Of Mice & Men frontman Austin Carlile has listed some of the medical alerts he’s suffered during shows, as a result of genetic disorder Marfan syndrome.
He recently told Metal Hammer how he weaned himself off prescription drugs during the recording of fourth album Cold World, which is released on September 9.
His illness has caused him a series of problems while performing with the band, including breaking ribs and pushing them back into place on stage, tearing open the sac that protects his brain, and suffering a collapsed lung.
Carlile tells Rolling Stone: “I couldn’t breathe right and I was gasping. I managed to do the rest of the show, then the medics came and gave me oxygen, and the lung somehow kind of naturally re-inflated.
He says of the brain injury: “I was headbanging too hard over the course of the tour, and the sac tore at the bottom of my head.
“All the fluid from my brain cavity was leaking into my spine. I have a team of doctors and I flew out and got it fixed. At the same time they operated on my ribs, because they became displaced. When I was singing onstage a rib would snap out of place and I’d have to push it back in.
“Things like that happen every day and I’ve just learned to deal with them. I can’t plan for much because I feel like life is always going to throw me a curveball.”
Carlile stopped taking OxyContin, Ritalin and several antidepressants this year – an experience he calls the worst of his life.
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He says: “I wanted to feel the pain every and and deal with it, rather than not feel anything at all.
Cold World includes a track entitled The Lie, which explores the vocalist’s take on the pharmaceutical industry. “The medical world doesn’t make money if people get better,” he says. “If you stay sick, they keep making the money.
“There are so many other alternatives, so many other treatment methods, from a healthy diet to CBD oil – a form of marijuana, but without the THC, so it doesn’t get you high. it just cures your seizures or your chronic pain.
“There are so many other things you can do besides taking this addictive medication.”
Of Mice & Men begin a European tour with a run of UK dates on September 30 – full details below. They’ve just released a fan-powered video for their track Real. The band are the cover stars of issue 287 of Metal Hammer magazine, which is available now in print and via TeamRock+. Find out more about TeamRock+ and sign up here.
Of Mice & Men tour dates 2016
Sep 30: Birmingham O2 Academy, UK
Oct 01: Manchester O2 Apollo, UK
Oct 03: Nottingham Rock City, UK
Oct 04: Newcastle O2 Academy, UK
Oct 07: London O2 Forum, UK
Oct 09: Cardiff Great Hall, UK
Oct 11: Paris Trabendo, France
Oct 12: Utrecht Ronda, Netherlands
Oct 13: Cologne Live Music Hall, Germany
Oct 15: Frankfurt Batschkapp, Germany
Oct 16: Munich Kesselhaus, Germany
Oct 17: Stuttgart LKA Longhorn, Germany
Oct 19: Solothurn Kofmehl, Switzerland
Oct 20: Vienna Arena, Austria
Oct 21: Leipzig Taubchenthal, Germany
Oct 23: Berlin Columbia Theater, Germany
Oct 24: Hamburg Grosse Freiheit 36, Germany
Oct 25: Antwerp Trix, Belgium