Former METAL CHURCH drummer KIRK ARRINGTON dead at 61
Arrington left METAL CHURCH in 2006 due to health complications from years of struggling with diabetes. He was initially replaced by Jeff Plate, who had previously played with SAVATAGE and TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA, and later by Stet Howland, who had played with W.A.S.P.
Kirk‘s passing comes less than two years after METAL CHURCH singer Mike Howe was found dead at his home in Eureka, California. According to TMZ, Howe‘s official cause of death was determined to be asphyxia due to hanging. A spokesperson for the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Department told the site authorities were calling it a suicide. He was only 55 years old.
Howe, who fronted METAL CHURCH from 1988 until 1994, officially rejoined the band in April 2015.
Howe is not the first singer of METAL CHURCH to die. David Wayne passed away in May 2005 from complications following a car crash. He was 47 years old.
Wayne sang on METAL CHURCH‘s first two classic offerings (1984’s “Metal Church” and 1986’s “The Dark”) before leaving the group and being replaced by Howe.
In a 2017 interview with Eonmusic, METAL CHURCH guitarist Kurdt Vanderhoof spoke about the ill-fated reunion of the band’s classic lineup for the 1999 “Masterpeace” album. He said: “‘Masterpeace’, which I like to call ‘Disasterpeace’. The whole thing was a great idea, but when we tried to put together, it just didn’t work. We got forced into doing some stuff, and, I swear, when we played Wacken [Open Air festival in Germany] with [classic METAL CHURCH vocalist] David Wayne, the whole thing fell apart with having all the original members. They literally forced us into doing that, and I was telling the management and record company, ‘Look, this is a bad, bad idea.’ We played, and we sucked — I mean, it was horrible. I was, like, ‘Fuck you. I told you, and I warned you that this is bad.'”
Asked why the reunion failed, Kurdt said: “Well, David Wayne couldn’t sing anymore — he was fucked up on drugs; prescription drugs, because that’s ‘different.’ It was fun to play with [fellow guitarist] John Marshall, but Kirk [Arrington] couldn’t do it because of his health, and that’s when I had to cut ties with Kirk. He didn’t play, and he barely played on the record, and it took forever to get that done. It just didn’t work. It was a horrible feeling. We did a tour and it was awful. We’re still recovering from that now.”
The guitarist added: “Literally, ‘Masterpeace’, that era was when I decided I am never, never doing that again.”
This past February, METAL CHURCH announced that it had enlisted ROSS THE BOSS and LET US PREY vocalist Marc Lopes to sing for the band.
METAL CHURCH‘s first studio album with Lopes, “Congregation Of Annihilation”, will arrive on May 26 via Rat Pak Records (America) and Reaper Entertainment (Europe).