I have devastating news to report as this one hits close to home for me. Eric Wagner, frontman for the legendary doom metal band Trouble, and more recently The Skull has lost his battle with Covid-19!
It was reported by Wagner’s son, Luke on social media that Eric had passed away on August 22nd. He was 62.
On August 16th, Wagner was admitted to the hospital with COVID pneumonia and unfortunately went downhill from there.
Wagner is best known as the co-founder, songwriter, and singer for the legendary doom metal band Trouble. The band was formed in 1979 in Aurora, Illinois and continues to this day. Trouble was at the forefront of doom metal and considered one of the pioneers of the sub-genre.
The band’s first three albums, Trouble (1984), The Skull (1985), and Run To The Light (1987), were all on Metal Blade Records and are widely considered to be classic doom albums. In 1992, the band was signed to the major label Def American and released the two acclaimed albums, Trouble (1990), and Manic Frustration (1992). The band went on to release three more albums over the years.
Wagner left Trouble in 1997 and rejoined the band again in 2000 until 2008, when he left for the final time.
In 2012, Wagner formed The Skull, named after Trouble’s second album. He incidentally brought along two other members of Trouble to his new band – Ron Holzner on bass guitar and Jeff Olson on drums.
He had other side music projects including his work in Blackfinger, Lid, and Dave Grohl’s Probot.
The Skull recently embarked on a North American co-headlining tour with The Obsessed in late July. The band would go ahead and cancel the rest of their dates on that tour around the mid point due to the uptick in Covid around the country.
The band was also scheduled to perform at Psycho Las Vegas but had to cancel due to Wagner’s hospitalization.
It’s nearly impossible to say how Eric Wagner and Trouble changed the face of doom metal in the early 80s. His influence extends far beyond doom and into all areas of heavy metal as we know it today.
I’ve been a huge fan of Trouble since the very beginning when I picked up their self-titled (now known as Psalm 9) debut album in a record store because I thought it looked cool. That album changed my life as a teenager and I’ve been a fan ever since. I’ve seen The Skull perform live on several occasions and most recently, I was lucky enough to see the band perform live on the beginning of their co-headlining tour with The Obsessed on July 31st, little did I know it would be for the last time.
I also had the pleasure to interview Eric in person before their performance at The Forge on October 2, 2019. You can read that interview HERE!
Everyone here at Horror Patch would like to offer our heartfelt condolences to Eric Wagner’s family, friends, bandmates, and fans at this time. He will be greatly missed.
Eric Wagner : Born April 24, 1959 – Died August 22, 2021