kyle pavone
Vans Warped Tour - July 24, 2013 - Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in St. Louis, Missouri [Photo by: Brendan Donahue]

New details have begun to emerge about the passing of We Came As Romans vocalist Kyle Pavone. The band shared a statement Friday revealing that Pavone’s cause of death was an accidental drug overdose. Today, TMZ reported further details behind the singer’s death including the 911 call his girlfriend made as she attempted to resuscitate him. They also reveal that a toxicology report is still pending.

According to TMZ, Pavone’s girlfriend discovered him unresponsive along with evidence suggesting the drug overdose, which was detailed in a police report. The report also states EMTs gave Pavone Narcan, an emergency treatment for narcotic overdoses, before being transported for treatment.

As details continue to emerge, we believe it’s important Pavone be remembered for his talents and contributions to music.

REMEMBERING KYLE PAVONE

Revisiting Cold Like War, the final We Came As Romans album featuring vocalist/keyboardist Pavone, you can genuinely feel the measure of his contributions to the record. Pavone, who passed away Aug. 25, was able to temper WCAR’s metalcore signifiers to create something that continued to convey the genre’s impulses of weight, power and energy while offering a melodic style that tag-teamed admirably with co-vocalist David Stephens’ roar.

Pavone joined the Troy, Michigan-based WCAR in 2008, replacing vocalist Chris Moore and appearing on the band’s Joey Sturgis-produced EP Dreams later that year. When AP writer Andrew Kelham posited that vocalist Stephens and guitarist Josh Moore were “the Mom and Dad” of WCAR (in the band’s 100 Bands You Need To Know cover story [AP 285, April 2012]), Pavone described himself and bassist Andy Glass as “the mischievous younger brothers.”

“Kyle and I grew up together,” recalled Glass in the story. “When we asked him to the join the band, I had to sit down and talk his parents into letting him join the band full time. They had a lot of faith to let him leave high school and do it.” At the time of the story, the longtime buddies were living together in a house they called “the Nuthouse,” and remained close.

Bandmates and friends took to social media to appreciate Pavone’s humor and friendship. Moore posted a photo of the two of them to Instagram captioned, “The craziest, goofiest, most funny and lovable kid. I miss you so much.” At the Rock On The Range festival in 2017, the singer played along with Jacoby Shaddix for an on-camera interview when the Papa Roach singer credited the band with creating the genre “hillbilly revolution music.”

When he and the rest of WCAR arrived at the inaugural APMAs in 2014, they were wearing custom-made shirts proclaiming I AM DRUNK AT THE AP AWARDS as Pavone was goofing with Bring Me The Horizon’s Album Of The Year announcement.

“Kyle showed me the light when I was in the dark,” says Zack Hansen, guitarist for the Word Alive. “I’ll never forget putting spells on stuff before shows. Or dreaming about the future and making music. You were the funniest dude I knew, and I know you’re watching over all your brothers and family now. I’ll see you on the other side, brother. Dream on.”

“Kyle had the ability to light up any room he entered,” says former Slaves drummer Tai Wright. “He made it his mission to create happiness for those around him. His smile, laughter and pure talent will continue to resonate within everything and everyone he touched. I will love and miss him for the rest of my life.”

Cold Like War marks Pavone’s final work with WCAR. Prior to his passing, Pavone teamed up with EDM artist Jauz on a new song, “Frequency,” on the producer’s debut album, The Wise And The Wicked, at the end of the month. The collaboration shouldn’t come as much of a shock to anyone who has spent time with WCAR’s recent offerings.

Consider “Promise Me,” the electronic-pop exercise that turns the tables putting Pavone’s vocals and melodic synthesizers in the forefront, with Stephens’ roar relegated to the song’s end. On War’s closing song “Learning To Survive,” Pavone’s melodic range is at the center, with Stephens emphasizing the vocal contrasts in a way that didn’t seemed contrived or forced.

And if there were ever any concerns about electronic elements taking away from the guitars, “Encoder,” the shared space in WCAR’s Venn diagram of EDM and industrial rock, revealed an exciting new direction for the band, a landscape of arc-flashing and exploding grid failure. As this record marks his final work with WCAR, it serves as an admirable gateway for new listeners to discover.

kyle pavone
We Came As Romans/Chiodos co-headlining tour – Dec. 13, 2014 – Palladium in Worcester, Massachusetts [Photo by: Brendan Donahue]

Pavone’s final performance was at the EST Fest in Ohio, Aug. 4. TMZ reported that the singer had entered a hospital Aug. 19 and was pronounced dead Aug. 25. Pavone was 28. In the band’s initial statement, they mentioned that in lieu of flowers, they would be organizing a way to accept charity donations. Pavone’s brother, Conner, later took to Twitter to announce the Kyle Pavone Foundation.

For those who would like to donate to the Kyle Pavone Foundation, you can do so by donating a specified amount on the site, texting “Support KYLE” to 20222, or you can send checks or money orders to the following:

The Kyle Pavone Foundation/BCCF
32 West Michigan Ave. Suite 1
Battle Creek Michigan 49017

The following day, WCAR further detailed the importance of the foundation and also announced there would be an event to celebrate Pavone’s life at the Fillmore in Detroit this October. As more news regarding both memorial services and the band’s future plans are announced, fans can take solace in Pavone’s admirable contributions to Cold Like War.

While there has been much conjecture about Pavone tweeting a line from “Promise Me” (“Will I be remembered or will I be lost in loving eyes?”) the day before he entered the hospital, maybe the real takeaway is a line from “If There’s Nothing To See”: “Our vision for this world will not die when we are dead/I’ll be there to share the view if there is nothing to see.”  

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, there is help to be found. Please consider these online resources:
FEND: Full Energy No Drugs anti-opioid initiative
SAMHSA – Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration