Back in April an itsy bitsy salmonella swaddled spicy tuna roll tried it's damnedest to throw a monkey wrench into self-described "party death metal rockers" Attila's latest North American tour -- prophetically dubbed "The Sick Tour" -- but stricken frontman Chris Fronzak refused to sis out, instead performing through what he describes as "gut wrenching stomach cramps and overall pain -- plus a bunch of other bullshit." Fronzak survived, but when the happy go lucky thrasher received his invoice for treatment -- hashtag #holyshit -- "Fronzilla" decided to lawyer up and sue the company whose questionable quality control practices put the icky foulness into the food supply. Or, as Fronzak's attorney William Marler prefers to put it, "Mr. Fronzak's favorite food was sushi and he has eaten it frequently for years without issue. When he sat down to eat a tuna roll, he was expecting to enjoy a few bites of comfort food while on the road with his band. What he did not expect was to become dangerously ill -- taking on heavy financial strain and jeopardizing both his health and his tour."
Decibel caught up with Fronzak yesterday to see how the post spicy tuna roll era is treating him and his lawyer.
Moon Marine has recalled 58,828 pounds of frozen Nakacochi Scrape, which is believed to be the source of the salmonella outbreak you got caught up in. If you had known your spicy tuna roll was made out of something called "Nakaochi Scrape" would you still have eaten it?
Fuck no. That shit's so gross. I had no idea whatsoever. It amazes me how shitty food quality can be. You'd think that eating something expensive like sushi would mean better quality food...Sike. The food industry is all about cutting corners. Wait, so we can just grind up dirty fish bones and call it meat? Word let's do it!!!!!
So…it’s a fairly badass move to continue a tour when stricken with severe salmonella. What were those performances like for you? Was there any particular point when you thought you might not be able to soldier on? It was total hell. I could barely get out of bed without feeling like shit so you can imagine how i felt on stage. Quitting was never an option. Even if I had broken a bone or lost a limb, I'd still pull my gimp-ass on stage and play. I'd never let our fans down like that.
Do you think the crowds recognized something was off or did they just assume the wrenching performances suggested you were really feeling it that night?
Haha! to be honest I don't even think many people noticed. Everyone said the performances were great even though I was sick. So as long as everyone isn't lying I think I did okay...Like I said, quitting isn't an option with Attila. The show must go on.
Did any Attila songs take on a deeper or different meaning during these shows? “Make it Sick” perhaps?
Haha! Not really. The only thing I thought during shows was, "Fuck, I want this set to be over soon. I feel like death."
Your medical bills were pretty outrageous. Did you suffer a similar sort of sticker shock? What was going through your mind at that moment?
When I first saw my medical bill, my initial thought was, "FUCK NO, I'M NOT PAYING THIS!" and then I laughed a little. After the shock set in, I realized I had to do SOMETHING to cover it.
You were one of many who took ill in this outbreak, and are one of the first to sue. When did you decide this needed to be raised the level of civil litigation?
Once I read about the outbreak and got my medical bill, I decided to file a lawsuit. I never pictured myself as one to file a lawsuit, but this was just outrageous. People shouldn't have to question the food they consume. I put so much trust in restaurants to serve me something that won't make me violently ill. The fact that this company sent out infected tuna "scrape" of the lowest quality known to man shocks me. I NEVER get sick, and all the sudden I was the sickest I've ever been in my entire life. I suffered enough for those two weeks, they should at least cover my hospital visit...
Now that you’ve recovered, do you have more of an appreciation for performing healthy?
YES. Never take good health for granted. Stay healthy!
This really does put a spotlight on the sometimes precarious life of a touring metal band. Do you have any suggestions for other metal road dogs who get ill on tour?
Not really. Just watch what you eat. Hospitals are expensive as fuck and most musicians aren't offered insurance like a typical working class person. You can get insurance on your own but that's expensive as fuck too. Especially for someone like me who hasn't been sick in over 10 years -- until this shit.
Will the next Attila record be the "Salmonella Album"?
Now that you've recuperated, what’s next for Attila?
We are on the all stars tour this summer so come check us out on that! Our fall plans are HUGE but I'm not allowed to tell you about that just yet... Besides that, we're starting the writing process for our next album, and it's going to be the heaviest album we've ever put out!