
“I feel like both my girlfriend and I, this thing happens where no matter what we say, people tend to instantly hate us when we say it...It just feels really bad to know that people hate you.”
"I’ve always struggled with various addictions throughout my life….I’ve spent a lot of time in therapy and in rehab and different stuff that’s helped me learn how to handle it on my own, but they don’t really offer resources for how to talk to the general public about it. I know how to involve my girlfriend and my mom and my friends in my recovery, but when it comes down to the general public, it just gets reduced down to, like, ’You fucking junkie, I hope you fucking OD....I wouldn’t say I’ve beaten it or anything because I don’t know if anybody can, but I’m trying my best. I can’t say, ’No, I’m totally clean and sober.’ But like anything, it’s a little more complicated.”
On the circumstances of the arrest:
"We were driving through a really small town in the middle of the night, and a cop pulled out in front of us and a cop pulled out behind us. I had a warrant out for my arrest, so they arrested me immediately. And then they searched the car, which was full of gear—all of our music equipment, all of everything. And they just tore everything apart, and they just found all sorts of stuff… It was bad.”
On the fallout:
"I fucked up, and it was entirely my fault, and I fucked up my girlfriend’s life. She literally didn’t do anything wrong. She basically was just a passenger in the car with a person who was out of control for a minute. She got in deep shit… Her career got really fucked up because everybody thought she was a drug addict, which she’s absolutely not. That’s the worst part of it for me is that I really fucked her over…If somebody mentioned DIIV, they wouldn’t hum the song, they’d be like, ’Oh yeah, the guy who got pulled over driving a stolen car with heroin in it.’ I really hate that."
Read the full story right here, and for more, check our GEN F profile about DIIV, Sky Ferreira's cover story feature and watch DIIV play "How Long Have You Known," from their 2012 debut, Oshin, at The FADER Fort.