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Madina Lake’s Matthew Leone Updates Us on His Health Struggles

Katie Hovland

On June 30, 2010, Madina Lake vocailst Nathan Leone reported that his identical twin brother and bandmate, Matthew Leone, had been hospitalized after a violent attack near the bassist’s Chicago apartment. Matthew was trying to aid a woman who was being beaten by her husband when the assailant assaulted him from behind. The 33-year-old attacker was arrested but Matthew was in critical condition and doctors had to remove one-third of his skull while waiting for the swelling in his brain to come down.

Matthew would eventually recover from the brutal assault, but not before months of intensive rehabilitation. Although he was struggling through the toughest time of his life, the bassist was still determined to finish working on ‘World War III,’ Madina Lake’s forthcoming third studio album. All of the frustration is channeled through Matthew and the rest of the band’s performances and what we’re left with is the melodic rock’s finest record yet. In this Noisecreep exclusive, Leone brings us up to date on his health battles.

“I’m getting better, but I have to live with the fact that I’ll always have some kind of health issue because of the attack,” says Leone from his home. “One of the worst things is living with vertigo. It’s a bizarre condition and it really kicked my butt at first. It was intolerable. When I would lay down to go to bed, it felt like I just kept laying down, further and further like some kind of nightmare.

“There’s also a nagging feeling and reminder around the area where I had my surgery. It won’t let me forget. I’m doing all sorts of exercises to keep my memory up. And then there’s the whole part about being sensitive to light and sound. That’s fun,” laughs Leone.

Listen to ‘Hey Superstar’ from Madina Lake

Madina Lake is worldwide touring band who are famous for their high-energy live shows. Noisecreep asked the bassist how he’ll be able to deal with his sensitivity to light and sound out on the road. “I can’t think of a better job for someone with this condition [laughs]. No, but I think that since I’m up there performing that I’m releasing a lot of adrenaline and that probably fights off the symptoms. So I haven’t had any vertigo spells, or anything like that, while playing.

“If anything, it’s made me focus way more on my actual playing. In the past I would be jumping off of speakers and hanging from the rafters. Now I’m really taking notice of what I’m playing on the bass and whatever song we’re performing. That’s definitely a good thing,” says Leone.

Going through the hellish experience that Leone went through last year, it would have been easy for the Madina Lake rocker to become a bitter person, but his positive attitude shined through during our chat. “The important thing has been for me to keep working on myself and heal from the inside. I’ve learned that I can’t play the victim card. It’s just life and all you can do is to keep fighting. If I had one piece of advice for anyone going through something similar to what I went through is to not take everything so seriously.”

Madina Lake’s ‘World War III’ will be out on September 13th via Razor & Tie.

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