It has just been announced that Gwar guitarist Cory Smoot -- better known to the legions of Gwar fans as Flattus Maximus -- has passed away. Smoot was found dead this morning as they prepared to cross into Canada while on their Return of the World Maggot Tour.
Gwar frontman David Brockie has released the following message via Metal Sucks:
"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."
On a personal note, it was an honor to have met Cory recently, and I'm told that his last interview was the one we ran on Guitar World last week. You can read the interview here.
We'd like to offer our sincere condolences to Cory's family, friends and band mates.