Bolt Thrower future unclear one year on from Kiddie's death

A promotional picture of Bolt Thrower
Bolt Thrower with Martin 'Kiddie' Kearns

Bolt Thrower have paid tribute to late drummer Martin ‘Kiddie’ Kearns a year on from his death and hinted that they will likely never bring in a replacement.

While stopping short of saying the band have split, Bolt Thrower’s statement doesn’t confirm their future plans.

Kearns died last year at the age of 38. He passed away peacefully in his sleep after taking unwell at rehearsal.

Bolt Thrower say: “On behalf of ourselves and Kiddie’s family, we would like to thank everyone for their thoughts and support over the last 12 months.

“Together with Kiddie’s family we made the conscious decision to keep his unexpected death a private matter, and to take time out to deal with it all.

“When Kiddie joined us back in 1994, although he was only 17, he instantly improved Bolt Thrower as a live band, and no one was more loyal to and prouder to be in Bolt Thrower than him.

“We spent over 20 years together, touring the world, with three different vocalists, but he was so much more than just a drummer to us.

“So when we carried his coffin to his final resting place, the Bolt Thrower drummer position was buried with him. He was, and will now forever remain ‘the’ Bolt Thrower drummer, our Powerhouse and friend Martin ‘Kiddie’ Kearns.”

The statement continues: “As for the rest of us, Bolt Thrower has been our way of life for 30 years, never driven by money, fame or ego, but by our own personal principles and values that have guided us through life, and which bonded us as friends long before Bolt Thrower was even formed.”

Bolt Thrower’s statement is signed off with an excerpt from Lord Alfred Tennyson’s poem Ulysses. It reads: “We are not now that strength which in old days moved earth and heaven. that which we are, we are. One equal temper of heroic hearts, made weak by time and fate, but strong in will. To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”

In the wake of Kearns’ death, Bolt Thrower singer Karl Willets formed a new band called Memoriam.

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Stef wrote close to 5,000 stories during his time as assistant online news editor and later as online news editor between 2014-2016. An accomplished reporter and journalist, Stef has written extensively for a number of UK newspapers and also played bass with UK rock favourites Logan. His favourite bands are Pixies and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Stef left the world of rock'n'roll news behind when he moved to his beloved Canada in 2016, but he started on his next 5000 stories in 2022.