If you know anything about guitars, you know who Buckethead is. He spent some time in the non-Slash version of Guns ‘N Roses, but is also an extremely prolific solo artist with over 300 albums to his name. But even if you’re a mega-fan, you probably don’t know anything about the man behind the bucket. Brian Carroll recently stepped out of character to give the first interview as himself in years, and he revealed some troubling information. He apparently is suffering from a life-threatening heart arrhythmia issue, and said on the Coming Alive podcast that he could drop dead tomorrow.
Well, really recently – I have a heart problem where my heart beats out of rhythm. It’s been doing it for a long time, but recently it just really kicked up and became really intense. I really didn’t know what was going on. I just tried to deal with it and let it do what it did, and eventually it would stop. But it got really intense, so I went to the doctor and they said, ‘You’re on the verge of having a stroke.’
“I’m like, ‘Wow…’ Because I felt so good prior to having it, I was doing pretty well and everything. They suggested I had a thing called an ablation, they go in and freeze your heart. It’s supposed to do something with the nerves, because they said my heart was fine, but it could be a genetic thing, they didn’t really know. I had that procedure, and it didn’t really stop it, and I’m still dealing with it. I take medication, which is tough, because I never took anything my whole life, although if I eat food or drink something that’s probably worse anyway. [Laughs]
“So it’s been really difficult, it’s scary. Even walking across a room is difficult. Luckily the medication I’m thankful for, because it’s kept it from going berserk. But it’s pretty intense. “It seems like now I’m letting this thing sort of exist now in me, I can’t really escape it. I’m always aware of the intensity of my heartbeat, it’s just not something that I’d ever experienced, so it definitely kind of scares me. But I also see that it is also doing a lot of good, because I need to do all of the things I want to do. I just feel an urgency now.”
While he’s still recovering, and isn’t out of the woods, he isn’t getting any less prolific. Further on the podcast, he states:
“I mean the day after I had that procedure, I recorded a record with my friend. I just lied in bed and recorded it, because I felt like, I’m here still. I could be gone tomorrow, anybody could be gone, but that’s a heavy experience. I want to play right now, and I want to play that experience.”
Here’s hoping Buckethead remains in good health. Literally recording an album while recuperating in a hospital the day after your heart is frozen is pretty badass.