American Head Charge guitarist Bryan Ottoson was found dead on Tuesday. The 27-year-old musician’s body was discovered in a sleeping bunk on the band’s tour bus in North Charleston, South Carolina, where the group was set to play at the Plex club, a
spokesperson for the band’s label said.
According to North Charleston police records, investigators have determined Ottoson’s death to be the result of a prescription-drug overdose. Police found a pill bottle containing “numerous amounts of prescription medicine” in Ottoson’s bed.
Members of American Head Charge told police they last saw Ottoson alive at around 4 a.m. on the morning of April 18, just as the band was departing Jessup, Maryland, for North Charleston. Ottoson had consumed “a large amount of alcohol at a bar” in Jessup that evening, according to police documents.
Police were called to the scene at around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday evening; by that time, Ottoson was dead. Bassist Chad Hanks (known to fans by his stage name, Mr. H.C. Banks III) and guitarist Karma Cheema told police that Ottoson was a “heavy sleeper, and it was not uncommon for him to sleep late before a concert.”
The report also claims police were told that Ottoson had been “consuming unknown prescription medications.”
The band had been on tour with Mudvayne, Life of Agony and Bloodsimple. American Head Charge are expected to miss at least the next three dates of the tour, and it’s unclear whether they will rejoin it at all. At the moment, the bandmembers are said to be heading home to Minneapolis. An official statement from the group is expected late Wednesday (April 20).
The industrial-metal collective was formed nearly a decade ago by founding frontman Martin Cook and Hanks following a chance meeting in a Minnesota rehab center. In a recent interview with British magazine Metal Hammer, Hanks said, “In the past three years, we’ve had two or three relapses, two treatment centers, a divorce, two members leaving, and a whole heap of other sh– going on.” In the same article, Cook alludes to the fact that alcohol and drug abuse has nearly ended the band in the past.
American Head Charge released their latest album, The Feeding, in February.