Paul Gray (aka #2 or "The Pig"), bassist for the Iowa hard rock band Slipknot, has passed away at the age of 38. The Des Moines Register reports that Gray was found dead at a hotel in Urbandale, IA at approximately 10:50 a.m. on Monday by an employee at the TownePlace Suites. No signs of foul play or significant trauma were found during the autopsy, the medical examiner said on Tuesday. The cause of Gray's death will not be determined until toxicology results are available, which could take four to six weeks, according to a CNN report.
Gray was one of the founding members of Slipknot and one of the three original members of the band still in the current lineup. His death marks another blow for the Hard Rock community, following the passing of Type O Negative frontman Peter Steele in April and Ronnie James Dio on May 16. Gray recently joined the supergroup HAIL!, featuring singer Tim "Ripper" Owens (ex-Judas Priest and Iced Earth) and guitarist Andreas Kisser (Sepultura), and they were supposed to do a European tour this summer.
Megadeth bassist David Ellefson said in a statement, "I was very shocked and saddened to hear of Paul Gray's passing. I considered him an incredible songwriter, inventive bassist, but more importantly a kind and warm friend. As a fellow musician, I was excited that he would be playing in HAIL! this coming month as I knew it would be a fun experience for him. I'm sad that the European audiences will not get to see him play those shows. I extend my condolences to his family, to Slipknot and their management, as well as his many friends and fans who loved him around the world. He was another one of the 'good ones' in our business... a wonderful man who will be missed by us all."
The band HELLYEAH also released a statement saying, "We are completely shocked and very upset after hearing about the loss of Paul Gray. He was a great friend and a craftsman of one of the most compelling metal bands in history. Our thoughts are with his family, his bandmates and his countless fans and friends around the world. He will be deeply missed."