After discovering he had late-onset type 1 diabetes, Brad Wilk, the drummer for Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave, needed an alternative to the sugary thirst quenchers he'd been drinking, so he created the new stevia-sweetened, electrolyte-rich functional drink Olade. FI's James Townsend caught up with him between gigs to find out more about life in the rock lane.
FI: You're a very physical drummer. What's your secret for maintaining such stamina?
BW: In a live situation, it is mostly pure will. These days I stay pretty healthy and run quite a bit, but I also remember back in the day when I didn't have two nickels to rub together for a sandwich to keep me going, and still playing every show as if my life depended on it, because it did. And that is pure will.
FI: Any comparisons between the rock and natural-products worlds?
BW: Rock world equals lots of crazy people running around claiming to be the genius behind all of it. There are very few exceptions here. Natural-products world equals lots of crazy people running around claiming to be the genius behind all of it. There are a few exceptions here.
FI: Touring rock musicians are often mythologized as party animals. What's your experience been?
BW: Let's just say I have had a lot of fun, and am very thankful to still be here to not tell you about it … mystery goes well with mythology.
FI: If a drummer drinks Olade, will he play better?
BW: I play so much better when I'm high on Olade.
FI: When did you discover you wanted to become a musician?
BW: I was seven, in a batting cage at baseball practice. Over the speaker system comes Steve Miller's Fly Like an Eagle, and it was such a profound moment for me. I remember for the first time understanding where all the sounds were coming from — all parts of the drums, the bass, guitars and vocals. It just all made sense to me. It was my calling from there on out.
FI: What might your fans be surprised you like to do when you're not out performing?
BW: What I really enjoy most is spending time with my family — my wife, Selence, my two boys, Luka, who is three, and Alex, who is one, rule my world. I go to the beach, hike, take karate classes, laugh a lot. Listening to a three-year-old's perspective on life is highly underrated. Oh, and I play a pretty mean game of ping pong.
FI: Ever think of creating a functional alcohol drink?
BW: Funny you ask. It seems that whenever people are sampling Olade for the first time, nine times out of 10, by the time they get to the cranberry someone will say, this would be perfect with some vodka! You see, everybody is a rock star, one way or another.