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Drive Like Jehu, Hot Snakes Vocalist & Guitarist Rick Froberg Passes Away, Age 55

3 July 2023 | 8:51 am | Mary Varvaris

He passed away from natural causes.

Hot Snakes

Hot Snakes (Source: Supplied)

Rick Froberg, the singer and guitarist of the influential post-hardcore outfits Drive Like Jehu and Hot Snakes, passed away at age 55 from natural causes.

Longtime collaborator John Reis announced Froberg’s death on Instagram on Sunday (2 June), writing:

“Rick passed away suddenly last night from natural causes. His art made life better. The only thing he loved more than art and rock n roll was his friends. He will forever be remembered for his creativity, vision and his ability to bring beauty into this world. I love you, Rick. I will miss you for the rest of my life.”

Drive Like Jehu’s influence has stretched far beyond their active time as a band, as they released music for four years. 

Their 1994 album, Yank Crime, is regarded as a cultural touchstone of the emo/post-hardcore scene, with The Guardian praising its 10-minute songs, “choppy rhythms and glacial tempos alongside the usual punk energy”. 

The band reunited for a one-off, free concert in 2014 (per Pitchfork) before reuniting throughout 2015 and 2016.

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Drive Like Jehu were only around for five years at the start of the 1990s, as guitarist John Reis juggled duties in that band and the eventually more well-known and far-longer-lived Rocket From The Crypt.

Still, the group were, along with bands such as Rites Of Spring, Jawbreaker and Fugazi, indelibly influential on the development of the second and early third-wave emo and post-hardcore scenes of the mid-to-late ‘90s and first few years of the 2000s.

Froberg’s sudden and tragic passing comes two weeks after the singer posted to Instagram that Hot Snakes were almost finished recording the follow-up to 2018’s Jericho Sirens. He said about the band’s new album, “Hot Snakes, by the way, is working on a new record - very near done - so look out.”