Rick Froberg, the acclaimed post-hardcore frontman for bands such as Drive Like Jehu, Hot Snakes, Pitchfork, and Obits, has tragically passed away at the age of 55.
Froberg’s longtime collaborator and friend, John Reis, announced the news on Instagram, revealing that Rick passed away suddenly from natural causes.
Froberg’s impact on the music scene cannot be overstated. As the frontman and guitarist for Drive Like Jehu, Froberg was known for combining the immediacy of punk with inventive playing and passionately raw vocals. Drive Like Jehu’s 1994 album, Yank Crime, with its unique blend of 10-minute songs, choppy rhythms, and glacial tempos, has solidified its status as a key document of the US punk underground.
The band’s innovative sound influenced subsequent generations of adventurous bands, including At the Drive-In and the Blood Brothers.
After Drive Like Jehu disbanded, Froberg and Reis continued their musical journey together in Hot Snakes, delivering bracing garage punk with four acclaimed albums. Froberg’s creative vision extended beyond music as he also showcased his talents as a visual artist, designing energetic pop art cover designs for his own releases and Rocket From the Crypt, Reis’s band.
Froberg’s contributions extended beyond Drive Like Jehu and Hot Snakes. He formed the quartet Pitchfork in 1986, releasing an EP and an album titled “Eucalyptus” in 1990. Additionally, he played a vital role in Obits, a band he fronted alongside guitarist Sohrab Habibion, releasing three albums between 2009 and 2013.
Rick Froberg’s untimely passing leaves a void in the music world. His creativity, vision, and ability to bring beauty into the world through art and rock ‘n’ roll will forever be remembered. Fans and fellow musicians mourn the loss of a post-hardcore icon whose influence has left an indelible mark on the genre.
As we remember Rick Froberg, we celebrate his contributions and the lasting legacy he has left behind.