Even though he once said he’d never write one, Neil Young has a memoir coming out next week…

…and he’s quit drugs.

The 66-year-old singer-songwriter recently sat down with David Carr of The New York Times to talk about his new autobiography, Waging Heavy Peace, and his year-long sobriety.

(Of course, that’s just the condensed version; there’s a little more to the story – like the time he was arrested on drug charges with Eric Clapton and Stephen Stills, and the time he partied with Charles Manson).

No doubt, the bits in Young’s autobiography that cover drug and alcohol abuse sound intense, but what about the past year he’s spent sober?

Young tells Carr that drinking and using drugs was something he did for 40 years (“Now I want to see what it’s like to not do it. It’s just a different perspective.”), but he dives a little deeper into that “different perspective” in the book:

The straighter I am, the more alert I am, the less I know myself and the harder it is to recognize myself. I need a little grounding in something and I am looking for it everywhere.

Waging Heavy Peace hits bookshelves September 25, 2012. You can pre-order your copy over at www.neilyoung.com, and in the meantime, whet your appetite with Carr’s “Neil Young Comes Clean.”