Monday, April 28, 2014

Clutch Frontman May Be "Unable To Sing Again"

Neil Fallon of CLUTCHLast September, the band Clutch put their tour on hold due to health problems that required surgery for the band's frontman, Neil Fallon. Here's what he said to Get Your Rock Out about the surgery:

"I knew this was a really serious thing. What really scared me was that you get put completely under and they jam a ventilator down your windpipe. They have to yank your oesophagus and your trachea off to one side. I was told by the doctor that I may come out of this unable to sing again. The pipe goes past your vocal cords and it’s such a violent procedure that sometimes the vocal cords can get torn. I kind of sat there when I came to and the first thing I did was try to hum a tune. But I was so high on morphine I couldn’t tell you what it was. It was definitely a period of reflection – because I have no marketable skills outside of what I do with this band."

I haven't heard of this band much, but being a vocalist with health problems is extremely frustrating. I deal with it every day. My health has held me back from doing so many things I've wanted to do. Even though I still strive to be able to do them and still (thankfully) have the ability, it's disparagingly harder and harder as time goes by.

I can only imagine what Neil is feeling right now - utter hopelessness, despair, perhaps a sense of impending doom. At least there, if I knew him personally, I could offer some encouragement.

Chin up dude... from what you described, your ability to sing will be hindered for a short while at best. The insertion of a ventilator tube is standard practice for many surgeries, and there's only, like, half a billion surgeries per day around the world so chances are you'll come out of it just fine.

Sure, it's gonna seem like all is lost right when you come off the anesthesia, but trust me - you'll get it back. Back surgery is hardly the end-all for a vocalist. In fact, you may even find you'll perform better in time, now that your back can handle the stress it once could not bear. You may find your voice stronger than before, because what doesn't kill you strengthens you.

For example... there was a time during my pregnancy that I thought all was over. I couldn't hit a single goddamn note for almost two trimesters, or at least not in the way I could before. I started Googling things (which is the worst thing to do when seeking information about any fucking ailment) and was convinced that the vocalist inside me had died forever. It didn't. About two weeks after I popped that kid out, I was hell-bent on getting my voice back (despite my voice having dropped a pitch or two), and I did. Human bodies are incredibly resilient things. Hell, the AFI vocalist ruptured his chords or something equally horrific, and he kept at it. Say what you will about them, the man still has his voice after overcoming some crazy obstacles. Total respect for that guy.

Anyway, back to the point: You'll be alright if you don't give up. That goes for any vocalist having a problem with their internal instruments - you will be just fine so long as the will is still there.

I'll be looking for the follow-up story of Neil's triumphant return to Clutch. You know it's coming.

Orignal article here.

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