Since his passing earlier this week, the metal community has heavily mourned the loss of Black Dahlia Murder frontman Trevor Strnad. The probable cause of the 41-year-old vocalist’s death appears to be suicide, and his death has spawned heartbreaking reactions from fans and peers alike.
“It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Trevor Scott Strnad,” the band wrote on Instagram. “Beloved son, brother, and Shepard of good times, he was loved by all that met him. A walking encyclopedia of all things music. He was a hugger, a writer, and truly one of the world’s greatest entertainers. His lyrics provided the world with stories and spells and horror and whimsy. It was his life to be your show.” The post also included the number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
Machine Head frontman Robb Flynn posted a touching and heartbreaking tribute to Strnad via Metal Hammer. “He and I just hit it off,” Flynn said. “He had this ridiculously hot girl with him, but he ended up staying out with me all night. We got sh*t-faced – absolutely annihilated. He actually threw up on the bar at one point when we were doing shots, then kept on drinking! This was the first time I hung out with the guy, and it was like I’d known him for 10 years. I was absolutely raging with him, laughing my *ss off. He was the sort of person who could hang out with anybody and you’d be best friends right away.”
Flynn said the pair bonded over a common love for all things heavy in the music world and life on the road. “We mostly talked about music and about metal,” he said. “We talked about how our tours were going, and how great Municipal Waste were. I ended up picking his brain: ‘You heard any good bands that you’re loving right now?’ I’ll never forget it, cos he told about this band Scarlet, and I’ve never forgotten it. The opening song on their record was called “Obsolete”, man, I must have listened to that song 500 times at least. I was listening to it when we were working on The Blackening, and that one song had such an influence on that record – the way I started the record, the way I played some of the songs. And that was all down to Trevor, because he turned me onto this band.”
“He was more knowledgeable about metal than most people I know. He was constantly going down YouTube rabbit holes, just listening to demo bands. He was so into it. I don’t know if we could have asked for a better ambassador for metal than him. But he was also a huge fan of Motown and R&B. We had a conversation about it – if he wasn’t listening to metal, he’d put on some Motown.”
Flynn said Strnad opened up about his personal life and discussed his battles with depression when he appeared on his podcast. “The last time I saw him was when they played in the Bay Area in 2021,” Flynn said. “We hung out before and after the show, we didn’t get shi*faced that night – their next show was in Los Angeles, so he didn’t want to be a mess. I’d had him on my podcast a few weeks before that, and we talked about that. We’d spoken [on the podcast] for two-and-a-half hours – it was the kind of conversation you’d never have with somebody on tour or backstage. He’d been in a pretty dark place – he’d done an interview two or three months before, and it was brutally honest – he went really in-depth into how he’d been depressed and how hard the pandemic had been. We ended up talking about that interview on the podcast, and he told me how he’d been doing Ketamine therapy for depression. He seemed to be in a better place than he had when he’d done the interview a couple of months earlier. The feedback I got from that podcast was: ‘That guy is the nicest, sweetest dude.’ And I told that to him afterwards, and he was stoked by it.”
Flynn said the pair last connected when each had lost their mother. “The last time I spoke to him was after his mom passed away, which was a couple of months after my mom passed away. I reached out to him and asked him if he was doing OK. He got back to me: ‘Thanks for reaching out man, I’m doing OK.’ And that was it. That was the last time we spoke.”
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