Former Weezer bassist Mikey Welsh has died at the age of 40.
The statement added:
We are deeply saddened to announce that Mikey Welsh passed away unexpectedly. He will forever be remembered as an amazing father, artist, and friend. May he rest in peace.
The band also paid their respects on their own Twitter account Twitter.com/Weezer, writing: “We are shocked and deeply saddened to hear the awful news, our friend and fellow Weezer rocker @mikeywelsh71 has passed away. We love you Mikey.”
Welsh was found unresponsive on his hotel room floor at 2:50 p.m. on Saturday, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.
Current bassist Scott Shriner later added his own tribute to Welsh. “Really bummed about Mikey,” he wrote on his Twitter page Twitter.com/sgs711. “My heart goes out to his family and friends. Such a talent… he made a special mark on the world with his art.”
The cause of Welsh’s death is yet to be determined, although authorities suspect a drug overdose after prescription drugs and a bag of white powder believed to be heroin were found in his hotel room.
He joined the band in 2000 after original bassist Matt Sharp left in 1998. Welsh played with Weezer until August 2001 and appeared on hits from their self-titled album that year, also known as ‘The Green Album’, including ‘Island In The Sun’ and ‘Hash Pipe’.
In the same year, the Boston-based musician suffered a mental breakdown and later attempted suicide before he quit the band.
In his later years he dedicated himself to painting and he worked on large-scale figures and abstracts.
In the weeks leading up to his passing, Welsh posted a series of cryptic tweets writing on September 26: “Dreamt I died in Chicago next weekend (heart attack in my sleep). Need to write my will today.”
You can watch footage of Mikey Welsh in his artist’s studio below, and check out some of his artworks on his website. The website Weezerpedia has set up a digital eulogy page where fans can pay their respects.