Art Alexakis, the frontman for iconic alt-rockers Everclear, has publicly revealed his ongoing struggle with multiple sclerosis.
In an open letter posted to the Everclear website today, the 56-year-old rocker recalled the story of how his MS diagnosis came to be.
“Three years ago I was in an automobile accident, and though I totaled my car, I am thankful that no one involved was seriously hurt,” Alexakis began. “About two weeks later, I started feeling a tingle and numbness in my arm, thinking it was a pinched nerve in my neck, I went to the doctor and underwent an MRI.”
“The report showed that I did indeed have a pinched nerve, but the pathologist also saw lacerations and suspicious marks on my spinal cord as well…scary, to say the least.”
“I was sent to see a neurologist, who did a ridiculous number of tests – more MRI’s, a spinal tap, over fifty blood tests, and numerous cognitive and balance tests,” he continued. “After receiving the results, he told me that I have a form of Multiple Sclerosis (RRMS), and that I have had it for anywhere between 10 to 20 years.”
“I went and sat in my car and called my wife, and cried for about half an hour. I’m sure people in the parking lot thought I was losing it, and I guess I kind of was.”
As Art Alexakis continued in is statement, he noted how his diagnosis began to explain a lot of previous problems, including balance issues, and an increased sensitivity to heat and cold.
Despite this, Alexakis remained his upbeat self, noting he was taking his diagnosis public to combat any rumours that his outward appearance may be due to a newfound dependance on drugs and alcohol.
“So, if you see me stumbling…sweaty, looking both tired and anxious at the same time, maybe a little more confused than usual, or forgetting lyrics yet looking happy (which is weird for me), please know that I have not fallen off the wagon,” he explained. “I am just learning how to be the new me.”
Art Alexakis also revealed he is in the process of finishing up his first solo album, which will be out mid-year. Likewise, this diagnosis has not affected his touring plans, noting he will be hitting the road this May.
It’s currently been a year-and-a-half since Everclear last toured Australia, and almost four years since the band’s most recent record.
While we’re not sure when Everclear might hit the road again, we wish Art Alexakis all the best as he continues to manage the effects of his multiple sclerosis diagnosis.