Drive Like Jehu/Hot Snakes/Obits frontman Rick Froberg dead at 55

Rick Froberg 1968 - 2023
(Image credit: Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images)

Rick Froberg, vocalist/guitarist of cult US post-hardcore bands Drive Like Jehu, Hot Snakes, Pitchfork and Obits, has died aged 55.

The news of the Los Angeles-born musician's death was broken by his longtime friend and collaborator John 'Speedo', Reis, who posted a tribute on Instagram:

"Rick passed away suddenly last night from natural causes," Reis wrote. "His art made life better. The only thing he loved more than art and rock n roll was his friends. He will forever be remembered for his creativity, vision and his ability to bring beauty into this world. I love you, Rick. I will miss you for the rest of my life."

Froberg and Reis first played together in San Diego band Pitchfork, from 1986 - 1990,  the year in which Reis founded Rocket From The Crypt. That same year Reis and Froberg formed the brilliant post-hardcore band Drive Like Jehu, best known for their cult classic album Yank Crime (1994). Drive Like Jehu also featured drummer Mark Trombino, who would go on to become a hugely successful producer, working with Blink-182, Jimmy Eat World, Finch, The Icarus Line and more.

After Drive Like Jehu split, Reis and Froberg united once more in garage punks Hot Snakes, who released four excellent albums between 2000 and 2018, the first three of which emerged on Reis' own Swami Records label. The band were working on a fifth record. Froberg also fronted New York post-hardcore band Obits, alongside guitarist Sohrab Habibion (ex-Edsel).

Reis was also a visual artist who supplied artwork to Rocket From The Crypt and other Swami acts.

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Born in the North of Ireland, Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.