Former Weezer bassist Mikey Welsh has been found dead in a Chicago hotel room.
Rolling Stone reports that Welsh, who replaced Matt Sharp in Weezer for three years in the late-‘90s, was found dead in the Raffaello Hotel in Chicago on October 8 after failing to check out at 1pm.
The cause of death is currently suspected to be a drug overdose. An autopsy is planned.
Welsh first began playing with Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo in 1997 during the band’s hiatus, and joined the band proper in 1998 following the departure of Matt Sharp. He toured with the band and appear on their 2001 self-titled “Green Album”.
He admitted to suffering a “mental breakdown” due to drug use and tour exhaustion in 2001 and left the band, subsequently retiring from music to focus on his art career. He was replaced by Scott Shriner.
Welsh had 13 exhibitions as of 2008. He was part of the ‘outsider art’ movement, produced bright, primitive pieces. His work has appeared as designs on Burton snowboards and on an album cover for Twin Berlin.
Eerily enough, Welsh tweeted on September 26: “dreamt i died in chicago next weekend (heart attack in my sleep). need to write my will today.”
Weezer wrote in a statement that reads, in part: “A unique talent, a deeply loving friend and father, and a great artist is gone, but we will never forget him”.
Welsh is survived by his wife and two children. He was 40 years old.