Saliva guitarist Wayne Swinny dies aged 59

Saliva guitarist Wayne Swinny
(Image credit: Scott Legato / Getty)

Wayne Swinny, guitarist for nu-metal band Saliva, has died after suffering a brain hemorrhage. He was 59.

The Memphis, TN band confirmed the news with a statement on their Facebook page.

“It is with great sadness that we report the passing of our brother Wayne Swinny,” reads the announcement. “Wayne passed away this afternoon from a spontaneous brain hemorrhage while we were out on tour. Details for the funeral arrangements will be announced shortly. Wayne will be missed by all those who knew him.”

As mentioned in the statement, Saliva were in the middle of a national tour with Through Fire and Any Given Sin. On the morning of March 21, following the band’s Nashville show, Swinny was reported to have been found in “medical distress”.

“He was transported to a hospital where he was diagnosed with a spontaneous hemorrhage in his brain,” read an earlier announcement from the group. “He is currently in the ICU as we await further news. We ask that you keep him in your thoughts and prayers at this time.”

Saliva have since shared an image of Swinny on Instagram, alongside the words “Love you brother.”

The guitarist was one of the founding members of the group, which formed in 1996. Saliva has since undergone various line-up changes, but Swinny had remained a constant. 

The band recorded a total of 11 albums across Swinny’s tenure, including 2001’s Every Six Seconds, which contained the sync hit Click Click Boom and 2007’s Back In Your System, which was certified Gold and contained the single Always.

Saliva’s singer Bobby Amaru has also released a personal statement.

"I'm not even sure what to think or how to feel right now,” says Amaru. “My heart aches for Wayne’s family, his friends, and anyone who had the joy of being around him.

“My heart aches for his daughter Nikki. He loved that little girl so much. He was a guitar hero onstage with all the rock ‘n’ roll swag that most guitar players dream of.

“Offstage he was a proud father, an Ancient Aliens expert, and an incredible human who had zero enemies! He would go out of his way to make sure you had a good time.

“I’m grateful that I got to share almost 12 years of my life with Wayne on the stage and most importantly off the stage. He was the older brother I never had. I learned so much from him and we had a fucking blast together! I will cherish it all for the rest of my life!

“God Bless you, Wayne. I know we'll meet again!!”

In addition, the band’s former vocalist Josey Scott released his own tribute to his one-time bandmate.

“I have no words. Just the love, and the little moments, and the looks that we shared, just between us and the fans, on stage, after stage, all over the world, that no one will ever know.

“Playing music, and writing music with a man like Wayne Swinny, for as long as we did, like we did, in all those places we did, is so very intimate. It was a love we shared together, and I will go into eternity holding on to that love, and those memories. Forever #TheToxicTwins.”

Saliva have not yet issued an update on their plans for the band.

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Matt Parker

Matt is a staff writer for Before that he spent 10 years as a freelance music journalist, interviewing artists for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar,, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched, which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.