Hip-hop artist comes through addiction

NANAIMO – Madchild, from Swollen Members, returns to Vancouver Island for a series of performances, including one in Nanaimo.

In 2006, British Columbian hip-hop group Swollen Members, were at the top of their game.

The Vancouver-based group had released their album Black Magic and had already claimed three of their four Juno Awards.

However, it was also during that same year that an addiction began to take hold of one their members – Shane Bunting, better known as Madchild.

Madchild had already solidified his place within the Canadian hip-hop scene, when he began taking the popular painkiller Percocets and eventually OxyContin.

“I would have never tried heroin,” Madchild said about his addiction to painkillers. “Unfortunately those painkillers (Percocets) do the same thing to you. I’m not saying it’s my fault I got addicted to drugs, of course it is, but it’s pretty tough not to get addicted to an opiate once you start taking it.”

It wasn’t until 2010, when he realized he needed to get help. He explained that although he never had an addiction to drugs until he was much older, he had been involved with drugs at a young age.

Since becoming clean, Madchild has gone from drooling on a couch to putting out albums and touring across North America. The hip-hop artist released his most recent record, Lawn Mower Man, earlier this year and is already working on his next album.

“We’ve been working on the Swollen Members album and I am working on my album,” he said. “It’s very much studio time and I’ve been working on the Battleaxe Warriors stuff.”

The Juno Award-winner will return to the Harbour City this weekend with a performance at Spice Lounge on Saturday (Dec. 21).

Following his performance in Nanaimo, Madchild will be heading off to Alberta to conclude 2013. He will then kick off 2014 with a couple of performances in the Lower Mainland before traveling to Europe.

“I wish I was playing in Russia because this super model is following me on Twitter,” Madchild laughed.

“I wish I was playing Russia to be honest and I wish I was playing in Poland because I am half Polish and I would like to get to see where I come from but they all look like great spots.”

The North Vancouverite will travel approximately 27,435 km in 30 days, making stops in the Netherlands, Greece, Belgium, Spain, Germany, Italy and Switzerland before returning to North America.

“I’ve been wanting to start branding the Madchild brand in Europe but I haven’t found the right thing to do yet,” he said. “I think this is a really good launching point. I think this is a really good tour to be a part of, where Madchild can go out and start building the business from there.”