Dean Turner, bass player and founding member of Australian alternative rock band Magic Dirt, died Aug. 21 after losing his battle with a rare form of tissue cancer. He was just 37.

"As a founding member of Magic Dirt, Dean was the linchpin, the heart and soul of the band," Turner's bandmates wrote in a statement issued today (Aug. 25). "He was the rock, the glue, the oracle, the cool filter. He was deeply dedicated and passionate about the music he made and the impact the band had on peoples lives."

The group has postponed the remaining dates on their current national tour until further notice, a spokesperson said today.

Magic Dirt never quite hit pay dirt, if chart success was the only measure of success. But wherever they played around the country, a loyal fanbase followed and listeners of the influential state-run Triple J radio network tuned-in in their droves.

Turner formed Magic Dirt in 1992 with his then girlfriend Adalita Srsen, who to this day is lead singer. Throughout the decade, the band built a formidable live reputation and released a handful of recordings on the Au Go Go indie label.

In 2000, the group signed to Warner Music for their major label debut "What Are Rock Stars Doing Today." They released a further two albums through the major, "Tough Love" (2003) and "Snow White" (2005), before returning to the indie trail when they launched their own Emergency Music label in 2006.

Turner was also a producer, and as a band manager was instrumental in the rise of Brisbane-band alternative rockers Violent Soho, who are signed to Thurston Moore's Ecstatic Peace label.

"Sadly, Dean had many projects and goals he wanted to achieve that will remain unrealised," write his Magic Dirt bandmates.

In 2005, Turner married Mushroom Group executive Linda Bosidas and the couple had two children, daughters Charlie and Evie.