Thinking back to about a week ago when we held our record-release show at Hollywood and Highland Mall, Saturday, June 18, I thought it a good time to talk about the physical strain many of us go through as performers that many of the general public may not acknowledge.
That particular night, our adventurous vocalist, Andy Biersack, took a nearly three-story dive from a tall cement pillar onto a solid concrete barricade next to the stage, crushing his ribs and rendering him unfit for performance until his recovery.
The resilient, yet bewildered young man determinedly bounced back on stage to finish the remaining 30 minutes of our set, completely disregarding his injuries in true rock 'n' roll, I-don't-give-a-fuck, Iggy Pop fashion. It wasn't until after the concert when he was rushed to the ER that we were informed he had shattered three of his ribs and undergone the risk of piercing one of his lungs and suffering internal bleeding.
Upon hearing of his injuries following the show, I was immediately reminded of the time when I underwent a similar incident performing with a previous project while on tour in Belgium some years ago. It was about five dates into our European festival tour run opening for Iron Maiden when I misjudgingly took a step too far and face-planted into the security guard before me off the 14-foot-tall stage, cracking two ribs on the barricade behind him.
Bouncers and crew frantically placing me back on stage immediately following, I was completely out of it for much of the rest of the song. Coming to minutes later, I finished the set as though nothing had happened at all. It wasn't until the next day or so that I began to realize the extent of my injuries and decided it was best to see a doctor for some X-rays.
Receiving the news that it was a clean break of two of my ribs was no consolation, considering that I had another month and a half of a brutal tour left and that it would be another three months or so before I would fully recover. Ouch. But the show must go on!
Sometimes we push ourselves a lot for our art; sometimes we push ourselves too far. Before every set, we prepare ourselves for battle; whatever ritual, whatever tactic. We undergo battle wounds; albeit a headstock-to-the-forehead, a fat lip, a broken bone or two, or simply dehydration or exhaustion, we as performing musicians all go through it.
Remember and respect this next time you pay to see your favorite band perform; although it may seem as just part of the show, there may be more physical pain or stress than what you may be aware of. But to us, it's all in the name and honor of rock 'n' roll.
Jinxx plays guitar in glam metal band Black Veil Brides, whose sophomore effort, Set The World On Fire, was released June 14 on Lava Records. The album was recently included on Guitar World's list of the 50 best albums of the first half of 2011, which you can find here.