Divine Heresy and Nile bassist Joe Payne dead at 35

Joe Payne
Joe Payne (Image credit: YouTube)

Divine Heresy and Nile bassist Joe Payne had died at the age of 35.

The news was confirmed by Divine Heresy co-founder and current Fear Factory guitarist Dino Cazares (opens in new tab), who has paid tribute to his friend.

Cazares says: “Our Metal brother Joseph Payne has passed away. Another one gone way too young, he was 35 years old. I wasn't going to say anything until I got confirmation from his family, which I now did.

“Joe was a great friend, a great band member and an incredible musician. Although he played bass in Divine Heresy, he was an incredible guitarist. I first saw him playing bass in Nile and right then and there, I said, 'I want that guy in my band.' 

“After having that first conversation that night, I realised he was a great dude and from there on, we've shared some amazing moments in life and on tour: from Australia to South America to Canada to Mexico to Europe etc.

“Joe was a very outgoing funny guy with a very friendly personality. He was loved by many and he loved all his fans and road friends. He never complained when times got tough on the road. 

“He always helped everyone and worked his ass off when he was in Divine Heresy and I admired him for being that way. We love you and we will miss you. Rest in peace, my friend.”

A GoFundMe page has been set up to raise money to pay for Payne’s funeral expenses (opens in new tab), with close to $10,000 raised so far towards a target of $20,000.

Whitney Nicole, who began the fundraiser, says: “Joe was just 35 when he tragically passed away January 24, 2020. He was an incredibly loving fiancé, son, brother, and friend. Joe was an amazing soul, a dreamer and storyteller, easy to love and always willing to share that humour, love and energy with everyone he encountered.

“Joe's most profound passion was his music and sharing it relentlessly. Self-taught thanks to endless hours listening to Metallica (opens in new tab), whether he was playing guitar or bass, Joe's energy and skill captured the attention of all who listened and allowed him to share himself and his stories with so many all over the world. 

“Above all, whether it was making soupy mac 'n cheese, being playful with his nieces or just being gross Uncle Joe Joe, protecting his family or just being the original ‘Lovey’, Joe was more then anything loved back by so many more. 

“So we are asking for all to help us celebrate one last time the life and times of Joseph Payne and ensure he has a funeral service that everyone can be apart of and appreciate. Thank you everyone.”

A cause of death has not been made official at the time of writing.

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent more than 30 years in newspapers and magazines as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. After initially joining our news desk in the summer of 2014, he moved to the e-commerce team full-time in 2020. He maintains Louder’s buyer’s guides, scouts out the best deals for music fans and reviews headphones, speakers, books and more. He's written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog and has previous written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to video games, travel and whisky. Scott grew up listening to rock and prog, cutting his teeth on bands such as Marillion and Magnum before his focus shifted to alternative and post-punk in the late 80s. His favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Ned's Atomic Dustbin and Drab Majesty, but he also still has a deep love of Rush.