GWAR guitarist found dead on tour bus

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Cory Smoot, the lead guitarist for heavy metal band GWAR, was found dead aboard his tour bus yesterday following a concert in Minneapolis.  Manager Jack Flanagan and record label Metal Blade said Smoot’s body was discovered before the bus crossed into Canada while on their six-week North American tour with three other bands –Every Time I Die, Ghoul and Warbeast.  According to Rolling Stone, it was Smoot’s bandmates who found him early Thursday morning.

It is unclear what caused Smoot’s death or how old he was.  Flanagan and Metal Blade’s Kelli Malella, vice president of publicity, said they had no further information to release about Smoot.

Known widely by stage name Flattus Maximus, Smoot joined Gwar in 2002 to play guitar and co-produce 2009’s Lust in Space and 2010’s Bloody Pit of Horror. Flattus was a memorable character in the metal community –he would wear a red mask, white dreadlocks, dinosaur-head shoulder pads and reptile feet.  Despite being the fifth guitar player to assume the sci-fi fantasy name and character of ‘Flattus Maximus’, Cory Smoot was known as the one ‘True Flattus’, being the person who portrayed the character for the longest time.

GWAR frontman Dave Brockie (better known as Oderus Urungus) described Smoot as ‘one of the most talented guitar players in metal today.’  He said in a statement:  “At this point we are just dealing with the loss of our dear friend and brother…Please give your thoughts and your prayers to Cory, his family, and all the people that love him.”

The band, formed by Brockie in Virginia in 1984, has been known for its comically grotesque sci-fi/fantasy-based costumes, stage antics and vulgar lyrics.  There has been no word yet on funeral arrangements or the remaining shows of the tour.

Images by jasonawhite and Incase. via Flickr.

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