AMERICAN HEAD CHARGE bassist Chad Hanks — known to fans by his stage name, Mr. H.C. Banks III — spoke to MTV.com about the events that led to Bryan Ottoson's death last week, and the anguish the group has been feeling.
Regarding the Internet gossip that Ottoson — who was determined by investigators to have died of a prescription-drug overdose — was a heavy drug user, Hanks said, "Bryan had actually been on penicillin. He had strep throat. He actually had strep two or three times in like four, five months. He just had a real propensity for getting it. And every time he got it, it got worse. This time, his tonsils were literally black."
A doctor Ottoson saw in Philadelphia prescribed him painkillers "because every time he swallowed, tears would come to his eyes," Hanks continued. "But he wasn't swallowing handfuls of pills and not knowing what they were. This was a guy who maybe liked to drink a little bit, and that was it. He was not some crazy drug addict — that's probably the rest of the band. Everybody knows pretty much all of us have been to rehab. As far as my life has gone since I've been 17, and all the stupid shit I've done, and some of the stupid shit I know other people in the band have done — for this to happen to the most innocent guy in the band, it's just bizarre to me. It was the last thing you'd expect from Bryan."
Benji Hellberg of the Minneapolis band BLACK FLOOD DIESEL has been tapped to fill in for Ottoson on the remaining dates of the MUDVAYNE tour.