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Cynic’s Paul Masvidal Reveals Sean Malone’s Cause of Death in Touching Tribute

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Cynic mastermind Paul Masvidal suffered through unimaginable trauma when he lost not one, but two of his bandmates, both longtime collaborators and friends, within the span of just 11 months last year. Longtime drummer Sean Reinert, who exited Cynic in 2017, passed away in January of 2020, and the band’s on-again-off-again bassist Sean Malone, who was active in the band when he died, passed in December.

Though Masvidal has remained on the quieter side during the period since, especially after Malone’s death, he has now issued a lengthy, heartfelt statement that touches on both, revealing the latter’s cause of death — by suicide — and releasing a new piece of music as a tribute to Malone.

The song is re-working of “Integral,” from the band’s 2010 EP Re-Traced, which itself was a re-interpretation of “Integral Birth” from Traced in Air (2008). The new-new version, which has never been available publicly, features Malone playing a fretless bass solo over the entire track.

The song is available to stream below and to download for any price you choose, with 50% of the proceeds shared with suicide prevention organizations To Write Love On Her Arms (TWLOHA) and The Trevor Project, and the other 50% going towards funding a documentary about “the lives and artistry of Malone and Reinert.”

Masvidal also promised that he will “share details about new [Cynic] music in the coming weeks.” He had posted an update on the final day of 2020 indicating that new Cynic was in the works at that time, and shared a preview in June.

Masvidal’s full statement, titled “On the Passing of Sean Malone,” reads as follows:

“Since my friend and Cynic bandmate Sean Malone’s passing in late 2020, many people have publicly speculated about, and privately reached out to me regarding, the circumstances of his death. I have kept my silence as I have worked through my grief and out of respect for Malone’s privacy. Questions and rumors have persisted, so I want to share what I can with the many fans whose lives he touched so deeply and who are seeking closure.

“On December 7, 2020, Malone was found dead by suicide in Largo, Florida, where his mother had lived. She had been ailing for some time before her death in 2018; Malone had been her sole caregiver during her difficult final year. Then, in January 2020, we suddenly lost our bandmate Sean Reinert. Combined with his mother’s loss, it was an emotional double whammy that hit Malone hard.

“After his mother’s death, we spoke often, having long chats about grief, loss, and the future of Cynic. I urged Sean to move out to California and live with me so he could get back on his feet and start fresh, and he did. I noticed a newfound vigor in Malone I hadn’t seen before. He was excited to be in the world again, we were working on new music, and he even began teaching bass privately. Then came the pandemic. Everything shut down and so did Malone. His pain and suffering re-emerged and his light began to dim.

“Matters took an unexpected turn. Late one early summer night, he disappeared. I called him, left messages, texted, emailed, contacted missing persons and everyone we had in common, but no one had heard anything. There was no response. He quit the world. My hope that he was regrouping in private and would turn up safely turned to heartache on December 7th.

“As I share this sad news about his death, I want to celebrate his life by sharing one of his most beautiful and lyrical moments ever recorded, and one which his fans have not yet heard. A few years after the release of Cynic’s Re- Traced EP, Sean Malone recorded fretless bass on this solo guitar and vocal track titled “Integral.” Here’s a video celebrating his playing, and a full transcription in his honor along with the song file for download.

“I am grateful to be able to share this video with you now, and I will share details about new music in the coming weeks. Please celebrate the genius and transcendent talent that was Sean Malone. Read more about his fascinating life, unique passions and accomplishments at his Wikipedia page.

“As an act of support, and in honor of Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, I invite you to donate as you wish for the “Integral” song download which comes with a guitar/bass transcription of the song and an instrumental (no bass mix) for fellow musicians to play along with. 50 percent of proceeds will be shared with suicide prevention organizations To Write Love On Her Arms (TWLOHA), and The Trevor Project. The remaining will go towards funding a documentary about the lives and artistry of Malone and Reinert.

“With love and courage, Paul Masvidal”

Have a listen to Malone’s fretless bass version of “Integral” below, and donate however much you’re comfortable with here.

Drummer Sean Reinert was found unresponsive in his home in January by his husband. The cause of death never came out publicly, although foul play nor drugs were suspected. Reinert’s death attracted some controversy when his wishes to have his organs donated were not granted because he was gay.

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