You might know Tommy Vext as the frontman for Bad Wolves or as a 12-step coach helping addicts get sober. Since he was a child, the musician has been through hell, but he did not let the challenges deter him from living a purposeful life. The tough journey to becoming the man he is today even inspired him to co-write his biography. He acknowledges that we all make mistakes, but he can’t dare return to his past life, so he took up therapy. Let’s tell you more about this musician who got a second chance at life in 2010 after being beaten almost to death by his own brother.
1. He Wanted to Become a Scientist
As a little boy, Vext was fascinated by one paleontologist, Bob Bakker, whose red beard and excitement about dinosaurs also rubbed off on Vext. The musician told Kerrang that it seemed like a great job to him to be traveling to different places digging up holes. The fascination wore off later, and he thinks it was for the best because he would not have ended up dating a fitness model.
2. His Near-Death Experience
In 2010, Vext recounted his near-death experience saying that he did not see any of his family members who had died. Instead, he was transformed to energy, and his contact was with people he had known for thousands of years. He felt comfortable and peaceful until a voice said to him that he did not have to stay. That was the message for him to get back to his own body and continue with the unfinished business on Earth.
3. He Was Abandoned at Birth
Vext disclosed to Psychology Today that their birth abandoned him and his twin brother at the hospital. Fortunately, that was destiny’s way of connecting him with a couple that was desperately in need of children. The adoptive parents had been on a waitlist for two years, so when the hospital asked if they could take both boys, they gladly accepted. The two boys and an adoptive sister had the love and affection of their stay-at-home mother and veterinarian father.
4. His Twin Brother Was Predicted to be Serial Killer
Despite growing up in a loving home, Vext’s brother began acting strangely. He would hurt the family pets and beat up the family members. He started performing what appeared to be rituals like touching surfaces a certain number of times and having anxiety attacks that would cause him to drive miles away from home. After being taken to the hospital, he was diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder, bipolar and serial killer prediction. Unfortunately, instead of seeking further assistance, Vext’s family accepted his brother’s behavior and rationalized his violence. His father especially would excuse the behavior even when Vext’s brother hurt everyone else around him.
5. He Started Drinking Alcohol at 12
Vext’s upbringing is not one he is proud of; he grew up surrounded by drugs, so eventually, he got sucked into substance dependence. At home, his father had become an alcoholic; on the streets, his friends’ parents were drug addicts. He remembers that one of his friend’s mother was a heroin addict, and she would have him, and his friends stay at her house doing drugs. Although Vext started experimenting with alcohol at 12, by the time he was 15, he had graduated to weed, ecstasy, and mushrooms.
6. His Background Contributed to Him Becoming Violent
Growing up in Brooklyn, Vext had understood that staring at another person for too long was taken as asking for trouble. He had become accustomed to seeing people being stabbed for such behavior; thus, he grew up quite guarded. When he moved away from Brooklyn to Los Angeles, he would spot someone at the bar staring at him and throw beer bottles at the person. Like his twin brother, the musician did not see the issue with his behavior.
7. He Testified Against His Brother
The serial killer prediction that the psychiatric hospital had of Vext’s brother almost came true in 2010. The brother broke into Vext’s apartment and struck him with a crowbar. He beat up the musician so bad that he fractured his skull, burst his spleen, and broke his arm. It was during this incident that Vext had his near-death experience. His brother was high, and Vext testified against him, which led to the brother being convicted for attempted murder. He is currently serving a 17-year sentence.
8. “Remember When” Was an Open Letter to His Twin Brother
According to an interview with Loudwire, Vext described the song as an open letter to his brother. It took the musician eight years to write the song, which helped him come to terms with the fact that he could never save his brother. The songwriting process was a step towards healing, and even when recording, he could not help but shed tears. Vext was appreciative to the band for being supportive all along and did not mind him laying himself bare for the whole world to see who he was and his childhood traumatic experiences.
9. Being in Snot was a Privilege and Life-Changing Experience
Vext used to be a truant, so he could see Snot playing. He loved Lynn Strait, who he says influenced his vocal style. After Strait died, Mikey Doling and Sonny Mayo asked Vext to audition; he was honored to get a chance to join one of the heavy metal bands that had inspired him. What made Snot more special was that Sonny noticed Vext’s addiction to drugs and alcohol and decided to help. Consequently, for the period he played with the band, Vext got sober.
10. He Dated Women with Mental Health Issues
Therefore, normality meant violence and mental illness to Vext so he would seek mentally sick women. He recounted that he was with a mentally ill woman for five years but had to give up on her because she was destroying him. After that relationship, Vext decided to stay single and work on himself because he felt he could not pick a healthy partner.