Mikey Welsh, the bassist of the rock band Weezer from 1998 to 2001, died Saturday in a Chicago hotel room, reports Billboard. He was 40 years old.
According to Billboard, Welsh was found unconscious by staff of the Raffaello Hotel at 1 p.m. Saturday. An autopsy report is scheduled for late Sunday, but TMZ reports that authorities suspect drugs as the cause of death.
Welsh joined Weezer in 1998 and appeared on 2001′s The Green Album. However, he left the band shortly after that album’s release after suffering nervous breakdown. Shortly afterward, he retired from music all together and focused his life on an art career. Twice in recent years, Welsh rejoined his former bandmates for on stage performances: in September 2010, he played bass on “Hash Pipe” during a show in Vermon, and in July 2011, he played guitar on “Undone” during the band’s co-headlining bill with The Flaming Lips in New York. According to his Facebook page, Welsh had planned to see Weezer in Chicago this weekend.
In a statement posted on their Twitter, Weezer said, “We are shocked and deeply saddened to hear the awful news, our friend and fellow weez rocker @mikeywelsh71 has passed away. We love u Mikey.”
Below, you can watch video of Welsh performing with Weezer in 2011.