Tony Sly, singer and chief songwriter for veteran California pop punk band No Use For a Name, has passed away at age 41. His cause of death has yet to be released.
In a statement posted to the band’s label’s website, Fat Wreck Chords founder and NoFX frontman Fat Mike said, “One of my dearest friends and favorite song writers has gone way too soon. Tony, you will be greatly missed.”
Sly joined the band in 1989, replacing founding member John Meyer. Though conceived as more of a hardcore act, the group’s sound mellowed significantly over its over two-decade career, peaking with the one-two punch of 1993’s Leche Con Carne (which saw the group’s breakthrough single “Soulmate” enter MTV rotation) and 1997’s Making Friends (which contains a pretty awesome secret track cover of Kiss’ “Beth”). Though their popularity waned somewhat in the new century, they remained deeply influential to a new generation of pop punk bands and made a handful of appearances on the Warped Tour.
Sly’s last recording with No Use For a Name’s was their 2008 release The Feel Good Album of the Year. It contained the catchy, propulsive “I Want to Be Wrong,” which sums up No Use For a Name’s energy and approach (as well as Sly’s passionate vocal stylings) quite nicely.
In the meantime, Sly had been carving out a new niche with acoustic songs and had released a handful of solo albums in that vein — most recently 2011’s Sad Bear.
It’s been a singularly bad week for beloved rock outfits of the ’90s and ’00s so far; yesterday, Elephant 6 collective co-creator and Olivia Tremor Control singer Bill Doss died at 43, also from undisclosed causes.
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