Mike Noga, Solo Artist and Former Drummer With The Drones, Dies at 42

Mike Noga
Martin Philbey/Redferns

Mike Noga of The Fumes performs on stage at the Pyramid Rock Festival on Dec. 31, 2009 in Phillip Island, Australia.

Mike Noga, the Australian singer, songwriter and former drummer with celebrated alternative rock outfit The Drones, has died at the age of 42.

The sad news was announced on social media by Noga's sister, Ali. "We are absolutely devastated to inform you of the passing of our beloved brother, son, uncle and dearest friend Mike,” the message reads.

“We know how much he and his music meant to so many of you and there's nothing we can say to make this hurt any less. We miss you and love you so much, Mike.”

The cause of death has not been revealed.

Taking his spot behind the kit for the Drones, Noga and the band were outright stars of Australia’s independent music scene.

Their place among the elite was confirmed when their April 2005 sophomore album Wait Long by the River and the Bodies of Your Enemies Will Float By won the inaugural Australian Music Prize.

After ten years, Noga left the band in 2014 to pursue a solo career. Two years later, in 2016, he released his critically acclaimed third solo set King, via Cooking Vinyl, based on Georg Büchner's great unfinished play, Woyzeck.

King, described at the time as a “dark, psychedelic, rock ‘n’ roll concept album” and his “most ambitious project yet,” was produced with Something for Kate’s Paul Dempsey and featured actor Noah Taylor (Game of Thrones) as "The Narrator".

Originally from Tasmania, Noga relocated to Victoria at age 18. He is also played drums with Legends of Motorsport, Sandro and Mick Turner.

Last year, Noga boarded a plane for Duluth, Minnesota, where he got to work on his fourth solo album, Open Fire, with Alan Sparhawk in the producer’s seat. It's reportedly slated for release in early 2021.