DEATH ANGEL drummer Will Carroll has spoken out about returning behind the kit for the first time since spending almost two weeks on a ventilator in an intensive care unit at a Northern California hospital. The musician — who tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus — first got sick when he and the rest of DEATH ANGEL spent more than a month on the road in Europe with TESTAMENT and EXODUS as part of "The Bay Strikes Back 2020" tour.
Carroll discussed his COVID-19 battle during an appearance yesterday (Tuesday, August 4) on Rock Immortal's "Rock Talk Happy Hour". Asked what it was like playing the drums again after being out of commission for more than two months, Carroll said (see video below): "Surpisingly, it went really well. [It was] really easy to get back behind the kit and get back into the groove of things. I wasn't quite sure how it was gonna go — if I was gonna get winded or if my heart was gonna feel funny. Who knows what was gonna happen? But it was smooth sailing, and by the end of the day, I was almost back to where I left off. It was really great. And now I'm drumming a lot. Rob [Cavestany] from DEATH ANGEL is sending me songs, so I'm going into the studio and working on those… Yeah, I'm staying busy with the drums, and it feels good. Everything is working good."
Carroll went on to say that he came out of his coronavirus experience relatively unscathed. "I didn't get any scarring on my lungs," he explained. "I had heart failure during the coma, so my heart took a beating a little bit, but it's back to a hundred percent now. I'm lucky I didn't have any permanent damage."
Asked if there were any lingering maladies from COVID-19, Will said: "The only thing I have that still hasn't worked out yet is the very tip of my tongue on the left side is numb. Maybe I bit my tongue during the coma or I don't know exactly what. My doctors don't know either. So that's the only thing that's lingering.
"I had to learn how to walk again, so that was a trip, because being in a coma for 12 days, my muscles went to shit and my legs were toast," he said. "So I can't imagine what people who are in a coma for a year have to go through. Good God. But learning to walk again was really trippy. I was scared I wouldn't be able to drum again when I couldn't even walk down the hallway. So that was pretty scary."
Carroll woke up from a medically induced coma on March 30 after spending nearly two weeks on a ventilator. Doctors told the San Francisco Chronicle he was in critical condition and came close to dying.
On March 22, TESTAMENT singer Chuck Billy revealed that he had tested positive for COVID-19. Several days later, EXODUS guitarist Gary Holt also said that he was infected with the new coronavirus. Both had spent more than a month on the road with DEATH ANGEL as part of "The Bay Strikes Back 2020" European tour in February and March.
DEATH ANGEL had been touring in support of its ninth album, "Humanicide", which came out in May 2019 via Nuclear Blast.
Carroll joined DEATH ANGEL in 2009 as the replacement for the band's original drummer, Andy Galeon.
Will can be heard on the last four DEATH ANGEL studio albums: "Relentless Retribution" (2010), "The Dream Calls for Blood" (2013), "The Evil Divide" (2016) and the aforementioned "Humanicide".