Masked guitarist Buckethead has been generally shrouded in mystery throughout his prolific career but on a recent podcast, the virtuoso revealed that he is suffering from a potentially fatal heart condition that could take his life at any moment.
Buckethead, real name Brian Carroll, told the host of Coming Alive podcast that he has been diagnosed with a condition where his heart beats out of sync and that he was on the verge of having a stroke due to the arrhythmia.
“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, because it’s scary because it comes on. 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.”
Buckethead has released over 300 albums throughout his career and shows no sign of stopping. Even after his procedure, he still recorded a song with a friend.
“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.”
Wishing the best for Buckethead. You can listen to the full podcast below:
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