Unwound’s Vern Rumsey Dead At 47
Vern Rumsey, longtime bassist for the great Olympia, Washington post-hardcore trio Unwound, has died. As Brooklyn Vegan points out, Rumsey’s Household Gods bandmate Conan Neutron posted about Rumsey’s death on Facebook. No cause of death has been reported. Rumsey was 47.
Rumsey formed Unwound with singer/guitarist Justin Trosper and drummer Brandt Sandeno in 1991. Shortly thereafter, Sara Lund replaced Sandeno, and that lineup of Unwound remained unchanged until the group broke up in 2002. Unwound released their self-titled debut in 1992, and they went on to release eight albums, mostly on the local Olympia label Kill Rock Stars. The band’s sound was a raw, clangy, groove-heavy take on noise-rock, but it evolved from album to album, taking on more exploratory ideas.
Unwound released their final album, the sprawling and ambitious and masterful double album Leaves Turn Inside You, in 2001, and then they broke up a year later. They never reunited. The Numero Group released a big campaign of Unwound reissues in 2013 and 2014.
While in Unwound, Rumsey also ran the indie label Punk In My Vitamins? Records and played in the brooding synthpop duo Long Hind Legs and the Pacific Northwest collective Witchypoo. He also played on Blonde Redhead’s 1997 album Fake Can Be Just As Good. More recently, Rumsey got together with the former Slint guitarist Dave Pajo to form the band Household Gods; they just released their debut album Palace Intrigue in June.
Below, watch some videos of Rumsey playing with Unwound.