Dave Brockie, founder and lead singer of satirical thrash metal band Gwar, died Sunday at age 50.
The news, which was initially reported by Style Weekly, a local newspaper in in Virginia, was confirmed this morning by the band's manager, Jack Flanagan. His full statement appears below:
"It is with a saddened heart that I confirm my dear friend Dave Brockie, artist, musician and lead singer of Gwar passed away at approximately 6:50 p.m. EST Sunday, March 23.
"His body was found Sunday by his band mate at his home in Richmond, Virginia. Richmond authorities have confirmed his death and next of kin has been notified. A full autopsy will be performed. He was 50 years old, born August 30, 1963.
"My main focus right now is to look after my band mates and his family. More information regarding his death shall be released as the details are confirmed."
Police were called to the singer's Richmond home Sunday night after responding to a call by Brockie's roommate. Brockie had already died by the time police arrived. Foul play is not suspected, but a cause of death has yet to be determined.
"Dave was one of the funniest, smartest, most creative and energetic persons I've known," former Gwar bassist Mike Bishop told the newspaper. "He was brash sometimes, always crass, irreverent, he was hilarious in every way. But he was also deeply intelligent and interested in life, history, politics and art."
The band is well known for its elaborate science fiction/horror film inspired costumes, obscene lyrics and graphic stage performances that feature humorous enactments of "taboo" themes.
Brockie's death follows the November 3, 2011, death of Gwar guitarist Cory Smoot, also known as Flattus Maximus. Smoot died as the band prepared to cross into Canada while on their Return of the World Maggot Tour.
After Smoot's death, Brockie released the following message to the band's fans:
"It is with a sense of profound loss and tragedy that the members of Gwar must announce the passing of their long time guitarist and beloved friend Cory Smoot, also known to thousands of metal fans worldwide as Flattus Maximus. Cory was found deceased this morning as the band prepared for a border crossing. There is no word as to the cause of death and the members of Gwar are completely shocked and devastated that this has occurred.
"At this point there is no word on arrangements and the disposition of the remainder of Gwar’s current North American tour, nor are there any details regarding long term plans. At this point we are just dealing with the loss of our dear friend and brother, one of the most talented guitar players in metal today. We ask that our fans and the media be respectful of our request for privacy for those that have suffered this terrible loss. A full statement will be coming in the next day or so, in the meantime please give your thoughts and your prayers to Cory, his family, and all the people that love him."
Stay tuned for continued updates on this story.