Todd "Z-Man" Zalkins
New Sublime Documentary Spotlights Recovery
"Santeria" and "What I Got" are ska-punk classics, giving Long Beach-based Sublime a prominent place in rock history.
Tragically, the death of singer/guitarist Bradley Nowell in 1996 came right before Sublime were poised for a big breakthrough. The Long Way Back: The Story Of Todd "Z-Man" Zalkins, a new documentary to be released on Vimeo on Oct. 17, will share insights on the band's addictive behaviors, the later addiction of Nowell's son and what it takes to travel the road back to sobriety and wellness.
Todd "Z-Man" Zalkins, a childhood friend of Nowell's who was part of the group's entourage, is the focus of the film, candidly speaking about how Nowell's passing affected him and his own 17-year addiction to Oxycontin.
"When Brad died, I thought that would be a wake-up call," said Zalkins. "It was the exact opposite — stuff ourselves with whatever substances we can to numb the pain and act like we're still having fun."
Additionally, the film spotlights Zalkins' attempt to help Nowell's son, Jakob Nowell, recover from his own battle with drugs and alcohol. As Zalkins puts it, "You constantly tell somebody tomorrow is going to be better, hoping it's better, because oftentimes tomorrow isn't better — tomorrow hurts just as much or maybe even more."
Despite its dark subject matter, the film offers a ray of hope. Zalkins now believes his past addiction "is the biggest asset that I have, because it's enabled me to help a lot of people."