Former Machine Head and Crowbar Drummer Tony Costanza has died

The drummer with a "huge heart" died at the age of 52

Tony Costanza, the former Machine Head and Crowbar drummer, has died aged 52.

Costanza died in his sleep, as confirmed by Afzaal Nasiruddeen, a former bandmate in the New York metal group Crisis. No cause of death has yet been revealed.

“Tony Costanza was one of a kind. A man with a huge heart, love and loyalty for the ones close to him. I cannot relate to this reality of loss yet,” Nasiruddeen wrote on Facebook. “I know he had a lot of admirers, and I was one of his biggest. He would have literally taken a bullet for me. Thats the kind of gangster brother he was.”

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He continued: “Tony died in his sleep this morning so I am sure he was at peace and in no pain. I wish his Mother all the strength she can muster as she will need every ounce of it.”

Nasiruddeen added that he is starting a GofundMe page to cover Costanza’s funeral expenses.

“Please help if you knew him and care. Please hold your loved ones close as the sense of loss is insurmountable sometimes. Tony my friend, I will love you and cherish our memories together, forever. Hope you are in a better pace now. Rest in Peace.”

Costanza was a founding member of Machine Head, but left the band before they properly recorded their debut LP, 1994’s ‘Burn My Eyes’. Credited with writing drum parts on eight of the album’s 11 tracks, he performed three shows with the band before his departure.

“I left the band because I was very young and new at playing drums, especially double bass,” Costanza told Sick Drummer magazine in 2008. “The band called for a lot of double bass. Basically, out of my own insecurities, I self-destructed.”

Costanza joined sludge-metal band Crowbar in 2001, but left in 2004 after playing on their seventh studio album, ‘Sonic Excess In Its Purest Form’. He was also a member of the band Crisis from 1999 to 2001.

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Chris Kontos, who replaced Costanza in Machine Head, paid tribute to the drummer. “R.I.P. Tony Costanza. I’m thankful that you and I remained in contact over the past 27 years. Im so sad to hear about your passing bro. … He was a great drummer. Our legacy is forever connected by our participation in Machine Head.”

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R.I.P. Tony Costanza. I'm thankful that you and I remained in contact over the past 27 years. Im so sad to hear about your passing bro. After I played on the very first MH demo ever some time in June 1992 I moved to NYC for a short time. In that time Tony became the first drummer of Machine Head. They did a demo and a video for Fuck It All. He played the first string of live shows/parties in the Bay Area. When I came back home in October 92' I actually was Tony's drum tech for a few shows. Shortly after that the drum position became available for what ever reason it makes no difference now, that's when I became the second drummer for MH. We wrote some more songs together and then recorded the "Fuck It All" demo that got the band signed. He came up with some really great drum parts. He had a very powerful style and it was a challenge to put my own spin on his contributions to the music and for sure kept a few of his parts. Tony was a very kind person and always supported and encouraged me over the years with music and then with BMX. We have both confided in each other when we hit hard times over time. Im thankful for his friendship and brotherhood. He was a great drummer. Our legacy is forever connected by our participation in Machine Head and the Fuck It All/Burn My Eyes 1992-1995 moment. Be thunder bro…be thunder! #machine_head #bme25

A post shared by Chris Kontos (@chris.kontos) on

Machine Head frontman Rob Flynn wrote: “Just got the news that our original drummer for Machine Head Tony Costanza passed away. Very sad to hear. Tony was involved in about half of the song on burn my eyes in someway or another, and we maintained our friendship throughout all these years. If anybody has any more information, please DM me.”

Crowbar also honoured Costanza, posting on Facebook: “This is so sad!!! Tony was such a sweet and talented guy. So happy we had the pleasure of him playing drums on Sonic Excess in its Purest Form!! God bless u Tony and our hearts go out to your family!!”

This is so sad!!! Tony was such a sweet and talented guy. So happy we had the pleasure of him playing drums on Sonic Excess in its Purest Form !! God bless u Tony and our hearts go out to your family!!

Posted by Crowbar on Tuesday, August 4, 2020

 

 

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