Cory Smoot, aka GWAR guitarist Flattus Maximus, was found dead earlier today by his band mates as they were in their tour bus crossing the border to Canada. There is no cause of death as of yet and his age is also unknown. Smoot joined GWAR in 2002 and made his first album appearance on 2004's War Party. He would go on to co-produce the band's 2006 and 2009 albums, Beyond Hell and Lust In Space, respectively. Spin notes that he portrayed the Maximus character longer than any of the previous guitarists.
"It is with a sense of profound loss and tragedy that the members of GWAR must announce the passing of their long time guitarist and beloved friend Cory Smoot... The members of GWAR are completely shocked and devastated... At this point there is no word on arrangements and the disposition of the remainder of GWAR’s current North American tour, nor are there any details regarding long term plans. At this point we are just dealing with the loss of our dear friend and brother, one of the most talented guitar players in metal today. We ask that our fans and the media be respectful of our request for privacy for those that have suffered this terrible loss. A full statement will be coming in the next day or so, in the meantime please give your thoughts and your prayers to Cory, his family, and all the people that love him."