Friday, July 7, 2006
The following article was originally posted over at MTV.com:
Catch this year’s Ozzfest and you might notice FULL BLOWN CHAOS frontman Ray Mazzola walking around with a slight limp as his Long Island, New York, band tears up the second stage. But the wound isn’t from stage diving or brawling, as you might expect it’s actually a little present a black widow bestowed on him in May at a hotel room in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
“I got bit [on the knee], I went to the doctor and everything was cool,” Mazzola explained. “Then three weeks later, we’re in San Diego … the doctor had said all the venom would flush out and it never did it caused mad sepsis [a type of poisoning]. I had a massive blood infection and was in a hospital for a week. I made the band drive me straight from San Diego back to New York, just to drop me off at the hospital. I walked in and I slept for three straight days. We had to cancel a couple of shows, and my doctor told me not to do anything until Ozzfest. But I had to play. I had to feed my need to perform. So we did some weekend shows.”
The spider venom triggered paralysis in a couple of the tendons and muscles in Mazzola‘s ankle. He’s been enduring physical therapy for weeks and has been flooding his stout frame with blood thinners and antibiotics. “I have a couple of places around the country I can go to [for] the therapy I need during Ozzfest,” he said.
The band considered dropping off the tour, but Mazzola wasn’t about to let that happen. “It’s pretty f—ed up, but I’m not going to let it get me down,” he said. “It’s another story, you know? Watch I’ll probably end up getting bit by a poisonous snake this summer.”
That’s because Mazzola considers himself … well, a tad unlucky. For example, on the drive out to Auburn, a man sideswiped FULL BLOWN‘s pristine, straight-off-the-lot RV. In Montana, two of the vehicle’s tires blew out. That led Mazzola to wonder if the band should’ve taken up DRAGONFORCE on their offer to share a bus. “We didn’t because, I mean, that’s a lot of hair,” he joked of the London extreme metallers.
But despite the bad luck, FULL BLOWN‘s appearance on this year’s Ozzfest couldn’t be better timed. Their forthcoming LP, Within the Grasp of Titans, lands in stores Tuesday, and Mazzola said it spotlights the band at its finest.
“The music, the lyrics they’ve evolved,” he said. “To date, this record is our best. But who knows what the next album will bring? We’re going to have to top this one too. We brought a lot more thrash into this record a lot more of what our influences are. This album has something to offer everybody. There’s something on it that everybody can relate to.”
That includes “Chopping Block,” which was inspired by a year’s worth of messy breakups and relationship nightmares. “Solemn Promise,” on the other hand, is a bit more specific: Mazzola wrote the song for his mother, who has been battling cancer for more than a decade. “It’s a promise to her that I won’t give up on her if she doesn’t give up,” the singer said. “I call her every day and there are a lot of times when she doesn’t think she’s going to make it. Even when I feel like I’m not strong enough, I have to be there to pick her up, and I do. I’ve had cops crying on me at shows, just bawling, because they relate to the song and they realize they’re not alone.”