Sean Reinert, the drummer and co-founder of the bands Æon Spoke and Cynic, has died at the age of 48. Blabbermouth reports that Reinert was found unresponsive in his home in California on the night of January 24.
Reinert was a native of Long Beach, California. Reinert said in a 2006 interview that he realized he wanted to be a drummer at the age of 10. Reinert said, “I started playing drums when I was 10 years old. I had been taking piano lessons for three years before then, and wanted to switch to drums. I started taking drum lessons right away, it was part of the deal I made with my mom. If I was going to switch instruments I had to take lessons (which was just fine with me!).” Reinert said in the same interview that the first album he ever bought was Kiss’s “Heaven and Hell.”
During the same interview, Reinert said, “Music is in my spirit.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Sean Reinert’s Cause of Death Was Given as Heart Failure
Reinert is survived by his husband, Tom. In addition to his celebrated work with Cynic, Reinert also drummed with James LaBrie, Gordian Knot and Portal. Sean Reinert’s cause of death was given as heart failure by his long-time friend Kelly Schaefer.
In 2018, Reinert discussed his health regime in an interview with Modern Drummer. Reinert said, “Nutrition is a big thing. I always bring Emergen-C, and even if I’m not sick, I’m doubling down on my multivitamins. Something I don’t put in my bag but is very important is sleep—getting rest on the road, and not partying. You’re a drummer, you’re an athlete. You can’t be polluting your body and staying up all night and then expect to crank out a perfect set on two hours of sleep. And also, a smoke-free environment. I get sick very easily. And I don’t do anything that will jeopardize my moving parts. No more skateboarding, no more trying to dunk the basketball. I can go swimming or hit the stationary bike.”
2. Reinert Came Out as Gay in 2014
In 2014, Reinert came out as gay alongside fellow Cynic member Paul Masvidal. Reinert told the Los Angeles Times in 2014, “Gay people are everywhere, doing every job, playing every kind of music and we always have been. It’s taken me years to finally be brave enough to say, ‘If you have a problem with that, then throw out our records. That’s your problem, not mine.'”
Among those who congratulated Reinert and Masvidal on their bravery was heavy metal and LGBT icon, Rob Halford. Among those who were not as supportive was Masvidal’s guitar provider, Vik Kuletski of ViK Guitars.
3. Reinert & Masvidal Formed Cynic in 1990 & Broke Up Twice
Reinert and Masvidal had worked on the album “Human” with Florida-metal legends Death in 1991 but would later return to their work with Cynic. Cynic’s debut album, “Focus,” was released in 1993. Cynic broke up for the first time in 1994.
After Reinert and Masvidal relocated to Los Angeles, the pair formed Æon Spoke, a more alternative rock band, rather than a metal band. The pair would reform Cynic in 2007 for a reunion tour. The band released a new album, “Traced in the Air.” Following the release of a string of EPs and another album, “Kindly Bent to Free Us,” Reinert parted ways with the group following a tour of Japan.
As of 2018, Reinert was recording with the progressive Los Angeles-based band Perfect Beings.
4. Reinert Settled a Longstanding Dispute With Masvidal in 2017
Reinert would leave Cynic in 2015 and settle a longstanding dispute with the band in 2017. He wrote in a Facebook post at the time, “Today I post with a heavy heart, but also a lightened spirit. A settlement has been reached between Paul and I in regards to CYNIC. I am unable to disclose any of the details regarding this agreement but I am at peace with the arrangement. I am going to step aside from CYNIC and continue with my personal projects – Paul is going to continue with CYNIC and his.
I want to take this last Facebook post as an opportunity to humbly thank all of the musicians, engineers, technicians, companies, booking agents, managers, crew, press, labels and friends that I’ve worked with (and will likely continue to) over this past 30-year span.
Most of all – I would like to thank the fans, who to this day still blow me away with their loyalty and love. You’ve always been the inspiration and the fuel for the machine!
To Paul, I sincerely wish him and the musicians he hires nothing but the best. Love,
Sean.” One commenter wrote under the post, “Never form a band with your boyfriend.”
5. Sean Reinert Is Being Mourned by Some of Metal’s Biggest Names
As news of Reinert’s death spread, some of metal’s biggest names, as well as his fans have turned to social media to express their grief. Here are some of the most poignant messages of remembrance: