Death moves in circles. It starts out slow, prowling around the outer borders of your consciousness. When you’re small, your mother has to explain that the dog ran away and won’t be coming back, or that the nice lady from the library won’t be around to help you find new books anymore. Gradually, it creeps closer. A kid you vaguely remember from freshman year gets into a car accident. A rumor reaches you that a girl you knew briefly in middle school took her life.
Then, it’s someone you sat next to in Biology sophomore year and went to see Black Sabbath with when you were sixteen. It’s a musician you admire and shared a beer with once or twice. It keeps coming closer, and closer. Your grandfather passes. Another high school friend walks into traffic. Death continues its relentless march, barely stopping long enough to let you process what’s happening.
You start to worry: who will be next? You call your grandparents more often. You try harder to keep in touch with friends who’ve moved away. It’s never enough, though. Death finds us all, and it takes our loved ones first. This week, the circle finally tightened around a huge number of us, and has made it hard to breathe. This week, the entire extended metal community lost a dear, dear friend in Jason McCash. Indianapolis lost one of its most beloved musicians.
The Gates of Slumber lost a bassist, and a brother. The family of Jason McCash lost a husband, a father, a brother, a son. He left us on Saturday night, April 5th, 2014, two weeks shy of his 38th birthday. Details of his death are pending an autopsy. Jason is survived by his wife Bridget, his son Jayden, and his two daughters Ireland and Athena. He will be missed so, so much.
Those who would like to donate to a memorial fund for Jason’s wife and children may contribute HERE.
Those who knew McCash best were aware of his struggles with depression and substance abuse, and are of the opinion he wanted to end his story this way. “Jason was my best friend 13 years ago or 8 years ago or 4 years ago…as well as the minute before he left this earth. I know for a fact that he wanted this,” his bandmate Bob Fouts has said, cautioning others against thinking that “you ” know” what’s going on with a person unless you really do. I did…and I have never felt pain like this. His beautiful family suffers 1000x harder than myself.”
His bandmate Karl Simon’s pain is palpable. “My best friend is dead. He’s survived by three great kids, his wife, five brothers, sister and his poor father who lived to see his youngest son pass. Jason will be missed. I lost family,” he wrote, adding on The Gates of Slumber’s Facebook page, “There will be no reunion – no more of TGoS. It’s dead beyond dead, and I’ve lost a brother. Please be respectful or silent. It’s a small world and I’m still alive. Remember that shit.
As they said, there is no way of knowing what’s going on within a man’s heart unless you truly know him as a person, and no person alive has any right or reason to judge Jason for any of the choices or issues he’s dealt with. Depression and drug use are very serious and dangerous afflictions, and if anyone you love is dealing with either or both, please do everything in your power to be there for them, and let them know you love them. They are not alone.
Those who truly knew Jason knew of his struggles, but they also knew that he was one of the kindest, most genuine people on this earth. They knew about his easy grin and the way his eyes twinkled when he told a joke, and about how much of himself he poured into the rumbling basslines he summoned forth onstage. Jason was beloved for many reasons, and I feel privileged to have been able to call him a friend for so long, and to have enjoyed his company and his music all over the world.
I first met Jason when I was too young to even sneak into the bars and clubs TGOS played, but he and the boys were always able to sneak me in. From late nights at Brooklyn diners to even later ones in the heart of London, from Tilburg to New Orleans to Memphis and lord knows how many points in between, Jason was a sporadic constant in my life; I always knew I’d be seeing him soon, and always knew I’d be greeted with a giant smile and an even bigger hug. He, Karl, and Bob are all like big brothers to me, and I know I’m far from the only one that feels that way.
Roadburn was huge for him, and for his brothers in The Gates of Slumber – I remember how excited he was to play, and to be surrounded by so many like-minded people and amazing doom bands. He dedicated his life to Doom, and it was only fitting that his life’s work in TGOS was highlighted in such a perfect setting. It’s heartbreaking to think that he will never play again, but comforting to know that he was able to see so many of his dreams realized as TGOS toured extensively throughout the world, released much-loved albums on respected labels, and had a very real impact on countless lives.
He joined the band as a bassist and backup vocalist in 2004, and was present on all but two of the band’s recordings, adding an integral doomed heaviness to their heavy metal thunder. McCash has also played in The Keep, Burn It Down, Amongst the Swarm, and had begun work on a new project entitled Black Carcass; one sincerely hopes that those last recordings will soon be made public.
He spent years fighting his demons while bringing joy to thousands of people across the globe, and now, the only wish I have for him is that he has finally found the peace he’d been seeking, and that, in time, his family, friends, and those that admired him will find a peace of our own.
So goodbye for now, Jason McCash. We all love you so much. Rest in peace, in power, and in doom.
This entry was posted on Monday, April 7th, 2014 at 4:24 pm and is filed under 2014, News . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.