Chad Hanks, bassist of the Minneapolis, Minnesota hard rock/industrial metal outfit AMERICAN HEAD CHARGE, passed away earlier today at the age of 46. He had reportedly been battling a terminal illness in the months prior to his death, with various social media posts suggesting he was suffering from kidney and liver failure.
A benefit concert to cover Hanks’s final expenses will be held on November 26 at the First Avenue in Minneapolis. The show will serve as a public memorial for all who knew Chad and enjoyed his music.
AMERICAN HEAD CHARGE vocalist Cameron Heacock and keyboardist Justin Fowler both paid tribute to Hanks by posting touching photos of the fallen musician on their respective Facebook pages. Meanwhile, former AHC guitarist Ted Hallows wrote in a separate post: “Rest in peace, my friend. You will be missed and your music will live on forever. Thank you for making me a better guitarist and thank you for all the great memories we shared together. Love you, man.”
Hanks is not the first member of AMERICAN HEAD CHARGE to die at an early age. 2005 saw the tragic passing of guitarist Bryan Ottoson, who died of an accidental prescription drug overdose while on tour in support of “The Feeding” album.
AMERICAN HEAD CHARGE released its fourth album, “Tango Umbrella”, in March 2016 via Napalm Records. The effort marked the band’s first full-length release in over 10 years.
In a 2016 interview with Soundlink Magazine, Hanks stated about “Tango Umbrella”: “I pretty much kind of wrote this whole thing off in 2008-2009 when I thought we were done. I thought they very last thing that would happen would be I’d hear back from Cameron or [AHC guitarist Karma Singh Cheema] and start to hear vocals on demos and stuff like that. But lo and behold, almost two years of silence from him living in California and me living in Minneapolis, and us being the two guys who started the band, I just thought it was done. We did an Indiegogo campaign, we surpassed our goal of the money to make the record, so just the fact that there were fans willing, after six years, to dump money into this kind of, like, blind: ‘Well, we liked em then, hopefully they’ll figure it out.’ And us having a propensity for past drug use and things like that, I’m surprised anyone even gave us a dime. They’re, like, ‘They’re just gonna spend it on booze, and dope — nothing will happen,’ or something like that. The main thing is I’m just grateful the record actually got made, ’cause people give a shit.”
AMERICAN HEAD CHARGE split in August 2009 but reformed two years later.