Kiefer Sutherland plays characters as an actor, but his country music is all about sharing a piece of himself.

The actor and musician recently opened up to Yahoo! Entertainment about the acclaim he has received from his newfound music career. Sutherland, 52, released his first country album, Down in a Hole, in 2016 and is now working on his second studio album.

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Sutherland speaks very openly about his tumultuous relationship with alcohol — he was arrested four times on DUI charges between 1987 and 2007 — in interviews and in his music. “I don’t think you have to go far to pick up a newspaper to realize that that’s part of my life,” he confessed. “And I write about what I know.”

“Most of the songs about drinking aren’t very positive,” he stresses. “Like ‘Not Enough Whiskey’: It’s really about if you want to go out and have a drink and be with your friends and hang out and have a great time, that’s great,” he said. “But if you think it’s going to solve your problems, you’re in a lot of trouble.”

“And ‘Down in a Hole’ is about drinking and drugs; I lost a lot of friends when I was younger, and I was really lucky to have gotten through a lot of that,” Sutherland continued. “A lot of my friends were not lucky, who didn’t do anything much different, just unlucky and didn’t make it.”

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Sutherland does not villainize alcohol in his music. He simply notes its complicated nature. “They’re not all positive and fun about drinking. I mean, I think a couple of them are about having a good time, but it’s also a real potentially very, very dangerous thing,” he explained. “And as I said, I’ve been really fortunate, and I’ve tried to learn as much as I can from that.”

“The songs are much more just reflective of me looking back in my life and seeing some of the damage that’s done,” he added. Sutherland releases his new album Reckless and Me on April 26.