Last week, heavy metal singer Eric Wagner passed away at age 62 to due to COVID-19 complications. Prior to his hospitalization, the frontman, who was notoriously anti-vaccine, had been touring with his band The Skull and fellow metal band The Obsessed. This tour was doomed from the start as The Skull had to drop out almost immediately due to a proliferation of cases across the US as well as Wagner’s own COVID complications in early August.
Robert Scott Weinrich, better known as Wino, surprised fans when he dropped out of his Psycho Las Vegas set earlier this month. The Obsessed frontman bailed on his scheduled appearance due to a mask mandate that he vehemently disagreed with. Wino issued a bizarre statement soon after that rationalized his COVID “beliefs.” In the lengthy Facebook post the singer mentioned many conspiracy theories about the virus including his assertion that the government and NIH created the virus as depopulation tool.
Many considered Wino’s recent statements to be tone deaf, especially considering the passing of his longtime acquaintance. Wino, who had been silent on social media since his rant, took to Facebook again to pay respect to Wagner and further justify his previous COVID assertions.
Beginning his statement, Wino reveals that he has known Wagner for “over 30 years,” and that he has crossed paths with him many times throughout their respective careers. Wino claims to be “greatly saddened by his death” before launching into yet another lengthy paragraph touching on claims attacking the singer himself.
Wino emphatically states that he is not indifferent to the death of his friend and that “any insinuations otherwise are beyond reproach.” This comes in response to people calling his previous statements insensitive or ill-timed. Wino calls Wagner a “unique voice and mind” before teeing off on supposed “haters.”
In reference to the metal genre, Wino expresses his disappointment in the people he thought were forward thinking and accepting of freedom of expression.
“It blows my mind to realize that so many people in a genre I would have previously described as forward thinking and cool, get their feathers all ruffled when ideas come down the pike that are “out of the mainstream” way of thinking.”
Playing the freedom of speech card, Wino reiterates that his beliefs are rooted in a type of science that is being “suppressed” and “censored.” Calling politics “BS,” Wino insinuates that “love and music” will be the driving factor in our nation’s journey to a post-pandemic world. “The power we will have will come from being united for the common cause of truth and freedom,” writes the singer.
Earlier this month, it was revealed that Wagner was opposed to taking the COVID-19 vaccine according to his bandmate Ron Holzner. This stance angered Holzner and was a source of schism between the two.