Gwar's Cory Smoot (AKA Flattus Maximus) Dead at 34; No Plans to Cancel Tour

Categories: Obituaries
Cory Smoot, the guitarist for satirical, costumed heavy metal band Gwar, has died at the age of 34.

He was found dead on the tour bus by his bandmates while refueling in Pembina, North Dakota, before crossing into Canada. His death took place only hours after completing a performance at First Avenue in Minneapolis, on Wednesday night. The cause of death is still unknown.

Known as the red-faced, white dreadlock-wearing Flattus Maximus, Smoot joined the band in 2002, and completed several albums with GWAR, including a live album and a compilation album.

Nothing out of the ordinary had been observed by First Avenue's general manager Nate Kranz on the night before Smoots died.

"There was nothing unusual about the show last night, it was about as normal as you can get," he told New Times's Minneapolis sister publication City Pages yesterday. "Conrand [Sverkerson, First Avenue's longtime stage manager], their drummer, and their tour manager went and had one drink at O'Donovans after the show, and they got on their tour bus, we let them out of the garage, and sent them on their way."

Gwar's lead singer and frontman Dave Brockie also issued issued a statement on the band's website.

"We have lost a brother, a husband, a son, and one of the most talented musicians that ever slung an ax," said Brockie. "We are completely devastated and shocked beyond belief. Never have I seen starker proof of the fragility of life."

First Avenue had been a regular venue for Gwar over the years. Despite Smoots death, the band will continue to tour, says Brockie.

"He would want us to go on and would be pissed if we didn't," says Brockie. "Plus we know the fans don't want us to quit."

Smoot, accompanied by Brockie and band music technician Dave "Gibby" Gibson, will be transported back to his home in Richmond, Virginia, where a private funeral service will be held. Out of respect for Smoot, the character Flattus Maximus will be retired, says Brockie.

"Flattus has decided to return to his beloved 'Planet Home' and will never return to this mudball planet again," says Brockie. "And this is a sadder place for that."

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