TF Archives

Carl Cox- I Nearly Died Last Year

Author: Jonty Skrufff
Monday, April 25, 2005
"I was sitting down relaxing when I suddenly had these massive internal pains in my stomach and pressure on the heart. I got really short of breath and I was doubling up with the pain in my stomach, so a friend of mine took me to the hospital and as soon as I got there, the doctors said "You're not going anywhere for the next week' and I was put on a drip for four days. I was like: "Oh great, no food' but I rapidly realized it was really serious."

10 years after he was first hospitalized with heart complaints, superstar techno DJ Carl Cox suddenly found himself having a full on heart attack, as he took a two day break from a 3 month stint of relentless touring, partying and DJing.

I'd been in Ibiza and I came back to Palma, to take two days off and then get back onto playing on the circuit again. My friend had got married in Ibiza, I'd done the opening for Pete Tong's party and hadn't slept hardly at all, I'd also just done a tour of America just before that," he explains.

"So I was constantly tired and my body system, from the point of view of my internal organs, couldn't move fast enough for what I was putting into it. My heart was pumping twice as hard to try and compensate and in the end I had a mild heart attack. I also found out in hospital that I had an ulcer and a liver complaint and now I've ended up with an irregular heartbeat, because I've also thinned out my blood. That means I've had to consciously slow my lifestyle down, for my heart to be able to continue working in the right way, within its normal parameters. And forever more it's declining."

12 months on, he declares himself "100%' fit and (almost) 100% teetotal, in marked contrast to his previous habits.

"I'll still have several glasses of red wine here and there but that's it whereas I used to go out on a night and have a bottle of vodka, champagne, beers and (tequila) slammers because I was enjoying myself. But those were all the things that were killing me at the same time as well, so it's no longer possible now," he admits.

"I see everything in a much different light today, I see everyone else drunk and off their heads in clubs, and I think "OK, good for you' but it doesn't work for me," Carl continues.

"Eventually the partying catches up with everyone but meanwhile, I'm having a great time being straight and being normal. If I'm feeling tired, I go to bed; as soon as I feel like I need to go to sleep then I get some rest. My life's been a journey beyond belief and I'm still around party-heads all the time, but these days I wake up in the morning and go: "Right I'm off for a walk'," he chuckles.

Equally importantly, he's restructured his work schedule and entire lifestyle, cutting back on relentless globetrotting with its jetlag and time-zone crossing related problems as well as the five star cuisine and luxury living he came to take for granted.

"I've changed my entire diet and switched from eating red meat to chicken and fish. I've got a personal trainer and I train three times a week. I'm not turning into Arnold Schwarzenegger - I'm just building up my own inner strength now, and mentally where I'm at with my own body, which has been great," he says.

"I feel like I have been given a second chance to come back and go: "OK, now do it all again, but in a way that I think you should and you can'. I've been given that opportunity to respect myself, so nearly a year later I'm able to finish my album, perform my album, do my Carl Cox and Friends parties, my radio shows and to change my life a little bit, because I bought a house in Australia and I've been living there for the last three months, even though I'm now back in Europe. So many great things have happened since I've stopped drinking and partying so hard that I have actually been able to do more. I've been able to get up and see the day to be able to do all this stuff. I just feel so much better for it. It means when I DJ now, I feels like I am unstoppable, whereas be