Mike Howe death – Metal Church lead singer who performed on Badlands dead at 55

HEAVY metal singer Mike Howe has died at the age of 55, according to Metal Church, the band he is most well known for performing with.

“It is with our deepest regrets that we must announce the passing of our brother, our friend and true legend of heavy metal music,” Metal Church posted on Monday night.

“Mike Howe passed away this morning at his home in Eureka, California. We are devastated and at a loss for words. Please respect our privacy and the Howe family’s privacy during this most difficult time.”

No cause of death has been reported.

Howe first started singing for the Detroit band Hellion (later known as Snair after they moved to Los Angeles) before he joined the band Heretic, which formed in 1986.

The band released its first sole full-length album, Breaking Point, in 1988 before Howe left to join Metal Church.

Howe was with Metal Church from 1988 to 1996, replacing then singer David Wayne.

Many credit Howe’s arrival at the band as reason for Metal Church’s increasingly political lyrics, tackling social issues with singles like Blessing in Disguise and The Human Factor.

Howe ended up recording three albums with the band before they split in 1995.

Howe went on to provide guest vocals on a number of albums, including Hall Aflame’s 1991 album Guaranteed Forever and Megora’s 1997 EP Illusions.

In 2018, Howe gave an interview explaining his 20-year gap in performing.

"I lived my life just like everybody else. I was a carpenter/builder, and I raised two boys. Out of the blue, I got a call from Kurdt, and he invited me back."

"At first, I was apprehensive — I was happy to be retired [from music]; I had a great career and [was] very grateful for what I had — but because he's an old friend, I was open to listening to his proposition."

"We had long talks — a lot of talks — about how the music industry had changed, and how file-sharing was making it more possible to live in different areas and have family life and not cutting into your personal time as much. With the advent of technology in that way, it really helps facilitate being in a band."

"We just started with writing the record, because I said, 'I'm not coming back to Metal Church for nostalgia's sake. If I'm going to do this, I want to make sure we can write music just as good, if not better, than what we were doing before.'"

"We took baby steps and started writing some songs… if we like the way it sounds, we keep it; if we don't, we move on. We do that a few times until we had a good amount of songs, and we really liked what we were doing, so we put it out."

More to follow…

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