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What Doesn’t Kill High on Fire’s Des Kensel Only Makes Him Stronger

“I’ve been a dad for a year and have a little boy,” High on Fire drummer Des Kensel told Noisecreep. “This last year for all of us has been a bit hectic and rough, and my kid came along and I had my second surgery in three years.” Occupational hazards — years and years of repetitive motions — caused the skins beater to need arthroscopic surgery on his shoulder.

“That halted everything, and we all went pretty broke.” While Kensel “was recovering and eating pills,” he started watching soccer and developed a liking for European clubs. “I used to play as a kid, but I got more into music than sports,” he said. “I wasn’t a jock, but I played soccer and drums! And now, I am trying to kick the painkillers. During the day, I’m practicing, sitting at home with my son, trying not to get too fat. I used to kickbox between tours, which kept me in shape, but now that money goes to diapers.”

Kensel had spinal surgery three years ago, as well. “I had spinal chord damage,” he revealed. “They don’t know what it was from. They thought I was in a car accident, but I don’t remember being in any car accident [laughs]. I couldn’t lift anything more than four or five pounds, but I made it through that and hopefully, can make it through this record. I’m looking forward the next surgical procedure, too!”

High on Fire are currently working on their first volley for E1 and will spend the fall on tour with Mastodon, Dethklok and Converge.

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