Frontman describes shock of discovering guitarist dead in tour bus but says he’d want them to stay on the road

Cory Smoot

Tragic: Cory Smoot

Gwar frontman Dave Brockie says the band will continue their US tour despite the death of Cory Smoot, because the guitarist would have wanted it that way.

The science-fiction monster metallers found Smoot, also known as Flattus Maximus, dead on their tour bus on the journey between Minneapolis and Canada.

But they played on – and Brockie, alias Oderus Urungus, says they’ll continue to do so.

He tells fans: “We have lost a brother, a husband, a son, and one of the most talented musicians that ever slung an axe. Cory Smoot, longtime lead guitar player for the band Gwar, has passed at the age of 34.

“The last time I saw Cory was after our show in Minneapolis on Wednesday night. He was excited about the band and especially the new studio he was building in the Slave Pit back in Richmond. He was deeply in love with his wife, Jamie, and was busily planning their family and future in the beautiful home they had.

“As usual, after some autographs and banter, I was probably the first person in their bunk as we got ready for a big drive into Canada. As I fell into the slumber that only playing Gwar shows can induce, everything seemed right in the world.

“We found Cory the next morning as we collected passports for a border crossing. He was in his bunk, unresponsive, and it quickly was clear that he was dead. It was without a doubt the most horrible moment of my life. That’s all I can say about it.

“Within moments everybody was off the bus, standing in a wind-swept parking lot in the middle of nowhere, trying to come to grips with the shock of it.

“First the ambulance arrived, and then the police, but there was nothing that could be done other than fully investigate the scene and remove Cory with care and respect.

“We are completely devastated and shocked beyond belief. One night we had our friend and colleague, happy and healthy in the middle of our best tour in years; and the next morning, so suddenly, he was gone. Never have I seen starker proof of the fragility of life.”

As preparations are made to send Smoot’s body home to Richmond, Brockie says the band thought hard about what to do next.

“After a lot of consideration, we have decided to carry on with the tour. Although the great temptation would be to return home, curl into a foetal position and mourn, we can’t do that.

“First off, Cory wouldn’t want that. He would want us to go on and would be pissed if we didn’t. Plus we know the fans don’t want us to quit. They are going to want a chance to come to grips with their loss, and there is no better place to do that than at a Gwar show.

“Though it’s hard to believe, I think we all would feel a lot worse if we stopped. For better or worse we have to see this through.

“That doesn’t mean that Cory will make his final journey without us. When the arrangements have been finalised, Cory’s best friend and Gwar’s music tech Dave ‘Gibby’ Gibson and myself will return home to attend the services and pay the proper respects to our comrade.

“Out of respect to Cory, we have officially retired the character of Flattus Maximus. Flattus has decided to return to his beloved ‘Planet Home’, and will never return to this mudball planet again. And this is a sadder place for that.”

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