Dream Theater vocalist James LaBrie spoke in an interview with Songfacts, and expressed his feelings about vocal injuries.
He said that ‘my vocal injury was probably the darkest moment in my life”. Here’s the statement:
“In 1994, my wife and I, with a few other friends, went down to Cuba and I suffered severe food poisoning. While I was vomiting, I bled onto my vocal cords because it was that bad. If anyone out there knows about food poisoning, it’s horrible. You’re delirious, and at some point the conversation is, ‘I want to die,’ because you just feel that bad.
But because of that, I saw two ENTs – ear, nose and throat specialists. This happened around December 30th of 1994, and on January 10th, I was supposed to be singing in Tokyo.
I got in to see the doctors on January 4th or 5th due to a friend of mine who is a doctor, and they told me, ‘You need to take six months off. You shouldn’t be talking, you definitely should not be thinking about singing.’ And Dream Theater at the time had just come off a hit album with ‘Images and Words.’ We had only done the North American tour leg for the ‘Awake’ album, and we were then moving on to Asia and Europe.
So, even though we were starting to make good money, it would have been catastrophic if I had said to the band, ‘I’ve got to take six months off.’ We didn’t have that luxury – it probably would have broke the bank. So, unfortunately, I had to go back singing, probably when I shouldn’t have. It took its toll, and it took several years to even feel that I was back to where I was comfortable as a singer.
So, instead of hitting Ds and Es and F-sharps and all that stuff, I was able to hit C, C-sharp, and D. But I had to really watch it. I have hit F notes here and there, but I have to really watch it. But that was probably the darkest moment in my life, for sure.”