Unwound bassist Vern Rumsey dies aged 47

He co-founded the band in 1991.

Vern Rumsey, bassist for post-hardcore band Unwound, has died at the age of 47.

Conan Neutron, who played with Rumsey in his current band Household Gods, wrote on Facebook: “Absolutely stunned and shocked. Vern Rumsey is gone. I have few details. One of the sweetest and most pure hearts I know and one of my favourite bass players of all time. I can barely process this right now. I was such a fan of what he did, he was in one of my favourite bands (Unwound). He was a compatriot, my Household Gods bandmate and my friend of many years. I’m devastated. This is impossibly heavy and I can barely handle it.

Absolutely stunned and shocked. Vern Rumsey is gone. I have few details. One of the sweetest and most pure hearts I know…

Posted by Conan Neutron on Thursday, August 6, 2020

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While Rumsey was perhaps best known for his work in Unwound, he was in a number of other bands, including Household Gods with Conan Neutron, Long Hind Legs, Oslo, Fitz of Depression, Witchypoo and Flora v. Fauna. He also worked as a recording engineer, and co-ran the label Punk in My Vitamins with fellow Unwound members Justin Trosper and Sara Lund.

Unwound was formed by Rumsey alongside Justin Trosper and Brandt Cardino in 1991 in Olympia, WA with Sara Lund joining on drums in 1992. Their decade-long career saw them release eight albums, all of which were reissued by Numero Group in 2013.

Numero Group posted a video tribute to Rumsey, writing “If you never got to see Unwound, you missed something truly special. Somehow, despite Sara’s machine-gun drumming and Justin rolling around on the floor, your eyes always returned to Vern.”

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