NEW ORLEANS — Drone metal act hur’Q took time during their performance Friday night to honor Chris Slade, their friend and sound engineer who passed away earlier this week, with a touching 43-minute moment of silence.
“We just want to take a quick sec and honor our brother,” said guitarist Brent Hammond before the band and audience stood silent, with heads bowed, for the next 2,580 seconds.
Sources close to the band confirmed Slade was struck by lightning while recording background noises for hur’Q’s next album, dying a few days later. “He was all about pure sound,” said Nao, hur’Q’s third guitarist, “so he climbed a cypress during a storm to record the wind and rain on the leaves. Luckily, we were able to get the sound of the lightning strike off the reel-to-reel. Thank god he was using analog — it if was digital, we would have lost it forever.”
“The audience seemed totally into it,” claimed Tina Gregg, the bartender during the show. “I had no idea what the hell was going on, but I got shushed when I opened a beer. I have never seen a band hold an ‘in memoriam’ for that long. Impressive, really.”
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Backup guitarist Evan Thomas added, “Chris meant a lot to all of us. It was nice to just take the length of a Game of Thrones episode to pause and reflect on his life, other loved ones we have lost too soon, and our own mortality.”
“It was like they were building a sculpture of silence,” said hur’Q fan Ken Gritti. “Layer after layer of memories upon layers of respect upon layers of honor with the quiet hum of the empty monitors. It’s too bad Chris wasn’t here to not hear anything.”
Following the silence, the band launched into their song “Cacophony Of Ensanguined Seraphs,” which was reported to last until dawn.
hur’Q is slated to play a three-day performance at Slade’s wake, including a funeral dirge scheduled to last over six hours with two 15-minute intermissions. Slade leaves behind an Instagram account for his cat and storage locker filled with vintage recording equipment.