Eric Wagner, the original singer of doom metal legends TROUBLE, has died after a battle with COVID pneumonia. He was 62 years old.
The news of Wagner's passing was confirmed late last night by his son Luke Wagner. Luke wrote on social media: "Hey all this is Luke Wagner his oldest son. Eric Wagner has passed away."
Also mourning Wagner's death is his former THE SKULL bandmate Chuck Robinson. He wrote on Facebook: "This morning I awoke to the worst news... We are all truely devastated.. My dear friend, band mate and brother Eric Wagner has passed. Goodnight Tempter.. We love you.."
It was less than a week ago that Wagner's bandmates went public with the fact that he was infected by the novel coronavirus. At the time, THE SKULL wrote: "We will not be able to play Psycho Vegas this Thursday. While 3 out of 4 of us who tested positive for Covid are recovering nicely... Eric Wagner's bout with Covid has gotten worse and he was admitted to the hospital yesterday with COVID pneumonia. Positive thoughts and words will be helpful."
Just a few days earlier, THE SKULL dropped off its tour with THE OBSESSED, citing "the ongoing and growing COVID situation sweeping the nation again, particularly in the South." The band said that it would "reschedule as much as we can and tour again properly when things calm down."
Unvaccinated people, like Wagner reportedly was, are more likely to be hospitalized or die from COVID-19 than people who are fully vaccinated.
Infectious disease experts have said that large-scale outbreaks among unvaccinated people are being fueled by the highly contagious delta variant.
Dr. Rodrigo Hasbun, a professor of medicine in infectious diseases at UTHealth, told ABC13 about COVID pneumonia: "When you have a viral infection and it first sets in, in a sub group of patients, about 10% to 15% of the patients, you'll develop a very large immune reaction to the virus, and that is what develops and causes the pneumonia."
As for how severe it is, Hasbun said: "COVID pneumonia is really the start. They develop acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), and then they get intubated and ventilated and those are the patients who usually die from COVID. With the new medications, we are seeing less of a mortality when we didn't have all these medications."
Asked what the outlook for someone who gets it is, Hasbun told ABC13: "Last year, we didn't have all those medications, so we were just basically seeing them progress and not doing anything to prevent the progression at the beginning of the pandemic. We saw how they progressed overnight and they got intubated. Once they are intubated, it is very difficult. Some make it out. Some end up having a lung transplant, because their lungs are damaged with pulmonary fibrosis and some die."
TROUBLE formed in 1979 and released several classic albums like "Trouble", "Manic Frustration" and "Plastic Green Head".
Wagner left TROUBLE in April 2008, citing his disdain for the touring life as the main reason for his departure.
In a 2016 interview with Oldschool Metal Maniac, Eric stated about his split with TROUBLE: "I was tired of everything. Tired of touring, playing same songs every night. I wanted to do more things, and I didn't see us doing anything new. I had a bunch of new songs, that I've been working on, which appeared on BLACKFINGER records and THE SKULL records."
Eric was one of the guest singers on Dave Grohl's (NIRVANA, FOO FIGHTERS) heavy metal side project PROBOT, whose 2004 album featured heavy metal vocalists from the '80s and '90s.
Last year, TROUBLE partnered with Hammerheart Records to re-release the legendary doom legends' entire musical catalog, in addition to their upcoming album. This partnership that will see the distribution of the band's entire library of music that spans over three decades.