W.A.S.P.'s BLACKIE LAWLESS Explains Why He Performed While Seated At SWEDEN ROCK FESTIVAL

June 11, 2024

In a new interview with Canada's The Metal Voice, W.A.S.P. frontman Blackie Lawless was asked for an update on his health, 10 months after he underwent a successful surgery to treat two herniated discs and a broken vertebra. Lawless said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "When people say, 'How's your health?', that makes it sound to me like someone had an illness or something like that. And maybe it's my sports background, because, for me, injuries are different. What I've been dealing with is injuries. But it's coming along."

He continued: "What I had was pretty serious. And when it first started last year, they told me that if we didn't stop… We were [on tour] in Europe, and I had a chiropractor come in to one of the shows to do an adjustment on me. And we were in Madrid. But the night before we had been in Barcelona. I did what I thought was the best show on the whole tour at that point, and I was doing well. This guy comes in. He doesn't speak any English, and this kid is strong as a gorilla. And we tried to, through the interpreter, explain to him what we wanted to do. This kid got a hold of me and he tweaked me, and I felt it immediately when he did it. And, yeah, he literally twisted my upper torso. We find out later he ruptures a disc in my back. And I had heard of those before, dealing with nerve pain and things like that, but I'd never experienced it. And until you've experienced nerve pain, you can't imagine what that feels like. I mean, it's constantly on 10 and you can't stop it.

"So, we leave Spain and we go to Berlin, and fortunately we had some contacts there and we were able to get in to see the doctors from the German Olympic team," Lawless added. "And so they did a series of tests on me and did MRIs and things like that. They came back and they said, 'You've got extensive damage. If you don't stop this tour, it's gonna get worse.' And I'm thinking to myself, 'Well, what are we talking about? How much worse can it get?' And so I told them, I says, 'Basically what I need you to do for me is to get me through this. What can you do for me that can help me get along?' So, over a series of five weeks, we do eight epidurals, which, for those that don't know what that is, they inject a needle in next to your spinal cord and basically try to put anti-inflammatory medication in there to get you through it. But eight is an extreme amount. I mean, it's a lot. Usually an average person might get one or two of those, but that's a lot. But what happened is, yes, it was helping me get through it, but now I have one of the discs that's no longer functioning the way it should. Now the vertebrae are starting to rub on each other. It creates a chain reaction where a second disc gets ruptured and then one of the vertebrae cracks because it's bone rubbing on bone. And so, like I said, it literally became a domino effect. And we didn't know any of this until the tour was done. And I get back to California and we do another battery of tests and we could see what's going on and it was not good. So dealing with that, I had to have two different surgeries. They go in, they clean out the debris because when the bone broke, it starts to create fragments and shards and so they've gotta go in and clean all that out because all that is now trying to create complications around spinal cord. It's creating nerve damage and things like that. And then on top of that, it starts to form scar tissue, so it's a tedious, tedious process. And it's been ten months, and I'm still not quite out of the woods just yet. But we're getting there."

Asked about the fact that he performed while seated at his first post-surgery concert on June 6 at this year's Sweden Rock Festival in Sölvesborg, Sweden, Blackie said: "Well, I'm up walking around, I'm exercising, doing all the physical therapy and everything I was supposed to do. Basically, what I told the people at Sweden Rock was, I'm on probation and the doctors told me, they said, 'Yeah, you can do this show, but we don't want you running any marathons. We wanna make sure that this thing heals completely and totally and you don't have any setbacks.' So that was the compromise that we had to make to do it. But I'm fully expecting that they'll give me the green light anytime now. I'll see the doctors again this week and I'll know more then."

Last month, Lawless told SiriusXM's "Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk" about his post-surgery recovery: "It's been a long road. Anytime you go through rehab, and we've done it for 35, 40 years, every time you have an injury, you've gotta go through rehab. And any athlete will tell you that it's a lonely walk. Nobody can help you when you do it. You're with your trainers two hours a day. That leaves you 22 hours of every day to just sit and think in rehab. And a lot of funny things go through your head when you're doing that. And, like I said, it's a lonely walk. And it's incremental, the healing process — you don't see it all overnight. And when you start with the trainers, they tell you, 'Just be patient, just be patient,' because, as any warrior will tell you, your natural instinct is to run, and you just cannot do that when you've gone through something that's pretty serious like that. But we're getting there. And we're pretty much up to speed now."

