Lead guitarist for the heavy metal band GWAR Cory Smoot has been found dead on the band’s tour bus, following a concert in Minneapolis Thursday.
The band’s record label, Metal Blade, and manager Jack Flanagan reported finding the body of the guitarist Thursday before the bus entered Canada after the Richmond, Va.-based tour, according to the Associated Press.
Smoot, or Flattus Maximus, his onstage alias, was a member of the band – known for its sci-fi and horror costumes – since 2002 and produced the band’s last two albums.
“It is with a sense of profound loss and tragedy that the members of GWAR must announce the passing of their longtime guitarist and beloved friend Cory Smoot,” said band frontman, David Brockie in a statement. “Cory was found deceased this morning as the band prepared for a border crossing.”
Brockie, also known onstage as “Oderus Urungus,” added that “at this point we are just dealing with the loss of our dear friend and brother” and requested privacy.
The GWAR member said that Smoot was “one of the most talented guitar players in metal today,” and indicated that the band will maintain its scheduled appearance in Edmonton, Canada on Friday.
Reports are indicating that Smoot was 34-years-old, while others state that his age is unknown. The cause of death is also unclear, and neither Flanagan nor Metal Blade had any other information to release about the musician.
The band recently appeared at Washington D.C.’s 9:30 Club and are well known for their theatrical performances. Their elaborate costumes often involve gallons of fake blood and they have cultivated a cult following of fans.