Mike IX Williams

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Mike IX Williams
Williams in 2019
Williams in 2019
Background information
Birth nameMichael D. Williams[1][2]
Also known as
  • Mike Williams
  • Mike IX
BornHigh Point, North Carolina, U.S.
OriginNew Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
  • Singer
  • songwriter
Years active1982–present
Member of
Formerly ofArson Anthem

Michael D. Williams, known professionally as Mike IX Williams (pronounced "Mike 'Nine' Williams"),[3] is an American vocalist and songwriter, best known as the lead singer of New Orleans-based sludge metal band Eyehategod. He is the former associate editor of heavy metal magazine Metal Maniacs and has also worked on other projects.

Early life[edit]

Williams was born in High Point, North Carolina.[4] His parents died when he was a child.[5] At the age of 15, he left home.[6] During most part of his life he has lived in New Orleans, Louisiana but he also lived some time in New York City.[7][6]


Williams performing with Eyehategod at Hellfest 2018

Williams was invited to join Eyehategod by Jimmy Bower in 1988.[8] Since then, all of the band's albums[9][10][11] have featured his vocals which have been described as "tortured laryngitis screams",[9] an "indecipherable ranting",[10] and "the utmost sickening, puke-ridden audio atrocities that could actually prove deadly if taken in large doses".[12]

For the recording of Dopesick, Eyehategod's third album, Williams went through several issues. At the time, he was living in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn in New York City so he had to travel between there and New Orleans, Louisiana frequently for the recording sessions,[7] which took place at Side One Studios.[11] He attempted to record the sound of smashing glass for the introduction to the album, by smashing a bottle on the floor of the studio. In the process, Williams slashed his hand open badly and bled all over the studio floor. One of the band members then apparently smeared the words "Hell" and "Death to Pigs" in his blood.[7] The studio owner reportedly called Century Media to ask if the band were insane, and threatened to kick them out because of this.[7]

Role in the band[edit]

The band's lyrics and themes are completely conceived by Williams. He always has lyrics written by him ready so when the other members of the band send him songs he just decides which lyrics he wants for each song. His lyrics never try to portray anything, they never have a story attached to them. Sometimes he works with the musical atmosphere created by his partners in Eyehategod.[8]

Other projects[edit]

During his first years as an Eyehategod member, Williams was in two other bands: Drip,[13] a sludge metal band, which also featured fellow Eyehategod band members Jimmy Bower and Brian Patton,[14] and Crawlspace.[13]

In 2006, he began a hardcore punk band along with Phil Anselmo named Arson Anthem,[15] in which he is the vocalist.[16] Williams stated in 2008 that his desire with this band is to make people explore early hardcore punk.[17]

Along with all Eyehategod members except Jimmy Bower, Williams formed Outlaw Order, another sludge metal band,[18] where he provides vocals for the band.[19]

In 2005, Williams' first book, Cancer as a Social Activity, was released.[6] The book includes old lyrics and portions of collages that Williams assembled for Eyehategod which date back as far as 1988 as well as unreleased stuff, written during the period of two or three years before the release of the book. The book also shows Eyehategod's history. It was mostly written in New Orleans and New York City but there are also part which were written while he was traveling.[6][4]

Early 2013 saw the emergence of Corrections House, an industrial project involving Williams plus members of Neurosis, Nachtmystium, and Yakuza.[20]

In 2004, Williams and longtime friend Seth Putnam of the band Anal Cunt had plans to start a band and write a record consisting of all anti-cop songs. It is currently unknown if any material was written or recorded.[21]

Williams used to be the associate editor of Metal Maniacs.[4]

Personal life[edit]

Williams suffers from chronic asthma.[4]

Hurricane Katrina and jail[edit]

When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans on August 29, 2005, Williams was at his home in the Lower Garden District with his then-girlfriend. About eight hours after the beginning of the storm, the power went out. By listening to battery powered radio announcements they were able to find out that the situation in New Orleans was quite bad. After the hurricane passed, the water in Williams' neighborhood subsided. At this time, violence and crime in the area became rampant and the police were not in a position to help the residents.[22]

In the 2020 book Raising Hell: Backstage Tales from the Lives of Metal Legends, Williams stated he looted a pharmacy after the hurricane and "didn't get busted until three days later".[23]

Inside the house they could hear gunshots and at one time, upon leaving the apartment, Williams' partner was confronted by a person who attempted to rob her. Williams intervened on her behalf. In order to escape the violence, Williams and his partner slept at the apartment of a friend. The following morning they borrowed a car and traveled to Morgan City, Louisiana, where Williams received word that his house had burned down.[22]

They booked a hotel room in Morgan City. Apparently, the person who attended them could see they were from New Orleans because they had to show their identity document; for unknown reasons this person contacted the police. Members of the police entered Williams's room and arrested him.[22]

