Gared O’Donnell, singer for influential early ’00s post-hardcore band Planes Mistaken For Stars, has died. He was just 44 years old.
The band announced the news of O’Donnell’s passing through their official Instagram account late last night, November 24, revealing he died yesterday while surrounded by his family. He had been fighting oesophageal cancer since August of 2020, at which time a GoFundMe was launched to help cover his medical expenses.
Planes Mistaken for Stars are planning to bring Gared’s final written and recorded pieces of music, which he’d worked on in the final year of his life, to eventual release.
The band’s full statement reads:
“It is impossible to express the depth of sorrow in which we must announce that Gared O’Donnell, our brother, our leader, our captain, who has done more to cultivate love and light in this world than any of us can understand, has moved on from his physical form here with us and crossed the rainbow bridge into the eternal ether. In his final days/hours, he was surrounded by the love of his family, his friends, his bandmates, and many others from afar.
“A titan, a pillar, a beacon, no one that knew him wasn’t touched or inspired. The gift he gave us was himself, fully unselfishly pouring his life, love, and soul out to the world, so honestly that it hurt.
“His passion was infectious drawing us all to him and to each other. The family we have is vast because of Gared. Through the sheer force of his will, he helped to sculpt the reality we all inhabit. His impact on us all will never die.
“At the end of every Planes show, Gared urged us all to take care of each other. It wasn’t just something to say, it was a plea for us all to open our hearts and see everyone for what they are, our brothers and sisters. A plea for us to appreciate every heart wrenching, beautiful, and terrifying moment life has to offer.
“Gared O’Donnell, mythical beast, in one way or another, helped make us all who we are today.
“Gared spent the last year of his life doing exactly what he loved, writing and recording music. We are currently working hard to bring these multiple final projects to completion. It is heartbreaking to do this without him, but we know that he would want for us to complete what we had started together. We will do our absolute best to honor his legacy and spread word of the legend that he embodied.
“All of you have helped Gared to fulfill his dreams in life and provided him an extensive family bigger than he ever could have imagined. His love will live on in us for the rest of our days. So thank you all for your love and support over the years. His life was richer because of it.
“Love to you all. May the light of our collective love carry Gared onto his next journey. Thunder in the night forever! ”
Planes Mistaken For Stars formed in Peoria, IL in 1997 and released four full-length albums throughout their career (they went on hiatus fro 2006-2010). They are widely credited as being one of the first bands to bring together post-hardcore, metal, rock and emo (including the contentious “screamo” tag) along with acts such as Thursday, Hot Water Music and Small Brown Bike.
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November 25, 2021