Internal Bleeding drummer and FDNY Firefighter, William Tolley, tragically passed away on Thursday, April 20th. He was battling a two-alarm apartment fire in Queens, New York when he fell five stories from a rooftop. Tolley was 42 years old and was a firefighter for Ladder 135 Engine 286 for 14 years. He leaves behind his wife, Marie, and his 8-year-old daughter, Isabella.
The FDNY veteran was also a drummer for the band Internal Bleeding, joining when he was just 16 years old. The death metal band is shocked and saddened by the passing of their bandmate. “Our drummer, the heartbeat of the band, William Tolley, died today. There are zero words to describe the loss. He was a good, decent, and honorable man who loved his friends, his family, and the people he served. There will never be another like him. There are no words to describe the utter sadness and despair we feel right now. Bill was our rock, our heart, and supplier of insane laughter. The music world lost a very influential drummer, and the world lost a friend, a father, and a damn good man. We love you Bill.”
The news came during the anticipation of the scheduled weekend release of the band’s new single, “Final Justice.” The song is a teaser of their upcoming full-length album, Corrupting Influence. Internal Bleeding guitarist, Chris Pervelis, says Tolley was very excited for the song and video release and was planning to spend Friday with his bandmates, watching the public reaction. Pervelis says Tolley wouldn’t have wanted his passing to delay their release. Internal Bleeding decided to continue with the release and made the video a tribute to their fallen bandmate.
The FDNY is also paying tribute to Tolley, setting up a foundation to help Tolley’s 8-year-old daughter. All contributions to William N. Tolley’s Children’s Educational Fund will go directly to his daughter, Isabella. Investigators are still trying to determine whether the death was caused by mechanical or human error. Investigators believe Tolley’s ladder may have gotten caught against the building’s facade or scraped against the building, causing him to fall.
Internal Bleeding will continue with their planned nationwide tour next month, paying tribute to Tolley through remembrance, shredding death metal music, and a picture of him on their drum kit.