Sean Malone, the longtime bassist for Cynic, has died at the age of 50. The news of the bassist’s death was shared by his bandmate Paul Masvidal, who wrote on social media, “I learned today that Sean Malone has died. I am numb and grief stricken. He had a brilliant mind, a gracious heart and was one of the greatest musicians I’ve ever encountered. I know that this is a shocking loss for so many fans whose lives he touched with his artistry, as it is for me. Please keep him in your thoughts and listen to his playing to celebrate his life.”
His post is available here:
Malone’s cause of death and exact date of death have not been revealed at this time.
Malone Joined Cynic in 1993 & Was Considered One of Its Key Members Alongside Drummer Sean Reinart, Who Died Earlier This Year
Malone was considered one of Cynic’s classic members as the bass player who appeared on all of their three full-length albums, joining the band in 1993 for its first album, “Focus.” He left the band for some time but returned in 2008 in time for record “Traced in Air.” He played with the band on-and-off before rejoining it permanently in 2012 and was the bassist for the 2014 album “Kindly Bent to Free Us,” Metal Sucks reported.
Malone was known for playing the fretless bass and integrating that sound into metal but also worked as a session bassist during his time away from Cynic, where he appeared on over 50 records. He also released his own album, “Cortlandt” in 1996. Beyond his musical career, Malone wrote four books about bass, “Music Theory For Bassists”, “Dictionary Of Bass Grooves”, “Rock Bass” and “A Portrait of Jaco: The Solos Collection.” He also taught music theory as the assistant professor at the University of Central Missouri and Carnegie Mellon University, Blabbermouth reported.
In a 2015 interview, Malone spoke about being defined as a “metal” bassist:
It’s true that my relationship with Cynic has been a bit unconventional all of these years, but given the band’s history it is understandable that some have thought of me as being a “metal” bassist. To me though, metal—as it pertains to Cynic — has always been more of a musical texture than a lifestyle. And I have always thought of myself as just being a bassist, not any particular kind of bassist; the politics of musical genre are lost on me. …
But at the center of everything is simply this: sum musicus — I am a musician, one who happens to enjoy studying, composing, and teaching music as much as performing it.
Malone had a strong musical partnership with fellow Cynic member Sean Reinart, who died earlier this year. In January 2020, Reinart, the Cynic drummer, was found unresponsive at his home at the age of 48. Malone spoke about his bandmate at the time, Blabbermouth wrote, and said Reinart “offered his trust during every rehearsal, every recording, and every performance we ever did, and it’s likely that I’ll never experience the same again. The truth is that we’re all lucky — lucky to have been alive while Sean Reinert was making music.”
People Shared Their Memories of Malone & Posted Tributes to the Bassist on Social Media
When news of Malone’s death was shared online, many responded with shock and grief at the news of the bassist’s sudden death. In response to Masvidal’s post announcing Malone’s death, one fan wrote, “Wtf? Most underrated musician in the world. On the Cynic tour in Pittsburgh at City Limits he generously wrote out the full transcriptions of his bass parts for Veil of Maya when I was like 12. Extremely generous person. I still have those. RIP.”
Another added, “What a terrible year. So sorry to hear this.” One fan wrote, “WHAT?! he inspired me so much as a young musician.” And another response reads: “One of the most talented bass players ever. RIP.”
Here were some other reactions on social media from other fans and musicians:
Totally shocked and sad to hear of Sean Malone’s passing…he was a tremendous bass and stick player that I had the pleasure of working with many times through the years. He was my Geddy in Cygnus & The Sea Monsters, he played on the 1st OSI album w me…(cont.) pic.twitter.com/QKzt8VuhYN
— Mike Portnoy 🤘 (@MikePortnoy) December 10, 2020
Sad news, indeed. I’d only met #SeanMalone once or twice but respected him as a serious musician, underrated & with uncommon diversity. It’s unfortunate #Cynic is so overlooked, occupying a space that’s like a subgenre within subgenres (the prog/alt side of 90s death metal) RIP https://t.co/D3W88kyKgY
— Alex Skolnick (@AlexSkolnick) December 10, 2020
damn first Sean Reinert passed away earlier this year now Sean Malone too 😭 pic.twitter.com/XwAhclG4Kh
— rendi (@rendigrimkvlt) December 10, 2020
The passing Sean Reinert and now Sean Malone in the same year is hard to make sense of. Very cruel. pic.twitter.com/0vFsd2wnuc
— David Fonseca (@davefons) December 10, 2020