Everclear’s Art Alexakis has revealed he has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. In a letter to fans posted on Everclear’s website, the singer said that he has had it “for anywhere between 10 to 20 years.”
According to singer-guitarist’s letter, the MS was discovered three years ago following an automobile accident, after which he began to feel tingling and numbness in his arm. He underwent several MRIs and a battery of other tests and was later informed he had a form of multiple sclerosis known as relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS).
“The more I found out about MS, the more a lot of things started making sense,” he added. “It explains why I have had balance and gait problems for the last 10 years, it helps explain why I have had a higher sensitivity to heat and cold, and why I don’t have the energy, vigor and razor sharp memory that I had 10 years ago. I thought it was just me getting older.”
Despite the diagnosis, he wrote that “I have learned what the word gratitude really means,” citing that he’s completed four full tours with Everclear along with another 250-some shows worldwide and spent time with family and friends.
“All that said, I can feel the disease slowly growing in me,” he revealed. “I now have to give myself injections three times a week. My neurologist says as long as I stay on medication, I should live into my 80s without progression. We shall see.”
Alexakis, who has been sober for nearly three decades, said he wanted to make the diagnosis public to address speculation that he may have fallen off the wagon, due to him looking “unsteady on stage or around town.”
“So, if you see me stumbling … sweaty, looking both tired and anxious at the same time, maybe a little more confused than usual, or forgetting lyrics yet looking happy (which is weird for me), please know that I have not fallen off the wagon,” he said. “I am just learning to be the new me.”
Alexakis also addressed his upcoming creative endeavors. He announced he is readying his first solo album, Sun Songs, which is slated for release early this summer. His “Songs and Stories” solo tour will launch on May 1st and he plans to start writing a book this summer.
Read Alexakis’ letter to fans.