Everclear vocalist and guitarist Art Alexakis has revealed that he’s been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
He reports he was initially told three years ago after he began to feel numbness in his arm following a car accident.
After undergoing an MRI, he was then sent to a neurologist and underwent further MRIs, a spinal tap and had more than 50 blood tests which revealed he had a form of multiple sclerosis which he discovered he'd had for the last 10-20 years.
In a statement on the band’s website, Alexakis adds: “The more I found out about MS, the more a lot of things started making sense. It explains why I have had balance and gait problems for the last 10 years, it helps explain why I have had a higher sensitivity to heat and cold, and why I don’t have the energy, vigour, and razor-sharp memory I had 10 years ago. I thought it was just me getting older.
“It’s been almost three years since that diagnosis, and MS has become another part of my life. I have done amazing things in that time – touring four full tours with Everclear, in addition to another 250 plus shows all around the world, and I’m still going strong.
“I have spent precious time with my family and friends – we bought a house that we love last year, and I have learned what the word gratitude really means.”
He adds: “All that said, I can feel the disease slowly growing in me. I now have to give myself injections three times a week. My neurologist says as long as I stay on the medication, I should live into my 80s without progression. We shall see.”
Alexakis says he wanted to be more public about his condition because he’s heard people speculating that he’s been drinking or on drugs “because they have seen me look unsteady on stage or around town."
He adds: “To be honest, I have never cared about what people say about me personally – except, that is, for the people that I care about (ie, YOU) and what they think. I wanted you to know the truth, simple as that.”
Alexakis reports that he’s currently finishing his first solo album titled Sun Songs which should be released sometime this summer.
He’ll also head out on the road from May 1 on the Songs And Stories Tour and is planning on writing a book that “people have been telling me to write for the last 20 years." He adds: "I think it’s about time!”
Alexakis concludes: “So, if you see me stumbling... sweaty, looking both tired and anxious at the same time, maybe a little more confused than usual, or forgetting lyrics yet looking happy – which is weird for me – please know that I have not fallen off the wagon. I am just learning how to be the new me.”
Everclear’s most recent album was 2015’s Black Is The New Black.