In 2008, VanWyngarden broke up with his girlfriend of three years, found himself homeless (he didn’t want to get another apartment since he was touring all the time) and contracted pneumonia. “That was the most debaucherous time for me, in terms of drug use, and I feel like my body still hasn’t recovered, he says. “1 think I took so much Ecstasy that I’m more prone to depression now.” One night, during a phase when he was doing a lot of E and Valium (a combination of drugs that feels like heroin-lite), he found himself in Barcelona drinking a bottle of wine and sobbing. He took off for L.A. and started wearing sundresses to screw with his gender identity. “I drove to Joshua Tree, because I thought I was going to find something out there, but nothing happened.” he says. His tour manager asked him where he wanted to go next. “I said. I don’t know, man, just send me to Transylvania.’” He didn’t speak to another person for a week. “I got a massage at the hotel, by a hairy Romanian guy in a white-tile room with fluorescent lights and no towels.” he says. “That place felt like it was run by aliens.