I Spent My Childhood in the Hospital, But Metal Saved My Life
German metalhead Robert shares how metal saved his life. From spending years in the hospital growing up, to discovering Pantera, Sepultura and the Wacken Festival, here's Robert's story.
“I was at school in the first grade,” Robert begins. “There was something for kids to climb on. One kid pushed me and I fell four meters and smashed my knee very hard. The next thing was, I woke up in the hospital and already one surgery was done. I woke up again and four surgeries more were done.”
At seven years old, Robert experienced complications from so many surgeries, contracting hemophilia (a condition which doesn’t allow your blood to clot properly) along with arthritis and inflammation issues so serious, it caused his whole body to break down.
To fight his worsening condition, Robert was placed on 30 different medications, including one called MTX. “If you get it in extreme high doses, it’s kind of like chemotherapy,” he explains. “You lose your hair, you’re puking all day. It’s like napalm for a child’s body.”
Robert had over 20 major surgeries before he turned 20 years old, but during these rough times, he had metal to keep him positive and filled with power. “I got a Sony Walkman from my parents for Christmas. My aunt got everything for me; Pantera, Sepultura. It was Sepultura, Chaos A.D. I could not speak English. I did not understand any lyrics, but I never heard such power before, because I was only used to radio music from my parents. If you are at war, if you are fighting for your life, sometimes it’s not enough. You need more.”
“Now I understand what ‘Territory,’ ‘Refuse/Resist’… all that means. It’s a lot bigger than the little war that I fought, but the soundtrack is the same.”
Robert continues, “I have a hard routine to keep this body working, so I have to do a lot of workouts. Metal music is great for workouts. I love it. It gives me power. My mind says, ‘You are weak,’ and the music says, ‘What? the f—k? You are weak? What? No f—king way!’ and it puts more power into it, and my neighbors hate me because they always have to hear good music. The right song at the right time, it’s pure life."
Watch Robert tell his full story below and if you’d like to appear on an episode of Metal Saved My Life, email a short version of your story to LoudwireMSML@gmail.com.
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