Cory Smoot, who performed with the costumed performance art/metal band GWAR under the name Flattus Maximus, was found dead on the band's tour bus.
The 34-year-old Smoot played guitar and helped produce several GWAR albums. His body was reportedly discovered by his bandmates after a show in Minneapolis. A cause of death is still unknown.
GWAR frontman Dave Brockie released a statement, saying:
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"It is with a sense of profound loss that GWAR must announce the passing of their long-time guitarist and beloved friend Cory Smoot, also known to thousands of metal fans worldwide as Flattus Maximus," says Brockie. "At this point we are just dealing with the loss of our dear friend and brother. Please give your thoughts and your prayers to Cory, his family, and all the people that love him."
Smoot had been a member of the band since 2002. Even though other guitarists have donned Smoot's costume and performed as the Flattus Maximus "character, " fans referred to Smoot as the "true" Flattus.
The satirical band was formed in Virginia in 1984 as part of a live stage show and film project. Their elaborate costumes and over-the-top gross-out humor quickly made them cult figures in the metal scene.