Todd Simko who played with the band Pure (Photo: Adam PW Smith)
Vancouver record producer, engineer and musician Todd Simko, who worked with such acts as Xavier Rudd and Marcy Playground and whose own band Pure was signed in the 90s to Reprise and Mammoth, is presumed to have drowned after going missing on Sunday. His body has not been found. but family and close friends have confirmed his death. He was 45.
"A witness saw him on a low level bridge and said that he had gone in the river," a close friend told Billboard. "Another witness said they saw him going under from the currents and the police say that they may never find the body because the current in that area is so strong. How he got in the water is the mystery."
His Facebook page is filled with message after message from musicians, colleagues, friends and fans expressing their gratitude, condolences and love for him, his work and the music he created.
Simko's long-time friend and Pure singer, Jordy Birch, posted "Thanks for lending me all of your cool New Wave records when we were kids. You were my brother. I will miss you forever. R.I.P."
Nettwerk president Terry McBride wrote: "I was blessed to have known Todd, where ever his soul is now those that he touches will be inspired..... you will be missed RIP."
Simko played guitar in Pure, which he co-founded in 1991. The band was signed to Reprise/Warner shortly after. Pure's first hit was "Blast" from 1992's Purefunalia album, produced by Talking Heads' Jerry Harrison. The song was No. 1 on RPM's CanCon chart and also peaked at No. 22 on Billboard's Modern Rock chart in 1993.
In 1994, they released Generation 6 Pack, kicked off with the single "Denial." They toured extensively, including an appearance at Big Day Out in Australia in 1995. Pure however, was dropped and the band started Shag Records, putting out the Extra Purestrial EP featuring the hit "Lemonade." In 1996, Mammoth signed the band and re-released Generation Six-Pack, which contained "Denial" and "Anna Is A Speed Freak."
In 1998, the band released its third and final full-length, Feverish, before calling it quits in 2000.
Simko then built an in-demand studio business, which he had starting dabbling in during the Pure's latter years, produced, engineered and mixing some of Pure's tracks and producing an album for the band Starkicker in 1998.
Post-Pure, Simko mastered albums for Lily Frost, Vancouver Nights, Tom Landa & The Paperboys, New Town Animals, The Be Good Tanyas, Kelly Brock, and Young and Sexy, and many more. In 2003, he worked on instrumentation and engineering for Marcy Playground and produced The Organ in 2004.
He also worked closed with Australia's Xavier Rudd, engineering, producing and playing various instruments on his 2004 Solace album and again on 1995's Food In The Belly and live album, Good Spirit. More recently, he produced, engineered and mixed The Salteens and engineered and produced tracks for American children's TV show Yo Gabba Gabba!
Simko's wife Minna posted a heartfelt "final message" on her husband's Facebook page yesterday noting that this was the best way for her to reach all the people he knew. It reads in part:
"I decided to post on this site to share a great loss in the music community and my family. Todd may your soul be finally at peace. You are not only the most fantastic father and husband one could have, but also you were a great friend, musician, teacher, guide, mentor, and music engineer. "You will never never ever ever be forgotten and your spirit will always live on with all the wonderful lives you have touched… "