Unwound’s Vern Rumsey has died

Vern Rumsey, who played bass in the great '90s/early 2000s post-hardcore band Unwound, has died. He was 47. Conan Neutron, who was Rumsey's bandmate in current group Household Gods, wrote on Facebook, "Absolutely stunned and shocked. Vern Rumsey is gone. I have no details at all. One of the sweetest and most pure hearts I know and one of my favorite bass players of all time. I can barely process this right now. I was such a fan of what he did, one of my favorite bass players of all time. He was a compatriot, my Household Gods bandmate and my friend of many years. I'm devastated."

Vern's Sailors With Wax Wings bandmate Rich Balling (also of RX Bandits, The Sound of Animals Fighting, Pyramids, and more) also tells us, "Going into the Sailors With Wax Wings album, we did not know each other. He responded enthusiastically when I reached out to him, and throughout the process was patient, kind, and exuded positive energy. You could feel it even through email correspondence. As you read posts about him, you'll see the word 'sweet' mentioned over and over. That is a great descriptor. He was a gentle, creative soul."

Vern formed Unwound with Justin Trosper and Brandt Cardino in 1991 in Olympia, WA and they made eight albums over 10 years, including 1994's New Plastic Ideas, 1996's Repetition, and their classic 2001 swan song Leaves Turn Inside You. Unwound saw their entire catalog get reissued by Numero Group in 2013. He also played in Fitz of Depression, Witchypoo, and other groups over the years.

Household Gods, which also included Slint's David Pajo and Palo Verde's Lauren K. Newman, had just released their debut album, Palace Intrigue, back in May (listen below).

Kimya Dawson wrote a nice tribute on Facebook, saying "I don't know what happened but I was rooting for him just like he always rooted for me. I was such a big fan of him as a person and I was a total groupie of his bands." You can read her whole tribute below.

Rest in peace Vern.