Eyehategod’s Mike IX Williams Needs a Liver Transplant; Crowdfunding Campaign Launched
Everyone knows that Eyehategod’s Mike IX Williams has serious health issues — this year, the band has had to perform without him, utilizing Phil Anselmo and Randy Blythe as fill-ins. Still, I don’t think many of us knew just how dire the situation was.
Williams’ family has now revealed that the vocalist requires a liver transplant… which, we don’t have to tell you, is a massive deal. Consequently, a crowdfunding campaign has been launched to help cover Williams’ overwhelming medical bills. Lest you doubt the severity of the situation, Williams’ wife, Michelle Maher-Williams, shares some of the harrowing details on the homepage for that crowdfunding campaign:
“On October 10th, 2016, [Mike] was admitted to the CCU, vomiting blood. Along with internal bleeding, it was determined that his liver and kidneys were failing. He was placed on life support and dialysis. Through sheer grit and determination, he was eventually able to function on his own. We were told that he would not be leaving the hospital without a new liver. His case was presented before the board and he was approved for the transplant list. He’s been hospitalized ever since.”
Michelle also notes that “thanks to changes in his diet and lifestyle,” Williams has already outlived doctors’ original prognostications that the frontman would pass away sometime in 2015.
So it goes without saying that this is very, very serious. You can, and should, donate here. Additionally, War Crime Recordings, the label co-founded by Sanford Parker and Bruce Lamont, is selling off various items — including an autographed test pressing of EHG’s 2014 self-titled album — the proceeds from which will go to Williams.
And in case you somehow STILL don’t feel motivated to help out, you should read the very moving testimonial below. It was written by Steve Joh, who you may recall we recently named one of The 25 Most Important People in Metal today. Steve has had both a professional and personal relationship with Mike and Eyehategod for years, so the man clearly knows that of which he speaks. I’m not going to put Steve’s statement in quotes because I want you to read the whole thing without any obstructions or annoyances. I hope it serves as further motivation for you to give what you can.
A few years ago I was asked to speak on a panel called something like “How Extreme Can Metal Be” at Austin’s SXSW. That same year I was also doing a little showcase where I invited some bands to come down and play at it. I thought it would be cool to ask Mike IX to host it and maybe read some of his poetry in between sets. I didn’t really have a budget for any of it; gear companies and I believe Stumptown Coffee helped pay for it all. After the venue rental, food, beer, booze, water, etc. for the bands, there really wasn’t much left. When it time came time to get Mike to the event, we looked into flights but everything was too expensive. Mike suggested a bus. I looked into that, but it the route from New Orleans to Texas had him go up North, all across the Midwest and back down into Texas. It was like as 26 hour trip. I told Mike this and he said, “Sounds great, book it.”
As for lodging, a friend of mine hooked me up with a spare room from a friend he knew that lived there, so that’s where I was staying. I had gotten approval to rent a cargo van to transport the backline from the rental company to the venue and back. My budget was tapped, and when Mike and I were discussing where he would stay, I told him all this, and he told me he would be fine sleeping in the cargo van. I went back to my friend who hooked me up with the room and he was able to work out me crashing on the couch with Mike in the spare room.
When Mike arrive into Austin after his 26 hour Greyhound trip, I met him and asked him what if he needed anything. He said he needed just a nap, and I took him back to the apartment we were at and he crashed for a bit, resting up for his hosting/spoken word gig the following day.
The next day, I went on to my panel, Mike came with me. At the time, the hot topic of the day when it came to how extreme metal can be was all centered around a certain band who was known to have crazy imagery on stage, bury their clothes with dead animals to have the stench of death on them, have cow blood on their rider, etc. Now, nothing against this band because I think this band was amazing at what they did, but I kept my mouth shut thinking this wasn’t “extreme” but just excellent marketing. This band was lead by one of the smartest, most driven people I’ve ever known, but what was really extreme? Is this guy really sitting around on a Sunday afternoon with clothes that smell like death? How many bands or people would have taken a 26 hour Greyhound to stand in front of 100 people (and I’m being generous) to introduce some blackened crust band and recite a few lines of poetry? How many would have been content to sleep in the back of a fuckin’ cargo van? How many of them, when asked “Can I get you anything?” would have said “No, just a nap”? None. Zero. I guarantee you that.
So how extreme can metal be? Mike IX is the answer. Watch him on stage, there’s nobody more extreme. Maybe you think it’s an act. Maybe you think he’s posturing. I can tell you that’s not the case. Extreme is doing whatever it takes to make your art. Extreme is sacrifice. Extreme is getting up after all of that and delivering to an empty venue. Extreme is not giving a fuck and really meaning it. Mike IX is all of that and the fact that he delivers with every release, with every story and with everything he’s done is something that every artist/musician should take note of. He’s 100% pure, what a true artist is and in mind, the most extreme person in metal or anything really around.
I try and live my life with no regrets, but I will say, not standing up during that panel and pointing to Mike in the audience and saying everyone else speaking is full of shit and that this person that I call out is in fact the most extreme person in metal is something that I do in fact I regret. But I know if I actually would have done that, Mike would have been furious with me and probably would have hopped on the next Greyhound back to NOLA.
Mike needs your help. Mike is an example that every artist/musician, hell, any person should take note of on how to live his/her life by. Please visit here and help out. The world will be better for it.