Just a few days into the band's European tour with Amon Amarth, bassist Mike Alexander of British thrashers Evile was suddenly taken ill and rushed to hospital, but tragically passed away in Lulea, Sweden [on Monday, October 5]. He was 32 years old.
Evile members Matt Drake, Ol Drake and Ben Carter have released the following statement:
"This is so hard to find the words to express fully how we feel. We can't believe or accept what's happened. One minute we're talking to our buddy, Mike, the next minute we can never speak to him again.
"There's so many things rushing through our heads that we want to say, do and feel. We half expect him to come round the corner and call us 'dickheads'. We can't get our heads around it.
"It upsets us so much that he was away from his family when this happened, although knowing Mike, we're at least glad he was on tour doing what he loves.
"We're lost for words. We all miss him so much already. He was such a headstrong, genuinely nice guy who loved music and his family. We've got so many brilliant memories with him.
"Our hearts go out to his daughter, family and friends at this tragic, difficult time.
"Mike is much loved and is sorely missed.
"Rest in peace, brother."
Ultimate-Guitar.com columnist / interviewer Robert Gray wanted to share the following words on Mike Alexander's passing:
"I'd like to express my condolences to the friends / band members and family of the late Evile bassist Mike Alexander, who tragically passed away recently. I never personally spoke to the man, but he happened to be nearby when I interviewed Matt Drake at Cardiff's Barfly back in late 2007 when the band supported Sanctity on a UK tour. They all came across as great, fun loving guys, and the same can be said for Mike. With the release of 'Infected Nations' back in September, for me, it affirmed that Evile aren't a one-trick pony, and are destined to be future thrash metal legends - and I don't say that lightly at all. I really feel that that Evile's music, especially debut 'Enter the Grave', is some of the best of the last twenty years. Death is always a tragic thing, but is especially tragic at the age of 32 - nobody should die that young, and especially on the cusp of great things to come. Let's hope Evile regroup, and soldier on in Mike's memory.
"The next time you have a pint readers, please have a toast to the late Mike Alexander (1977-2009)."
Evile's sophomore album, "Infected Nations", was released on September 21 in Europe and September 22 in the U.S. via Earache Records.