Ron Holzner, formerly of doom metal legends TROUBLE and currently in THE SKULL, spoke to the Chicago Reader about the recent passing of his longtime bandmate Eric Wagner. Eric, who was TROUBLE's original singer, died last weekend after a battle with COVID pneumonia. He was 62 years old.
According to the bassist, Wagner was generally opposed to institutionalized medicine but he wouldn't make an exception for the COVID vaccine.
"We argued about it, and he stood his ground on the matter," Holzner said. "I always joked, 'The World According To Eric Wagner — you should write a book.' He lived his life his way."
Wagner, who smoked cigarettes and occasionally drank and vaped, had health issues, but had begun taking better care of himself and switching to a plant-based diet, Holzner said.
Ron also confirmed that Eric recently completed work on a solo album. "It will be released in 2022," he said. "I played on three songs, as well as members of his bands BLACKFINGER and LID and TROUBLE alumni Sean McAllister, Dave Snyder, and Chuck Robinson — as well as former PENTAGRAM guitarist Victor Griffin."
Less than a week before Wagner's death, his bandmates in THE SKULL went public with the fact that he was infected by the novel coronavirus.
Unvaccinated people, like Wagner was, are far more likely to be hospitalized or die from COVID-19 than people who are fully vaccinated.
According to a study released this past Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, unvaccinated people are also nearly five times more likely to be infected with COVID-19 than people who got the shots.
Infectious disease experts have said that large-scale outbreaks among unvaccinated people are being fueled by the highly contagious delta variant.
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.
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.