Graveyard Train's Beau Skowron Passes Away

4 October 2023 | 11:05 am | Mary Varvaris

"The world has just lost a star. We at Graveyard Train feel incredibly lucky that we could be briefly part of his orbit."

Graveyard Train

Graveyard Train (Source: Supplied)

Melbourne gothic foot stompers Graveyard Train have been rocked by the loss of steel guitar player and co-frontman Beau Skowron, who “passed away with grace and good humor after an epic fight with a cruel disease.”

Graveyard Train announced their dearly departed bandmate’s passing on Sunday (1 October). Taking to social media, the band wrote, “There is no one else on the planet like Beau. He existed outside the box, like some kind of burning hot fireball of creativity. He didn’t have an off switch. He was constantly making new music and art, even at the end.”

The band’s loving tribute to Skowron detailed how Graveyard Train was “only one piece of Beau’s kaleidoscopic musical and artistic output”. “When we played music he threw 100% of himself into every song and performance,” Skowron’s bandmates continued.

“He absolutely owned every stage that he stood on - it didn’t matter if it was a huge festival or a tiny bar. At the end of every single Graveyard Train show Beau would be drenched in sweat, his guitar covered in blood and his voice raspy and blown out. He always gave it his all, and he was amazing. If you saw a Graveyard Train show, then you know.”

The Music caught many Graveyard Train shows from their too-short active period. Upon seeing the band play at Brisbane’s The Zoo, The Music’s Steve Bell commented that Skowron was “looking more and more deranged as the set drags on – his mad eyes and crazed demeanour evoking One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest” as the band’s “deep massed voices are almost orchestral (if Deadwood had an orchestra) as they move through Close The BookGet The Gold and the stirring Life Is Elsewhere.”

Graveyard Train’s post concluded, “The world has just lost a star. We at Graveyard Train feel incredibly lucky that we could be briefly be part of his orbit. Writing and playing music with him was a joy and privilege.

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“We send our love to his partner Michelle, Jon, all of his family, friends, and to his fans all over the world.

“One day all will be gone.”

In 2009, Graveyard Train released their debut LP, The Serpent & The Crow, of which probably only 1,000 physical copies of the album are floating around. Their groundbreaking album The Drink, The Devil And The Dance followed in 2010, with Hollow released in 2012, and Takes One To Know One in 2014.

Recalling the stranger elements of artists such as Nick Cave and Modest Mouse, Graveyard Train put their own spin on alt-folk music with every turn they took. And their live shows? Extraordinary.