Hum Drummer Bryan St. Pere Dead At 52
Bryan St. Pere, drummer for the massively influential space-rock band Hum, has died. The band confirmed the news in a message posted to their social media channels today: “It is with very heavy hearts and tear filled eyes that we share the news that our beloved friend and bandmate, Bryan St. Pere, has passed away. We are devastated and deeply saddened by his sudden, and unexpected passing. Bryan was a dear friend, a loving father, brother, and was an incredible person and musician. We all feel extremely lucky to have shared time and space with him. Peace and love to all who knew Bryan, and those he touched. We will miss him dearly.” No cause of death has been revealed. St. Pere was 52.
St. Pere was attracted to drums at an early age; he told The Trap Set podcast that he loved Rush’s Neil Peart so much that he used Pert Plus shampoo growing up. As the legend goes, the members of the newly formed Hum invited him to join the band after hearing him playing along with a Rush album out his window when he was finishing up his biology degree at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1990.
After releasing their first two albums, 1991’s Fillet Show and 1993’s Electra 2000, through the independent label 12 Inch Records, Hum signed to RCA. Their next album, 1995’s You’d Prefer An Astronaut, spun off the alt-rock radio hit “Stars.” They followed it up with the masterful Downward Is Heavenward in 1998 before breaking up at the end of 2000 following poor sales and a van accident. St. Pere spent the intervening years pursuing a career in the healthcare industry before rejoining Hum for various reunions throughout the early 21st century.
Although Shiner’s Jason Gerken filled in for him on Hum’s 2015 tour, St. Pere rejoined the band to record last year’s phenomenal reunion album Inlet. He was also a member of the band Amblare and has filled in on drums for Steakdaddy Six and Castor.
Hum’s signature sound, which merged the heavy chugging rhythms of hardcore with spaced-out shoegaze and psychedelia, has proven to be among the most influential templates in all of underground music, inspiring such bands as Deftones, Nothing, Alcest, Deafheaven, and Title Fight among many others. They are practically a subgenre unto themselves, and St. Pere’s drum work — thunderously powerful, but with the sly finesse you’d expect from a Neil Peart disciple — was essential to the development of that aesthetic. Below, revisit a few gems from the band’s catalog.