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The Skull’s Eric Wagner, former Trouble frontman, dead at 62

Trouble, 1990
Eric Wagner (centre) with Trouble in 1990 (Image credit: Paul Natkin/Getty Images)

Eric Wagner, vocalist with US doom metal band The Skull, and formerly the frontman of cult heroes Trouble, has died after contracting Covid pneumonia. He was 62.

The news of Wagner’s passing was announced by his former bandmate Chuck Robinson, who played guitar alongside the singer in both Trouble and The Skull.

“This morning I awoke to the worst news...” Robinson wrote in a Facebook post. “We are all truely [sic] devastated.. My dear friend, band mate and brother Eric Wagner has passed. Goodnight Tempter.. We love you.”

The Skull had recently been on tour in the US with The Obsessed, but withdrew from the tour citing concerns over the surge in Covid cases. The Obsessed’s frontman Scott ‘Wino’ Weinrich claimed last week that Covid-19 “was created as a depopulation tool”, and partially financed by the US government, adding “the fear associated with it as a means to subjugate and enslave you and I, the common people.”

Influenced by Black Sabbath, Judas Priest and 1970s psych and stoner rock, Aurora, Illinois act Trouble are held up as one of the most significant acts in doom metal, having attracted critical acclaim for their first two albums, 1984’s Psalm 9 and its follow-up, 1985’s The Skull, and were subsequently signed by Rick Rubin to his Def American label, with Rubin producing their self-titled fourth album Trouble, released in 1990. Wagner led the band from their formation in 1979 through to 1997, and subsequently rejoined for 2007’s Simple Mind Condition.

He founded The Skull with former Trouble bandmates Jeff Olson and Ron Holznerin 2014, and released two albums with the group, 2014’s For Those Which Are Asleep and 2018’s The Endless Road Turns Dark.

In 2004, Wagner was one of the featured vocalists on Dave Grohl’s Probot album, on which he sang the track My Tortured Soul.

All at Louder extend our sympathies and condolences to Wagner’s family and friends.

Former Megadeth drummer Shawn Drover was among the first of Wagner’s peers to mourn his passing.

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