Confirming that Sweden Rock Festival would be W.A.S.P.'s first show back, Lawless said: "Like I said, you've gotta remember, I've been in rehab for nine months now. What those guys do to you, that's a torture chamber. It really is. And they're making sure that I'm up and running because… I mean, the guys that I'm working with here are also part of the U.S. Olympic team, the doctors. And the best way to put it is they're quite thorough with what they have you do, but I would strongly suggest to anybody that's had any kind of physical injuries like this, don't try to do rehab on your own. You really need some professionals to work with, because you can go online and look at those exercises all you want, but until you've got somebody with you monitoring you, correcting you, keeping you in line, it's natural for the body to cheat, especially if it's had an injury. And these guys will stand there and they will not let you cheat. And that's really for your own good, because they'll tell you that they have people that will come to them three, four months after that person's had an injury and has been in the gym the whole time and wasted their time for that three to four months because they weren't doing the exercises right and they weren't seeing any results. So it's really important that you get some pros next to you that… I mean, I know everybody's not gonna be able to get Olympic doctors to look after 'em, but still, there's qualified folks out there. You've gotta really get somebody that knows what they're doing."

2024 marks the 40th anniversary of the release of W.A.S.P.'s first album. To celebrate this classic metal album, W.A.S.P. will, for the first time in 40 years, play the entire album from top to bottom, start to finish, on a fall 2024 North American tour, dubbed "Album ONE Alive", this fall. Support on the trek will come from DEATH ANGEL and UNTO OTHERS.

Along with bassist Mike Duda and lead guitarist Doug Blair, whose tenures in the band are 29 and 26 years respectively, W.A.S.P. is joined by longtime drummer extraordinaire Aquiles Priester.

The 39-city run kicks off on Saturday, October 26 in San Luis Obispo, California, making stops across North America in Vancouver, British Columbia; Toronto, Ontario; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Dallas, Texas; New York City; Orlando, Florida; and more before wrapping up on Saturday, December 14 at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles, California.

W.A.S.P. will again offer fans VIP tickets that give fans a chance to meet Blackie Lawless, get a personal photo with Blackie, autographs and take part in a very personal question-and-answer session with Blackie. VIP tickets can be purchased at waspnation.myshopify.com.

Because of the extensive back injuries Lawless suffered during the European leg of W.A.S.P.'s 40th-anniversary tour, the band's previously announced 2023 U.S. tour was canceled.

W.A.S.P.'s massive European leg of the 40th-anniversary world tour wrapped on May 18, 2023 in Sofia, Bulgaria at Universidada Sports Hall.

W.A.S.P. wrapped up its first U.S. tour in 10 years with a sold-out show on December 11, 2022 at The Wiltern in Los Angeles. This marked the 18th sold-out shows for the U.S. tour, which kicked off in late October 2022. W.A.S.P.'s performances included the return of the band's classic song "Animal (Fuck Like a Beast)", which hadn't been played live in over 15 years.

W.A.S.P.'s latest release was "ReIdolized (The Soundtrack To The Crimson Idol)", which came out in February 2018. It was a new version of the band's classic 1992 album "The Crimson Idol", which was re-recorded to accompany the movie of the same name to mark the 25th anniversary of the original LP's release. The re-recorded version also features four songs missing from the original album.

W.A.S.P.'s most recent studio album of all-new original material was 2015's "Golgotha".

W.A.S.P. @ Sweden Rock Festival 🤟

(Photo: Tom Blytt)

Posted by Helvete Magazine on Thursday, June 6, 2024

W.A.S.P. Nation (Official) på Sweden Rock Festival 2024-06-06

Foto: Effie Trikili

Posted by Rocknytt on Saturday, June 8, 2024

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