Buckethead—the brilliant but reclusive shred guitarist—revealed in an interview that he has been diagnosed with a life-threatening heart condition, and that even simple tasks such as walking have become incredibly difficult for him.
Speaking on the Coming Alive podcast, the guitarist said “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. 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,” he continued. “But it got really intense, so I went to the doctor and they said, ‘You’re on the verge of having a stroke.'”
“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,” he added.
“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.”
Speaking of the effect his condition has had on his music, Buckethead said “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.”
You can listen to the full interview below.