Metal Musician Eric Alan Livingston Has Died, Leaving Collaborators 'Shocked and Saddened'

Eric Alan Livingston, a member of the experimental metal group Mamaleek, has died. The band's record label, The Flensers, confirmed Livingston's death on social media on Monday, March 6, writing, "We are shocked and saddened by his sudden departure and offer our deepest condolences to his friends and loved ones." Livingston's cause of death has not been revealed. He was 38.

Formed as a duo in 2008 with links to Beirut and San Francisco's Bay Area, Mamaleek quickly released two albums, one self-titled and another titled Fever Dream. They went on to release He Never Spoke a Mumblin' Word in 2014 before signing with the music label The Flenser. Livingston began playing with the group in 2015 when he came on as percussionist on 2015's Via Dolorosa. In the years that followed, he contributed percussion, keyboards, saxophone, and violin, appearing on the band's 2020's Come & See Me and 2022's Diner Coffee. He officially joined the band as a full-time member in 2019, per Pitchfork.

In a statement, Mamaleek paid tribute to Livingston, remembering him as "a close friend to each of us, long before he joined Mamaleek." The band said they "shared love of music," adding that Livingston introduced at least one member to "Devo, Slayer, Iron Maiden, Naked City, King Crimson, and Kraftwerk for the first time."

"Eric had a lot of power that flared within him, which he was able to channel in any medium, whether skateboarding (nollie flips on lock!), art, design, performance, stage production, fashion, activism, name it," the statement continued. "He dripped personality, as anyone who met him would know immediately. He looked out for us and was extraordinarily generous with his time. We would walk for hours in the evenings and pour our guts out, laughing all the while. It was better than any therapy I ever experienced, and I never wanted those nights to end. I still can't believe that we took our last walk together, an excruciating reality to bear."

Mamaleek credited Livingston's "intuition and free-form style" for elevating their sound, adding that Livingston "created an unbridled dynamism that would be hard to behold anywhere else." The band ended the tribute with a message to fans, sharing, "for those of you who appreciated Eric's unique voice, amplified in his extraordinary art and ferocious playing, Eric felt that, and it meant the world to him and to us." Mamaleek also announced that their performances at Roadburn and Oblivion Access would "be in homage to the life and memory of our dear brother and fellow musician, in that order."