David Roback, co-founder of Mazzy Star, has died

Roback was instrumental in California’s ‘90s psychedelic revival.

Kendra Smith and David Roback

Kendra Smith and David Roback. Image: Laura Levine / Getty

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David Roback, co-founder of alternative rock band Mazzy Star, has died at the age of 61. No cause of death has been announced.

Roback’s musical career began in the early 1980s when he established himself amongst the Paisley Underground scene of California. One of his first bands was LA psychedelic revival band Rain Parade. After leaving Rain Parade, he formed Opal (briefly named Clay Allison) with bassist Kendra Smith. Smith would leave the band in the middle of a tour with the Jesus and Mary Chain, and so Hope Sandoval came in as Smith’s replacement, reforming the band as Mazzy Star.

They would release their debut album under the Mazzy Star name, She Hangs Brightly in 1990. Their second album, 1993’s So Tonight That I Might See, would net them their biggest hit in the form of Fade Into You.

After a brief hiatus in the late ‘90s, the band reformed and began writing and touring again in the year 2000. Roback made his acting debut in the 2004 film Clean, also writing some of the original songs for the film.

The band’s most recent full-length record Seasons of Your Day arrived in 2013, followed by an EP, Still, in 2018. Still was released after the death of the band’s long-time drummer, Keith Mitchell in 2017.

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