«It is with great sadness that we announce our dear friend, Luis Vasquez, has passed away,» the statement uploaded on January 19 to The Soft Moon's Instagram page reads. As of publications, the details about Vasquez's death are not known.
3 Bodies Were Found
According to a report by CBS News, Vasquez was found in a Los Angeles residence alongside two other dead people. The individuals were identified by the LA County coroner as 46-year-old John «Juan» Mendez, techno DJ and recording artist known as Silent Servant and 43-year-old Simone Ling, who was reportedly Mendez's partner.
The message of Vasquez's passing at 44 was met with heartfelt and disbelieving statements by both fans and fellow musicians.
«I'm so extremely sad about this !!! […] This is not fair, it's meaningless… really no words…,» Trentemøller commented. The KVB wrote: «Please no, we can't believe this.» And the LA-based industrial band Health said: «Goddamn it. I'm glad we were lucky enough to make some music with you. This is heartbreaking.»
Luis Vasquez, the child of a Cuban immigrant mother and an absent Mexican father, grew up in Los Angeles, California.
He was the lead vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and sole official member of The Soft Moon, the post-punk and dark wave project he founded in 2009.
With each release, the band gained traction and fans, supporting acts like Interpol and Depeche Mode on their tours. The 2015 album Deeper was especially well-received. T. Cole Rachel wrote for Pitchfork: «Few contemporary artists have managed such a clever reimagining of post-punk and spooky new wave in a way that sounds both familiar and somehow fresh.»
In a review of The Soft Moon's concert at the One Of A Million Festival in 2018, Janosch Troehler wrote for Negative White:
The longer this madness continues, the smaller the chances of rescue. The air glows. Beads of sweat shimmer in the strobe lightning. Bodies synchronise under the mercilessly pounding sound. Words do not do justice to this crazy spectacle; they are a mere shadow of this physical experience. They fade with every blow from Luis Vasquez on the empty oil drum.
Luis Vasquez passed away shortly before The Soft Moon was scheduled to embark on their «Feb 2024 Tour», which would have had them play in several European cities as well as at the Grauzone Festival in The Hague, Netherlands.
The festival's account commented on the post:
Rest In Peace Luis, our dear friend. We are crying writing this, as we knew him almost 15 years. He is one of the reasons why we started Grauzone Festival as he was one of the first to put postpunk back on the map.
His lyrics, his music, his art perfectly fitted us, and that's why we became friends, hung out, and organised many of his shows. Such a kind, funny, talented person.
Only 3 months ago we visited him in LA, and everything seemed well, and he was very very looking forward to his show at Grauzone which would be in a few weeks... we are in total shock. Farewell our dear friend.
«Take me far away. To escape myself. Cos I was born to suffer. It kills my mind. It kills me inside. Take me far away to escape myself»