Blackie Lawless responded to speculation from W.A.S.P. fans that there was a problem with his performance during the band's current European tour, saying he's enduring intense pain as a result of a herniated disc in his back.

The veteran singer and guitarist, who's 66, added that the injury has nothing to do with his age but was sustained after an accident in which he broke his leg. That led to spinal nerve damage, for which he's been receiving epidural injections directly into his back – a procedure that he noted was quite agonizing.

“It has become obvious to many of you that either watching the shows live or on YouTube that there is something physically wrong with me,” Lawless wrote on the band's website. “I’ve done my best to hide it, but there are times during many of the shows the pain is overwhelming, and it then becomes impossible to disguise.” He noted that “in addition to the physical pain there is also the personal pain and aggravation of knowing I’m giving you the fans less than 100% of all I’m capable of giving. For a performer like me, this is extremely hard to do and also to admit to myself.”

He explained that the problem was diagnosed just a few weeks ago, although the original damage was sustained around 10 years earlier. “Rest is one of the most common prescriptions for injuries like this,” he continued. “But this tour has suffered postponement after postponement. Never again will I have a 40th-anniversary tour. I told the doctors, the band and the crew, ‘If I can stand, then I’m going out there!’”

Lawless said that, even though he's received several epidurals, he was still unable to walk after some shows. “The injections take about 20 minutes, and it hurts badly the entire time,” he added, hailing his bandmates and crew for “giving 110% trying to pick up the slack.” He concluded, “So now if I haven't seemed to be quite myself onstage, hopefully, you’ll better understand. I’ve been given every assurance by our doctors here in Europe and in L.A. that I will be fine for the upcoming U.S. tour. I’m a warrior and I pride myself as such.”

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