GWAR bandmember Cody Smoot, the guitarist better known as of Flattus Maximus, was found dead of unknown causes Thursday morning, according to multiple sources.
As the six-stringer in the theatrical Richmond metal band Gwar, Smoot performed with the band last night in Minneapolis, and there were no signs of trouble prior to this morning's discovery.
In a statement, Gwar’s Dave Brockie wrote this:
It is with a sense of profound loss and tragedy that the members of GWAR must announce the passing of their long time guitarist and beloved friend Cory Smoot, also known to thousands of metal fans worldwide as Flattus Maximus. Cory was found deceased this morning as the band prepared for a border crossing. There is no word as to the cause of death and the members of GWAR are completely shocked and devastated that this has occurred. At this point there is no word on arrangements and the disposition of the remainder of GWAR’s current North American tour, nor are there any details regarding long term plans. At this point we are just dealing with the loss of our dear friend and brother, one of the most talented guitar players in metal today. We ask that our fans and the media be respectful of our request for privacy for those that have suffered this terrible loss. A full statement will be coming in the next day or so, in the meantime please give your thoughts and your prayers to Cory, his family, and all the people that love him.
Smoot joined the costumed band in 2002 and also co-produced their 2006 album Beyond Hell, as well as its follow-up Lust In Space. He was the longest serving member to portray the Flattus Maximus character in the band’s history.