Phil Anselmo Remembers Late Eyehategod Drummer Joey LaCaze
Nearly one month ago, Eyehategod drummer Joey LaCaze passed away at the age of 42. As an essential part of the Southern sludge movement, LaCaze’s death sent a shockwave through the underground metal community. Pantera / Down vocalist Phil Anselmo, who was close with LaCaze, has just offered a heartfelt memorial for the drummer.
After LaCaze’s death was made public, prominent musicians such as Lamb of God‘s Randy Blythe and Shadows Fall‘s Brian Fair, along with bands Pelican, Nonpoint and more offered condolences via Twitter and Instagram. Along with those artists, we now finally have a statement from Phil Anselmo, which was posted earlier today (Sept. 19) by Metal Hammer.
“It was dreadful news and still is for everyone round here,” Phil begins. “Honestly, Joey was one of the funniest motherf—ers you could ever meet in your life. He was one of the most down to earth people I’ve ever known, as well as one of the most humbly yet superbly talented drummers I’ve ever had the opportunity to watch play.”
Anselmo continues, “I was at his funeral, it was held at a place in the French quarter called the Voodoo Temple. It was a beautiful ceremony and a moment where we all felt the pain of the loss. I’m not a spiritual guy, but when the high priestess was giving her sermon, they passed out tambourines and percussive instruments to all these people that loved him. We went through interludes in these gigantic drum circles in his honor. Tears were streaming down my face, sweating was pouring off the top of my head and I was lost… I had my eyes completely closed and I was beating this drum until my thumb basically got dislocated! I wasn’t paying attention to what was around me, I was thinking about Joey.”
The vocalist concludes, “Mike IX Williams [Eyehategod vocalist] stood next to me, and little did I know, but I was getting sprinkles of blood on my head because he was beating this tambourine with such intensity. He had bloodied up his knuckles and pretty much ruined this tambourine… but we all took it later, wrote messages and buried it with his ashes. Mike and his wife live above my studio Nodferatu’s Lair, they’ve been here for almost ten years. We’re twenty feet away from each other and you know, we’ve been through some tough times together – we both became clean together. I’m around ten years, maybe ten years plus, away from hard drugs and Mike too… I’m very proud of him. It was a beautiful ceremony and the perfect sendoff for Joey. But once that happens, there’s always the quietness of the day after. That quietness was like a dagger in our hearts. That was when reality really soaked in.. It’s been a bit dark and gloomy around here since Joey passed.”
A donation page has been launched to aid the LaCaze family. If you’re interested in helping out, donations are being accepted via PayPal to the email address Lilithlux04@gmail.com.