TESLA guitarist Frank Hannon says that he and his bandmates went through "COVID hell" after being infected with coronavirus.
More than a month ago, TESLA announced it was postponing a few shows after Hannon tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. At the time, Hannon wrote in a social media post that he had "not been able to move all week" and revealed that he woke up with a 102-degree fever and could "hardly breathe" on the day that TESLA was scheduled to leave for tour.
Now, in a new interview with Marci Wiser of the 95.5 KLOS radio station, Hannon opened up about his COVID-19 battle, saying (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "We went through COVID hell, and luckily none of us died from it. I just lost another friend who died from COVID. This is a real thing, man. People that are anti-vaxxers and all that — I was on the wrong side of that fence, listening to all the baloney. But we went through it and we survived it.
"Our friends in STYX and our friends in these bands that have been successfully touring, they've given us some advice that we follow [while we are on the road now]," he continued.
"As much as you hate wearing a mask, you've just gotta do it when you're close to people. And so we're doing that. We're all vaccinated now. And we're being careful but we're trying to live our lives too."
Hannon also elaborated on his battle with COVID-19, saying: "I wanna describe it, 'cause I got some flak from some clown on the Internet, saying, 'All you had was the flu. All it is is the flu. Quit making a big deal about it.' And that's the biggest crock. I'm telling you, man — it was a month of hell. It was a hard one.
"It affects everybody differently," he continued. "Like I said, unfortunately, sadly a lot of people are dying from it. But for me, it was like a month-long hangover. Imagine drinking all the tequila and whiskey and smoking a pack of Pall Mall non-filters for three days — imagine that — and then waking up hung over from that for a month. That's what it felt like."
Earlier in the month, Hannon told Meltdown of Detroit's WRIF radio station that he "got vaccinated" before going on the road with TESLA, but admitted "it was a little too late. I was not wanting to get vaccinated, and I put it off too long. I got vaccinated and about a week later I played a gig and caught COVID and took it to the band by accident. And everybody got sick. It knocked me down for a month, man. It was a month of hell, not being able to breathe and in a lot of pain."
He continued: "People dismiss it as being, 'Oh, it's only a flu,' or, 'It's a cold,' or whatever, but I just lost three more friends — people in the industry that have died from it. So it's a very serious thing. And I don't take it lightly anymore, that's for damn sure."
TESLA played the first two shows of its summer 2021 tour — August 5 in Grants Pass, Oregon and August 6 in Grand Ronde, Oregon — without Frank. Filling in for him was Howie Simon (JEFF SCOTT SOTO, GRAHAM BONNET, STRYPER), who previously stood in for Hannon in September 2018.
TESLA returned to the the road on September 16 in Roanoke, Virginia.
"Myself, I didn't even do one show [of the summer run]," Frank told WRIF. "The morning that we were leaving to go on tour, I came down with a 102 fever. So I called one of my friends that plays guitar, and he filled in for me. They did another show up in Oregon, and they got sick. So we got the kibosh put on TESLA right away."
Late last month, TESLA released the official music video for its brand new single, "Cold Blue Steel". The clip was directed by Brandon Gullion and produced by Hannon.
TESLA's latest album, "Shock", was released in March 2019 via UMe. The follow-up to 2014's "Simplicity" was produced by DEF LEPPARD guitarist Phil Collen.