Mike IX Williams (born April 14, 1968) is the singer for Eyehategod and former associate editor for Metal Maniacs. He has also worked on other projects.
Mike was invited to join Eyehategod by Jimmy Bower in 1988. Since then, all Eyehategod albums have featured his vocals which have been described as "tortured laryngitis screams", an "indecipherable ranting" and "the utmost sickening, puke-ridden audio atrocities that could actually prove deadly if taken in large doses".
For the recording of Dopesick, Eyehategod's third album, Williams went through several issues. At the time he was living in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn in New York City so he had to travel between there and New Orleans, Louisiana frequently for the recording sessions, which took place at Side One Studios. He attempted to record the sound of smashing glass for the introduction to the album, by smashing a bottle on the floor of the studio. In the process he slashed his hand open badly and bled all over the studio floor. One of the band members then apparently smeared the words "Hell" and "Death to Pigs" in his blood. The studio owner reportedly called Century Media to ask if the band were insane, and threatened to kick them out because of this.
Role in the band:
The band's lyrics and themes are completely conceived by Mike. He always has lyrics written by him ready so when the other members of the band send him songs he just decides which lyrics he wants for each song. His lyrics never try to portray anything, they never have a story attached to them. Sometimes he works with the musical atmosphere created by his partners in Eyehategod.
During his first years as an Eyehategod member, Mike was in two other bands. Drip, a sludge metal band, which also featured fellow Eyehategod band members Jimmy Bower and Brian Patton, and Crawlspace.
In 2006 he began a hardcore punk band along with Phil Anselmo named Arson Anthem. He's the band's singer. Williams stated on 2008 that his desire with this band is that it makes people explore early hardcore punk, what he listened to when he had no responsibility and used to ride on his skateboard.
Along with all Eyehategod members except Jimmy Bower he formed Outlaw Order, another sludge metal band. He provides vocals for the band.
In 2005, Mike's first book, Cancer as a Social Activity was released. The book includes old lyrics and portions of collages that Williams assembled for Eyehategod which date back as far as 1988 as well as unreleased stuff, written during the period of two or three years before the release of the book. The book also shows Eyehategod's history. It was mostly written in New Orleans and New York City but there are also part which were written while he was travelling.
Early 2013 saw the emergence of Corrections House, an industrial project involving Williams plus members of Neurosis, Nachtmystium, and Yakuza.
Hurricane Katrina and prison:
When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, on August 29, 2005, Mike was at his home in the Lower Garden District with his then girlfriend. About eight hours after the beginning of the storm the power went out. By listening to battery powered radio announcements they were able to find out that the situation in New Orleans was quite bad. After the hurricane passed, the water in Williams neighborhood subsided. At this time violence and crime in the area became rampant and the police were not in a position to help the residents.
Inside the house they could hear gunshots and at one time, upon leaving the apartment, Williams's partner was confronted by a person who attempted to rob her. Williams intervened on her behalf. In order to escape the violence, Williams and his partner slept at the apartment of a friend. The following morning they borrowed a car and traveled to Morgan City, Louisiana, where Williams received word that his house had burned down.
They booked a hotel room in Morgan City. Apparently, the person who attended them could see they were from New Orleans because they had to show their identity document; for unknown reasons this person contacted the police. Members of the police entered Williams room and arrested him.
Williams was then convicted of drug possession and jailed. Bail was set at $150,000; an amount Williams was unable to afford. With help from his lawyer Williams filed for a bond reduction which was rejected by the court on the grounds that Williams was a threat to society. Williams was anxious at this time as his friends and associates were unaware that he was in prison. A fund to help to free Williams was created and his bandmates encouraged fans to send letters to him while he was in jail. Later, Phil Anselmo paid the bail money to have Williams released. Upon his release Williams spent several months staying at Anselmo's home.
He was born in High Point, North Carolina. His parents died when he was a child. At the age of 15 he left home. During most part of his life he has lived in New Orleans, Louisiana but he also lived some time in New York City. He has always suffered from asthma.
He used to be the associate editor of Metal Maniacs.
Before Hurricane Katrina, Williams had always struggled with drug addiction. By the time the hurricane hit, he had stopped using heroin and was in a methadone program. During his stay in prison he did not receive the substance so he couldn't sleep for about seven days. He hardly ate for six days; he just soaked the bread from lunch in water and swallowed it because he knew he needed to keep something down. After this, he wasn't addicted to opiates anymore.Jimmy Bower stated in an interview that Mike inspired him to kick opiates also.
Text from this biography licensed under creative commons license