Alien Ant Farm will return to the stage this weekend – for the first time since a horric bus crash in Europe led to the broken back and hospitalisation of DRYDEN MITCHELL.
The group have been out of action since May, when the band and six members of their touring entourage were rushed to hospital after the bus they were travelling on crashed near Navalmoral de la Mata, Spain (May 22).
The driver of the bus, Christopher Holland of Crofty, near Swansea, was killed on impact. Mitchell was the most badly hurt of the bandmembers, with back injuries, fracturing his C2 vertebra.
The group will get together for the first time at the LA House of Blues, performing at ‘Drum Day LA 2002’.
Mitchell told MTV that although he’s been out of the spotlight for six months, he’s not nervous about playing again.
“I’m not really nervous,” he said. “I think differently now about everything. After what happened, it’s hard to be nervous about something that’s fun and trivial.”
He also explained how the crash has changed his outlook. He continued: “I was not a judgmental person before, but subconsciously everyone is kind of a little judgmental. And that kind of got stripped away with having to go through what I went through. Walking around with a halo brace and seeing peoples’ reaction, maybe not meaning to, but looking at you on a lesser level, I thought, man, I’ve probably been guilty of the same thing when I’ve seen someone with a disability…It kind of sucks that it took something so tragic to make me better.”
Mitchell said that during the impact of the crash, he thought he was going to die.
“I was playing guitar in the back lounge, then I wasn’t,” he explained. “I couldn’t see anything and felt like I was spinning really fast. It must have been only a second or two, but your mind thinks really quick. I finally realized we crashed and thought that once I (stop spinning) I’m going to die because the velocity was so strong.
“My vision kinda came back, and I was already lying on the ground … and then my body got completely numb from the shock. I couldn’t move my toes or anything. I could only blink my eyes, I remember. I couldn’t even open my mouth to talk.”