Renowned Post-Hardcore Musician Rick Froberg, of ‘Drive Like Jehu’ and ‘Hot Snakes’ Fame, Dies Aged 55
The music world mourns the untimely loss of Rick Froberg, a singer, guitarist, and visual artist celebrated for his contributions to influential post-hardcore bands Drive Like Jehu and Hot Snakes. Froberg, aged 55, passed away suddenly from natural causes on the evening of June 30, according to an announcement made by his longtime collaborator and friend, John Reis, on Instagram.
From Pitchfork to Hot Snakes : Rick Froberg’s Legacy and Enduring Impact
Born in Los Angeles and later residing in Encinitas, California, Froberg made a significant impact on the music scene, lending his talents to various bands in the San Diego area. As a teenager, he formed the band Pitchfork with Reis, who later established Rocket from the Crypt. After Pitchfork dissolved in 1990, Froberg and Reis joined forces once again, forming Drive Like Jehu alongside Mike Kennedy on bass and Mark Trombino on drums. In 1991, they released their self-titled debut. Drive Like Jehu, was active for four years but dissolved shortly after the release of their major-label debut “Yank Crime” in 1994. Nevertheless, their influence on the evolution of hardcore into emo was substantial, with “Yank Crime” becoming a post-hardcore and rock classic.
While Reis continued performing with Rocket from the Crypt, he collaborated with Froberg once again in 1999 to form Hot Snakes. Before dissolving in 2005, they released three albums – “Automatic Midnight,” “Suicide Invoice,” and “Audit in Progress.” Hot Snakes reunited for a tour in 2011 and had remained active since, culminating in the release of their latest album, “Jericho Sirens,” in 2018. Notably, their song “This Mystic Decade” was featured on the soundtrack for the popular video game, Grand Theft Auto V. Only two weeks before his passing, on June 14, Froberg took to Instagram to reveal that Hot Snakes’ new record was “very near done.”
Froberg, also recognized for his illustrative talents, created album artwork, promotional materials, and merchandise designs for all of his bands, including Rocket from the Crypt and Reis’ Swami Records label.
The news of Froberg’s passing has reverberated through the music community, prompting an outpouring of tributes from countless musicians. Maggie Vail of Bangs and Hurry Up shared her grief on Twitter, saying, “I cannot, at all, handle this Rick Froberg news. Front person of my favorite band(s), gem of a human, a million memories, and all of them brilliant. I vividly remember seeing Hot Snakes for the first time. Bangs were opening their first SF show. I hadn’t heard them yet, but we loaded in during their soundcheck, my jaw dropped, and if I’m honest, I’ve never picked it up.”