During an appearance on SiriusXM’s Trunk Nation Power Trip Special, as transcribed by Blabbermouth, the 70-year-old musician said he is “85 to 90 percent back to strength”, but still has some difficulty with the speed and dexterity of his fingers.
McBrain also discussed the band’s ongoing ‘Future Past’ World Tour, which marks their first live shows since the release of their 2021 album Senjutsu. “It’s going great,” McBrain said.
“It started off a little shaky for me, but as the time [went on] and the more shows we performed, I started to get a little bit more strength and they’d been really rocking out well. And the last couple of months have been fantastic.”
McBrain admitted that he had to adapt his drumming techniques to accommodate his physical limitations, even changing some well-known fills in certain songs. “Some fills that everybody knows me for on certain songs, I’ve had to improvise those at rehearsals to be able to actually play the songs,” he said. “But I’m definitely getting stronger.”
McBrain credited his manager, his bandmates, and the band’s fans for their support and love during his recovery process. “They’ve been absolutely — they’ve shown me so much love, it’s amazing,” he said.
McBrain’s stroke came after he was diagnosed with stage 1 laryngeal cancer in 2020, which was surgically removed soon after and hasn’t returned.