He's Shroomin'

Image: Getty

It’s here. The Harry Styles Rolling Stone cover story is here, and it was well worth the wait. Critic Rob Sheffield paints such a beautiful portrait of a young man coming into his post-boy band rock and roll glory days that I doubt I’m going to be able to think of much else for the next 24 hours, if not longer.

All of this is to say: in the article, Styles owns up to dropping shrooms. I joked about him using psilocybin in Joshua Tree, as all cool 20-somethings who spend time in the Los Angeles area are wont to do, but little did I know I was right on the money. He’s shroomin’, y’all.

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Sheffield writes, emphasis my own:

How did he get to this new place? As it turns out, the journey involves some heartbreak. Some guidance from David Bowie. Some Transcendental Meditation. And more than a handful of magic mushrooms. But mostly, it comes down to a curious kid who can’t decide whether to be the world’s most ardently adored pop star, or a freaky artiste. So he decides to be both...

We’re on our way to Shangri-La studios in Malibu, founded by the Band back in the 1970s, now owned by Rick Rubin. It’s where Harry made some of the upcoming album, and as we walk in, he grins at the memory. “Ah, yes,” he says. “Did a lot of mushrooms in here.”

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How much is a lot? I need to know? My happiness depends on it?

There’s more:

Psychedelics have started to play a key role in his creative process. “We’d do mushrooms, lie down on the grass, and listen to Paul McCartney’s Ram in the sunshine,” he says. “We’d just turn the speakers into the yard.” The chocolate edibles were kept in the studio fridge, right next to the blender. “You’d hear the blender going, and think, ‘So we’re all having frozen margaritas at 10 a.m. this morning.’” He points to a corner: “This is where I was standing when we were doing mushrooms and I bit off the tip of my tongue. So I was trying to sing with all this blood gushing out of my mouth. So many fond memories, this place.”

It’s not mere rock-star debauchery — it’s emblematic of his new state of mind. You get the feeling this is why he enjoys studios so much. After so many years making One Direction albums while touring, always on the run, he finally gets to take his time and embrace the insanity of it all. “We were here for six weeks in Malibu, without going into the city,” he says. “People would bring their dogs and kids. We’d take a break to play cornhole tournaments. Family values!” But it’s also the place where he has proudly bled for his art. “Mushrooms and Blood. Now there’s an album title.”

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Bit off the top of his tongue? That is a graphic image, one I hope gets recreated in a Harry Styles biopic, like, 20 years down the road.

Oh, he also said new music is imminent, and that all of his songs are about “having sex and feeling sad,” coincidentally my only interests outside of Harry Styles and magic mushrooms. What a joyous day for us all! Mostly for me!

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About the author

Maria Sherman

this is my day job: senior writer at jezebel