David Roback, co-founder of Mazzy Star and an important figure in the Paisley Underground scene, has died, according to a representative of the band. No cause of death has been revealed. Roback was 61.
Born in Los Angeles, Roback eventually went on to play a role in the Paisley Underground, the exploratory psychedelia revival scene that cropped up in the city during the early and mid-’80s. Roback was a co-founder of the Rain Parade, releasing one album with the band — their 1983 debut Emergency Third Rail Power Trip — before departing. He later formed Opal (originally known as Clay Allison) with Kendra Smith, formerly of fellow Paisley Underground group the Dream Syndicate. When Smith left in 1987, Roback teamed up with Hope Sandoval instead. They rechristened the band Mazzy Star.
While Roback’s work in the Paisley Underground scene is part of a cultishly adored and influential micro-scene, he found his greatest success with Mazzy Star in the ’90s. With Sandoval, he created a hypnotic, gorgeous new sound; as a multi-instrumentalist and their primary songwriter, he drove the hazy aesthetic that defined the band. After three albums — the middle of which, 1993’s So Tonight That I Might See, featured the group’s iconic “Fade Into You” — Mazzy Star took a long hiatus. They regrouped last decade, releasing one more album, 2013’s Seasons Of Your Day. Their most recent release was the 2018 EP Still.