Falling in Reverse guitarist Derek Jones dies aged 35

(Image credit: Chelsea Lauren/WireImage)

Derek Jones, founding guitarist for post-hardcore and punk-pop act Falling in Reverse, has died at the age of 35. The cause of death is unknown.

Jones’ bandmate, Ronnie Radke, confirmed the news on Twitter. “I’ll never forget when you picked me up from jail in your old tour van to start Falling In Reverse,” the singer wrote about the electric guitar player.

“Your spirit will be interwoven through the music I write forever. Rest in peace Derek Jones. My heart is broken.”

Jones was born on June 5, 1984 in Lake Forest, California. Growing up he played violin and saxophone in addition to guitar. 

In an interview with Alternative Press, he recalled that as a child he was “heavily influenced by punk rock, and political punk rock,” adding that he “always looked up to AFI and Swedish metal bands such as At the Gates and Soilwork.”

In 2007 Jones joined post-hardcore act A Smile from the Trenches, and a year later he hooked up with Radke in the first version of Falling In Reverse. He remained with both bands until 2010, when he officially left A Smile from the Trenches.

Falling In Reverse released their debut album, The Drug in Me is You, in 2010, which featured Jones alongside lead guitarist Jacky Vincent. 

Jones would switch between rhythm and lead throughout his career with Falling In Reverse, and is the only member of the band other than Radke to appear on all of their studio albums.

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“Music always felt natural,” Jones told Alternative Press. “It made me feel good about myself, and makes me happier than anything else I've tried out there.”

The band's most recent release was the 2020 single The Drug in Me is Reimagined, a piano version of their debut's title track.

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Richard Bienstock

Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.