DEATH ANGEL drummer Will Carroll says that it's "unfortunate" that some mainstream news outlets "mangled" his story of how he dreamt of visiting the afterlife before waking up from a 12-day coma after testing positive for coronavirus.
The 47-year-old musician was hospitalized at the California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco after catching the virus on a European tour in March. While comatose at the facility, Carroll said he saw himself leave his body and plummet down to hell, where Satan — a woman in his case — punished him for the deadly sin of sloth, morphing him into a Jabba The Hutt-like-monster who vomited blood until he had a heart attack.
A number of mainstream news outlets picked up Carroll's story and focused on the "Satan" angle, with the New York Post running the headline "Death Angel Drummer Says He Met Satan During Near-Death Coronavirus Coma"
In a new interview with March Lowe of Mosh Mag, Carroll was asked what he thought about some of the sensationalistic headlines that made the rounds regarding his experience at the hospital. He responded: "The visions I had when I was in my coma were pretty scary, and when I woke up, they were just as clear as day in my mind. They were so vivid. I asked the nurse if I was still in hell right when I woke up. She just kind of just looked at me and walked away. So, yeah, that's a small part of a bigger story, you know, like surviving the COVID and being in a coma for 12 days and the doctors thought I was going to die. They were shocked when I was awake and when I came to. So that's definitely stuck with me a little more than just the visions of going to hell. But it's unfortunate that those news outlets mangled my story, regurgitated it and changed it for their own agenda. When you get the lead singer of [openly Christian band] STRYPER backing you up, you know that there's something wrong. [Laughs]"
Asked if he was blown away by the outpouring of support, Will said: "Yeah, that was a shocker. Actually, it took a couple of days for the hospital to give me back some of my personal effects. So I didn't have my phone for the first day or two when I was awake. But when they finally gave it to me, I turned it on and I couldn't believe how many people from the local community and abroad, and people from all over the world, were reaching out to me. People that I don't even know, like Jay Jay French from TWISTED SISTER. Yeah! I love TWISTED SISTER! It was really cool, man. I was overwhelmed and speechless. So that's part of my spiritual awakening, if you will. I never really believed in the power of prayer or karma or any of that kind of stuff and this experience has made me re-evaluate some things. I'm not born-again Christian or anything like the fucking New York Post wants wants to portray me as. But now I believe in the power prayer. I really do."
Carroll also addressed the documented spikes in the number of COVID-19 cases across the U.S. due to the easing of lockdown restrictions just weeks ago.
"I can tell everyone is getting impatient, and I am too," he said. "You wanna get moving, get back to your daily routine, go to shows, and do whatever you love doing, but it seems that a lot of people are getting impatient and ignoring the rules, and not wearing masks. I go out on walks every day in my neighborhood and I see tons of people without masks on. It's upsetting, and I wouldn't want to wish this on my worst enemy, what I went through. I was the sickest I've ever been in my life. It was an awful feeling and I felt like I was gonna die. It's a shame that people have been either ignoring it all along or they are starting to think that it's okay now to walk around without a mask and intermingle with everyone. It's very disheartening and very alarming."
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".