It was confirmed this afternoon that longtime GWAR guitarist Cory Smoot, aka Flattus Maximus, has passed away.
According to a heartfelt statement from GWAR frontman Dave Brockie—who understandably dropped his Oderus Urungus persona—Smoot was found dead in the band’s hotel room as the group prepared for a border crossing into Canada. The cause of the guitarist’s death is currently unknown.
Joining the band back in September 2002, Smoot served as the group’s longest-running Flattus Maximus character. Beyond playing guitar for the band, he also served as its producer on Lust in Space and sang lead vocals on “Release the Flies.” GWAR’s most recent release, Bloody Pit of Horror, was largely chaired by Smoot.
Brockie went on to add that it is unclear what the impact of Smoot’s death will be on the band’s ongoing North American tour. A full press release from the band is expected to be released within the week.
Read Brockie’s full statement below:
It is with a sense of profound loss and tragedy that the members of GWAR must announce the passing of their long time guitarist and beloved friend Cory Smoot, also known to thousands of metal fans worldwide as Flattus Maximus. Cory was found deceased this morning as the band prepared for a border crossing. There is no word as to the cause of death and the members of GWAR are completely shocked and devastated that this has occurred. At this point there is no word on arrangements and the disposition of the remainder of GWAR’s current North American tour, nor are there any details regarding long term plans. At this point we are just dealing with the loss of our dear friend and brother, one of the most talented guitar players in metal today. We ask that our fans and the media be respectful of our request for privacy for those that have suffered this terrible loss. A full statement will be coming in the next day or so, in the meantime please give your thoughts and your prayers to Cory, his family, and all the people that love him.
MXDWN sends out our sincere condolences to Smoot’s friends, fans and band members.