Kent Stax, Drummer of Influential Hardcore Band Scream, Dies at 61

Just two days ago, the legendary Washington, D.C. hardcore band Scream — also known as Dave Grohl‘s pre-Nirvana band — announced their first album in 30 years, DC Special, due out on November 10.

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On September 20, the band made another announcement: drummer Bennett Kent Stacks (known as Kent Stax) has died of cancer at the age of 61.

[RELATED: Dave Grohl Reunites with Early Band Scream for Their First New Album in 30 Years]

“We are heartbroken to share that our drummer Bennett Kent Stacks passed away this morning after a bout with metastatic cancer,” the statement reads. “Kent is the original heartbeat of Scream. Though we have had to continue on without him before, we have always known Kent is irreplaceable. He was one of a kind. In addition to being a truly unique drummer, Kent was also an accomplished fisherman, skilled carpenter, and avid train enthusiast.”

“Kent also played in prominent punk and harDCore bands including The Suspects, Spitfires United, Alleged Bricks and more throughout his life,” it continues. “He also branched out to other genres, playing with The Daryl Davis Band and The Old Dominion Trio.”

“He is survived by his wife of 40 years Andrea, daughter Jennifer, brothers Kurt, William and Henry and a host of band mates, friends and fans,” the statement concludes. “If you ever saw us play or if you knew Kent, your thoughts and memories are welcome here.”

Scream was formed in 1981 in Virginia, though they became associated with the prominent D.C. hardcore scene that also included Bad Brains, Minor Threat, and more. Stax joined founders Pete and Franz Stahl (who played guitar) and bassist Skeeter Thompson as the group’s second drummer.

After releasing their third album Banging the Drum in 1986, Stax left the band and was replaced by Grohl, who was still a teenager.

The band’s classic lineup, including Stax, is who plays on DC Special. The announcement for the album included the news that many guests also appear on the album — notably one of them is Grohl. Another guest is Dischord Records founder, Minor Threat and Fugazi frontman Ian MacKaye.

The Instagram post announcing Stax’s death has become a living memorial to the musician, with fans and fellow artists sharing memories and tributes.

Photo by Joel Dowling/courtesy Dischord Records

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