Weezer tribute as ex-bassist dies
Weezer have paid tribute to their former bass player Mikey Welsh, who has been found dead in a Chicago hotel room.
The band posted a message on their website describing the 40-year-old, who became an artist after leaving to band, as a "unique talent".
Chicago police spokeswoman Laura Kubiak said Welsh was supposed to check out of the Raffaello Hotel on Saturday. When he didn't, hotel staff went to his room, entered it and found his body.
The cause of death was undetermined pending toxicology tests, with results taking up to six weeks, authorities said.
Welsh performed with Weezer from 1998 to 2001, leaving after suffering a nervous breakdown, according to the band's website. He eventually established himself in a second career as a painter.
"I'm taking a break from music," he told MetroWest Daily News in 2002. "I really feel the need to reinvent myself and move on, and I couldn't be happier painting. Music is still an important part of my life, but I really have no desire to actually play it."
Weezer posted a message which said Welsh's time with the band was "vital, essential, wild and amazing".
"A unique talent, a deeply loving friend and father, and a great artist is gone, but we will never forget him," the band said.
Welsh had planned to attend Weezer's Sunday performance at Riot Fest in Chicago.
"I'm excited to see the boys, hang out and have some fun," he wrote on his Facebook page earlier this month.