He shall overcome

By CHRIS FARAONE  |  May 19, 2009

“I was always a wild kid,” he says about the six years he spent through 10th grade riding buses two hours each way to Hingham schools. “A lot of other kids in Metco would come home and have to be inside when the street lights came on — that wasn’t me. My mom was out a lot working and doing gang-peace work — I was witnessing shootouts and having gang bangs in my bedroom.”

In 2002, Amadeus was diagnosed with schizophrenia — a disorder that drives much of his creativity, and that has gotten him institutionalized more than once. Only recently did he find an effective medical regimen. Between unsupportive associates, who insisted that he had nothing to worry about, and the pocket full of blow and dough from his day job, he often abandoned his anti-psychotic diet, self-medicating with fistfuls of painkillers and more than three grams of coke a day. It’s a cliché for artists to claim they rhyme for catharsis, but in his case it makes some sense.

“People should try exposing themselves to the world — and standing naked on this filthy place that we call Earth. I come from the same place you come from. It’s all about knowing who you are. When I was writing this album, I was disgusted with myself, not just because of the way I was living, but because I just had a son and a girl and a nice place and I was still caught up. House of Broken Mirrors is all about smashing that negative image.”

AMADEUS THE STAMPEDE + GREATER GOOD + HEDDSHOTTS + SKINNY CAVALLO | Middle East upstairs, 472 Mass Ave, Cambridge | May 28 at 9 pm | $13 | 617.864.EAST or www.mideastclub.com

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