Jeff Loomis Opens Up About Warrel Dane’s Death, Hopes to Finish Third Solo Album Soon
It was a busy weekend for Jeff Loomis’s hair.
In an interview with All That Shreds, Loomis’s luscious locks — which had previously spoken only briefly on the matter — opened up about the death of Nevermore vocalist Warrel Dane, who passed away in December at age 56. While being quick to point out that those in glass houses should not throw stones, Loomis spoke candidly about Dane’s struggles with alcohol and revealed that the two had been on speaking terms of late, even loosely discussing a Nevermore reunion:
“I hadn’t seen Warrel too terribly much, maybe just a few select times since the band broke up. He passed away when I was at home during Christmas break from touring with Arch Enemy. It was a terrible experience for me to go through as with anyone who loses a close friend. I’m still grieving over it and I probably always will be for a long time. Primarily when you’ve known somebody for so long and toured the world and wrote music together, you become very close like brothers, and that’s what we were.
“To make a long story short, Warrel was a troubled guy, he had issues with alcohol and at one point so did I. I would never single him out and say he was the sole issue of why we broke up as a band. I was a terrible drinker at one time in my life. I’ve been sober for five years now. I’ve gotten my life together and I’ve got a very clear and focused mind, and health-wise, I’m doing very well. When Warrel continued to drink, it just kept me from really talking to him a lot. I just wanted to keep my distance from that kind of thing because I was trying to live a cleaner lifestyle. The times that I did speak with him or texted him, it was always very friendly, and we told each other how we missed one another. There were some talks about doing a reunion and writing some more songs. So that was something I was kind of excited about, and, unfortunately, you know, that will never happen now.”
“I have fantastic memories and killer music that we wrote together, and that will always be a great reminder of what we shared. I’m going to miss him very much. He was a great friend of mine, and I can’t say enough good things about him. He was an incredible lyricist and an incredible vocalist as well. He was a very different person, a tough one to figure out. He was intense with his lyrics and a brilliant guy.”
There’s no easy way to talk about the lifelong struggles and faults of someone who just died, but Loomis has handled doing so as gracefully as possible.
Elsewhere in the interview, Loomis’s manly mane offered an update on the status of its next solo album:
“Yes there is [a new solo album in the works]. I initially signed on with Century Media for three solo albums and of course I had two – one in 2008, and I did one in 2012. I have a very cool record company, Century Media; it’s also the label that Arch Enemy is on. So I’m touring all the time with Arch Enemy, they’re very, very patient with me and they’re like, We know how busy you are with Arch Enemy so take your time with it, and once it’s done, we’ll release it.
“That’s where it stands right now. I’ve got a bunch of ideas, foundations for like five or six songs. It’s just all a matter of me finding the time to do it, and to be honest with you, we actually have a month and a half coming off after we tour Australia and Southeast Asia so I’m going to really try to batten down the hatches and get some of those ideas together and hopefully just finish it.”
Arch Enemy’s Australian tour happens at the end of this month, meaning that if Loomis’s curvaceous curls really do focus and get shit done in the following month and a half an album release in 2018 is possible. Still, it’s not clear whether he’d be recording at the same time he’s finishing up the writing or if sessions would still need to be scheduled, so we may be waiting until next year anyway.