unwound vern rumsey-min

Unwound founder and bassist Vern Rumsey dies at age 47

The Olympia, Wash. post-hardcore band disbanded in 2002.

August 6, 2020
  • Share

On Aug. 6, news broke that Vern Rumsey, the longtime bassist and founder member of the Olympia, Wash. post-hardcore band Unwound, has passed away. He was 47.

Conan Neutron, Rumsey’s bandmate in Household Gods, broke the news on Thursday.

Read more: Billie Joe Armstrong thought fans would hate this classic Green Day song

Neutron took to Facebook on Aug. 6 to announce the passing of Rumsey.

“Absolutely stunned and shocked,” he writes. “Vern Rumsey is gone. I have no details at all. One of the sweetest and most pure hearts I know and one of my favorite bass players of all time. I can barely process this right now. I was such a fan of what he did, one of my favorite bass players of all time. He was a compatriot, my Household Gods bandmate and my friend of many years. I’m devastated.”

Thursday‘s Geoff Rickly also shared a touching tweet about Rumsey this week.

“This is shocking news,” he tweets. “I honestly can’t believe it. We both played the @exfrecords 20th Anniversary livestream on Friday. Like everyone else who plays music, I’ve always been a huge fan of Unwound. Vern had a beautiful energy. He will be missed.”

As well, Kimya Dawson released a heartfelt tribute to Rumsey on Facebook. In the statement, she recalls some special moments with him over the years.

“I don’t know what happened but I was rooting for him just like he always rooted for me,” she says. “I was such a big fan of him as a person and I was a total groupie of his bands.”

Read more: The ‘Harry Potter’ films found a new streaming platform to call home

In 1991, Rumsey formed Unwound alongside Justin Trosper and Brandt Cardino in Olympia, Wash. where they spent over 10 years making music. Over the course of their career, they released 8 albums including 1994’s New Plastic Ideas, 1996’s Repetition and 2001’s Leaves Turn Inside You. Unwound disbanded in April 2002. In 2013, Unwound’s entire catalog was reissued by Numero Group.

Outside of Unwound, Rumsey played in Fitz of Depression, Witchypoo and Household Gods. Household Gods released their debut album Palace Intrigue earlier this year.

Some videos of Vern Rumsey playing with Unwound are below.

Written by Rachael Dowd