I am unexpectedly moved this morning by the news that Mitch Lucker has died following a Halloween motorcycle accident.
Mitch was the “vocalist” for the American metal band Suicide Silence. I qualify the word “vocalist” because such is Suicide Silence’s extreme brand of metal that he more growled than sang.
Mitch was 28 years old. Very much in the “danger zone” for popular musicians, especially male musicians. I have written before about how the fast-living and risk-taking path to the top in genres like rock and rap disposes musicians to an early death.
Those who reach the pinnacle are five times more likely to die than their contemporaries of the same age and nationality. But we have no objective data on how many die trying or die in failure. I would predict that the few famous deaths that catch our attention are the tip of a much bigger iceberg.
I am no fan of Suicide Silence’s music. I am moved nonetheless by Mitch’s death because I had the immensely good fortune of sitting among members of the band and enjoying Mitch’s company on a flight from Sydney to Brisbane last year. I had just published Sex, Genes and Rock ‘n’ Roll, and I was on my way to give one of the first talks to promote the book. Continue reading A memory of Mitch Lucker