Wayne Swinny, guitarist and co-founder of hard rockers Saliva has died at 59 after suffering a brain hemorrhage while on tour with the group. The news was confirmed by the band in a Facebook post on Wednesday (March 22) in which they wrote, “It is with great sadness that we report the passing of our brother Wayne Swinny. Wayne passed away this afternoon from a Spontaneous brain hemorrhage while we were out on tour. Details for the funeral arrangements will be announced shortly. Wayne will be missed by all those who knew him.”
The post was accompanied by a black and white picture of Swimmy on stage wearing one of his signature black cowboy hats while strumming his guitar.
Swinny’s death was announced just hours after the band reported that he’d been hospitalized. “Our dear brother Wayne Swinny was discovered Tuesday morning in medical distress and paramedics were called,” read an earlier FB post. “He was transported to a hospital where he was diagnosed with a Spontaneous Hemorrhage in his brain. He is currently in the ICU as we await further news.”
Saliva was formed in Memphis in 1996 by singer Josey Scott, bassist Dave Novotny, drummer Todd Poole and guitarists Swinny and Chris D’Abaldo. Their Island Records debut, Every Six Seconds, was released in 2001 and spawned the thundering hits “Click Click Boom” and “Your Disease.” They followed up with 2002’s Back Into Your System and 2004’s Survival of the Sickest. Singer Scott left he group in 2011 and was replaced by Bobby Amaru; the group’s most recent album was 2018’s 10 Lives.
In a statement to TMZ, singer Amaru said, “I’m not even sure what to think or how to feel right now. My heart aches for Wayne’s family, his friends, and anyone who had the joy of being around him. My heart aches for his daughter Nikki. He loved that little girl so much … He would go out of his way to make sure you had a good time. I’m grateful that I got to share almost 12 years of my life with Wayne on the stage and most importantly off the stage.”
Amaru referred to Swinny — the only remaining original member of the group — as the older brother he never had in his statement. “I learned so much from him and we had a f—ing blast together!,” he said. “I will cherish it all for the rest of my life! God Bless you Wayne. I know we’ll meet again!!”
Saliva is in the midst of a U.S. tour, with the next scheduled date on March 29 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Check out the band’s tribute to Swinny below.