Williams was convicted of drug possession[5] and jailed. Bail was set at $150,000; an amount Williams was unable to afford. With help from his lawyer, Williams filed for a bond reduction which was rejected by the court on the grounds that Williams was a threat to society. Williams was anxious at this time as his friends and associates were unaware that he was in jail.[22] A fund to help to free Williams was created and his bandmates encouraged fans to send letters to him while he was in jail.[24] Later, Phil Anselmo paid the bail money to have Williams released.[22] Upon his release, Williams spent several months staying at Anselmo's home.[13]

Drug addiction[edit]

Williams struggled with drug addiction before Hurricane Katrina.[4] By the time the hurricane hit, he had stopped using heroin[6] and was in a methadone program. During his stay in jail he did not receive the substance so he couldn't sleep for about seven days. He hardly ate for six days; he just soaked the bread from lunch in water and swallowed it because he knew he needed to keep something down. After this, he was able to break his addiction to opiates.[22] Jimmy Bower stated in an interview that Williams inspired him to also kick opiates.[24]

Although he no longer uses opiates, he has a long history of alcoholism that still persists to this day–his excess drinking eventually led to health problems which resulted in him requiring a liver transplant. In 2016 Williams' wife set up a crowdfund so fans could help pay for the transplant expenses.[25] In late 2016 the funding goal was reached and Williams successfully underwent the surgery in December.[26]


  1. ^ Powell, Austin (June 20, 2007). "For the Sick: An Interview With Michael D. Williams". austinchronicle.com.
  2. ^ "EyeHateGod: Phil Anselmo sprang live für Michael IX Williams ein". Rock Hard (in German). August 22, 2016.
  3. ^ Milas, Alexander (April 10, 2014). "Q&A: Mike Williams from Eyehategod". Louder. Retrieved May 25, 2023.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Cancer as a Social Activity". HotBoxPress.com. 2005. Archived from the original on February 12, 2008.
  5. ^ a b "Eyehategod Frontman Released From Louisiana Jail". Blabbermouth.net. November 9, 2005. Retrieved April 10, 2008.
  6. ^ a b c d e J. Bennet (August 2005). "Mike Williams' eternal sludge bender rages on with a new book and Eyehategod's first new material in five years". Decibel Magazine. Archived from the original on April 7, 2007. Retrieved April 22, 2008.
  7. ^ a b c d Williams, Mike. Dopesick. Recording notes on the 2007 European reedition. Century Media Records.
  8. ^ a b Filicetti, Gino (April 18, 1996). "Struggling to Stop the Stereotypes". ChroniclesofChaos.com. Retrieved April 9, 2008.
  9. ^ a b York, William. "Eyehategod - In the Name of Suffering". AllMusic. Retrieved April 10, 2008.
  10. ^ a b York, William. "Eyehategod - Take as Needed for Pain". AllMusic. Retrieved April 10, 2008.
  11. ^ a b Eyehategod. Dopesick. Century Media Records. Album credits.
  12. ^ Filicetti, Gino. "Eyehategod - Dopesick". ChroniclesofChaos.com. Retrieved April 10, 2008.
  13. ^ a b c "Weathering The Storm: Gary Mader Of Eyehategod". MetalUnderground.com. March 24, 2006. Retrieved April 22, 2008.
  14. ^ "Drip". Encyclopaedia Metallum. Retrieved April 22, 2008.
  15. ^ "Arson Anthem Featuring Philip Anselmo, Mike Williams". Blabbermouth.net. September 26, 2006. Retrieved April 9, 2008.
  16. ^ True, Chris. "Arson Anthem". AllMusic. Retrieved April 10, 2008.
  17. ^ "Arson Anthem Frontman Speaks On The Bands Detractors". MetalUnderground.com. February 28, 2008. Retrieved April 10, 2008.
  18. ^ "Outlaw Order To Record Full-Length Album". Blabbermouth.net. March 22, 2008. Retrieved April 9, 2008.
  19. ^ "Encyclopaedia Metallum". Metal Archives. Retrieved April 10, 2008.
  20. ^ Folgar, Abel (January 18, 2013). "Corrections House's Mike IX on How to "Destroy/Annihilate/Depress/Confuse"". Miami New Times. Retrieved January 19, 2013.
  21. ^ "Archived copy". www.sethputnam.com. Archived from the original on December 4, 2004. Retrieved January 12, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  22. ^ a b c d e f J. Bennet (February 2006). "Mike Williams' eternal sludge bender rages on with a new book and Eyehategod's first new material in five years". Decibel Magazine. Archived from the original on February 23, 2008. Retrieved April 22, 2008.
  23. ^ Wiederhorn, Jon (2020). Raising hell : backstage tales from the lives of metal legends : into the fiery pits of chaos ... New York, NY: Diversion Books. p. 21. ISBN 978-1-63576-649-3. Retrieved July 11, 2020.
  24. ^ a b Fox, Erin (October 14, 2005). "Eyehategod Interview". The Gauntlet. Retrieved April 12, 2008.
  25. ^ "Fans smash target for Eyehategod Williams' liver transplant". November 25, 2016.
  26. ^ "Eyehategod Mike Williams has successful liver transplant". December 15, 2016.

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